top of page
  • Writer's pictureStephanie Neal


It was around this time last year that I started to feel like I wanted to make a change to my life and my business. Bayden and I had just been in France for two weeks, and this was the longest stretch of time away from work or study since starting Uni, 10 years ago.

I remember telling a friend that my goal was to be able to get my business to a stage where I could leave for 2 weeks, without having to do any work at all. I had taken holidays before, but I had never completely stopped working. In the past I was still always checking and responding to emails, updating social media, reconciling bank payments and checking in on classes and clients. But the trip to France was different, I actually switched off, almost 100%! There were so many things that made this possible, amazing staff, a change in time zones and ridiculous rates for data packs. For these two weeks I felt different, I felt lighter, it was the first time in a very long time that I wasn’t feeling anxious because of work. When we got home Bayden and I decided that we wanted to make some changes in our lives. We wanted to implement some of the amazing things we experienced and did when we were overseas. I remember sitting down over the next few months and writing out my goals, what did I really want to do in the next 5 or 10 years. How would my work look? Would I still have a Pilates Studio? Would I still be living in Buninyong? I didn’t know all the answers to these questions but the one thing that I did write down was that I wanted to have more freedom. I wanted to have more flexibility with my work so that I could spend more time with Bayden, travel and have less stress and anxiety.

So, a year went by and I made some changes at the studio so that I could work a little bit less and feel a little more freedom in my schedule. And I started working on a little ‘side project’ of HQ Academy, an online mentoring program to help guide other Pilates teachers.

Fast forward a little bit and Victoria and most of Australia were in lockdown for the very first time. I had just launched my HQ Academy (yes the same week all of the Pilates Studio’s were forced to close), and I was working hours upon hours to build an online platform for all of our Pilates Clients. I felt it was essential for them to be able to continue their practice, stay connected to a community and to maintain their health and well-being during this time. It’s fair to say that I was burnt out! I was done! I literally had no energy left to give.

So, I took some time during this lock down period to really take stock of what I wanted to do for work, what was right for Bayden and me and what would be best thing for my mental and physical health. Whilst I was doing this, I re-read those notes and goals that I had written out a year ago. I looked at where I was and where I wanted to be and I realised that the time was right for me to make that decision! As always, the first thing I thought of was everything and everyone but myself. What would my clients do if I didn’t have the studio anymore? What would my staff do if they weren’t able to work for me anymore? I felt I couldn’t take that workplace, those classes, the community away from all of these people! BUT, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I decided that I needed to look out for me. How would I feel if I continued doing something that no longer felt right for me? What advice would I give a friend or family member if they were in my situation? Deep down I knew what decision I had to make, but there were so many things holding me back from doing it. I wanted to give this online business a crack! I wanted to take some much needed time out to rest and recover. I wanted to be able to continue to share my knowledge and to teach Pilates.

And so here I am today, sitting at my laptop typing this blog post from a small country town in the middle of abso-lutely nowhere and kind of everywhere! I did it! I made the tough decision! Was I scared? F*&^ Yes! Was I nervous? Of course! But am I happy with the choice I made? You better believe it! Now each day I am inching closer to my goals and my dreams! I am building an online community of Pilates Teachers, sharing with them any gems of knowledge that I have picked up on my Pilates travels and guiding them through their journey so they can follow their dreams the way I did!

And through the powers of NBN Satellite I can still do what I love each and every day; Teach, Empower, Inspire and Support other people and Teachers (now from anywhere around the world) and share with them my love for Pilates and Movement!



P.S Silver lining the lovely people of Buninyong still have an amazing studio that they can attend with many of the same Pilates Teachers thanks to the crew at Eureka Osteo and Oasis Buninyong.

P.P.S If you've been loving having access to Pilates in your home and would like access to me streaming live and straight into your living room then send me a message here.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page