Pilates Teachers' Manual

Special Guest - Sho Pettaway

August 31, 2023 Olivia Bioni, Sho Pettaway Season 7 Episode 15
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Sho Pettaway
Show Notes Transcript

Sho Pettaway joins me on the podcast today! She shares the winding road of her career in the fitness industry, what inspires her, her advice for new teachers embarking on their own journey, and her experience making her own way and starting her on fitness business. Tune in!
I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes and episode transcription can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM*

Email pilatesteachersmanual@oliviabioni.com with your feedback.   

Show Notes:

Sho is a Pilates, yoga, personal trainer and instructor of multiple movement modalities. She's based in Chicago, IL, USA. In addition to offering group classes at studios across the city, she also offers small group personal training and a run club through her business, ShoMo Fitness. Check out her website and her Instagram!

Support the podcast:    

Visit https://links.oliviabioni.com/affiliates to take advantage of some sweet savings!

Episode Music:

Tracks: Tobu - Good Times, Tobu & Itro - Sunburst 
Tobu Official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/tobuofficial
Itro Official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/officialitro
Released by NCS 

Support the show

[00:00:00] Olivia: Welcome to Pilates Teacher's Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.

[00:00:56] Olivia: Hello. Hello everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. My name's [00:01:00] Olivia and I'm on today with my fabulous guest, Sho Pettaway. Sho does literally everything. She is a mat Pilates teacher, a yoga teacher, a personal trainer, a runner, run club organizer, doing all kinds of awesome group fitness stuff through her platform, ShoMo fitness over here in Chicago. And on a personal note, she is my yoga teacher who is regularly kicking my butt in her power class. I am so excited to get to speak with her today and Sho, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast. 

[00:01:33] Sho: Thank you for having me. I'm super excited and I'm just excited because this is so cool and I think you're so cool.

[00:01:40] Olivia: Oh gosh. Right back at ya, um. Sho. I think what drew me to Sho's classes initially is that you, I don't know whether you focus on this or not, but your classes are so inclusive. It doesn't matter if you're in a big body, a small body, a young body, an old body. If you [00:02:00] are in Sho's class, you demand that we try and we try our best. Um, I know that was really appealing to me. And then when I found out that you also taught Pilates, I was like, all right, I see you with the sneaky core exercises in our classes. We've actually been working on L sits and I have improved so much because you're like practice. You're like, look, you want to get better at it? Practice. 

[00:02:27] Sho: I just think that what I love about you as a student, um, is. You're fearless. And I just think that's so amazing because I think even in yoga settings, right? Like we always say, this is a safe space and you can do you. Uh, I hear so many teachers, you can lay in the class for the whole class. You just want to lay down and do nothing. Right. But we're never opting in. 

[00:02:51] Sho: I feel like it's always, we're giving the students this option to opt out. Like, Oh, you don't have to do anything if you don't want to. But it's like, what, why come here? Why [00:03:00] pay money? You paid money for this. This is not free. Why not grow and do something different and challenge yourself in a different way? And if I can support that, right? 

[00:03:10] Sho: Like if I can say, Hey, look, you are there. Trust me, I believe in you, whatever you don't believe in yourself, I'm telling you, I see it as your teacher. That makes me so excited and so happy. 

[00:03:21] Sho: And so for when you come and you're just like, okay, you know what, let me try it. I'll flip over backwards in one hand and touch my nose to the mat. Like that makes me so excited. I get so excited about that because I feel like that's the part of community that people need, right? Not the hold back. Don't, don't be you. Don't show, you hide in the corner. I think that people need a space where they can feel safe to show who they are.

[00:03:50] Sho: Like, okay. If I mess up, it's cool. We're safe here. Sho doesn't care. The other people in the class don't care. She, she already set the space up where we can just kind of like go with it and [00:04:00] have fun and be free. 

[00:04:01] Sho: And I also love the fact that, and I've said this to you and I say it to other people, like, we're all learning from each other, right? Like, even me as an instructor, I'm learning from you. You have a background that I don't know, you have experiences that I don't know, and I can learn from that. Right? I never come in with like, I'm the teacher. You're the student. You're going to learn what I it's not like that for me. It's like, oh, wow. Damn. How does she do that? Like, I want to know because I want to be able to do it. And I want other people to know how to do it. You know what I mean? So, yeah. That's the fun part for me. I think that's what I enjoy about teaching and being in the practice of yoga. 

[00:04:39] Olivia: And then I just could probably talk about how much I love your class forever, but like from a teacher perspective, the way that you set the space for the class immediately, we are immediately tuned in. We're all in this together. And even though you, I don't, do I want to say aggressive? You [00:05:00] definitely call people out when they're not doing their best. Um, you push them to do more than they think they can do. 

[00:05:07] Olivia: But some of my favorite moments are when people who've been in the class, you know, we know each other and then they try something and they get further than they went before and everyone claps for them. And it's not like you saying, okay, clap for them because they did a good job. We just know that they've been working on it and they got it and we're cheering for them. We lift each other up. 

[00:05:26] Sho: It's so, I definitely, for me. The group dynamic is so important. And I tell people this all the time as a trainer, as a coach, as a runner, you know, like I am disciplined. I do think that sets me apart. Um, we've laughed you and I together about being type A's. I'm definitely a disciplined person, a person who would say, well, this is my schedule and I've got to keep to it in order to reach this goal. Right. But I find that most of us, outside of the group, struggle, you know, that that's, that's what makes it difficult. Like if everybody was just [00:06:00] amazing on their own, we wouldn't need friends. We wouldn't need family. We wouldn't need support, you know? And I think that's important even in, you know, our journey through fitness or journey through yoga, our journey in Pilates. That group dynamic makes such a big difference. 

[00:06:14] Sho: Because in your own mind, you can say the worst things to yourself. You know, you can be so dis, just discouraging to yourself and you, ah, you didn't do that right. And that wasn't good. And you know, you're just picking yourself apart. And then the person next to you is like, Oh my God, Olivia. Who's that girl? Everybody. Who is a, she's incredible. She must've been doing yoga for 88 years. She's 105, right? Because she is a phenomenon. You know what I mean? 

[00:06:43] Sho: Like, it's just amazing how you can tear yourself down and you can just think the worst things of yourself. And you really do need that group support to be like, man, that's incredible. I see you, sis. I see you, bro. I see what you're doing. Like, and it just like that feeling, it feels so good. I don't care [00:07:00] who you are. It just feels so good in your heart. You're like, Oh my God, I did that. Oh my God, I did do that. That was me. You know, like that share that in a group, you know, it's just like sharing a birthday party. Hey, you made it one more year. Hey, you got promoted. We're all celebrating that. 

[00:07:15] Sho: Like, I think that's so dynamic in the group setting because so many times we can talk ourselves out of things, just our own personal thoughts, you can say no, but when you have that encouragement and you feel encouraged from from the group, it's like, oh no I can say yes, and I can try and it's okay if I mess it up, too You know, like you try and we're cool with that too. That's that's cool too that you even tried it. You know what I mean? 

[00:07:43] Olivia: Yeah. I love one of the mantras that you have, and I think all teachers have you know things that they come back to, and yours is: It's a practice. So we're going to practice. You have to practice in your practice And whether it's yoga, whether it's Pilates, whether it's training for a marathon, you got to put in the [00:08:00] work and that's how you see the results.

[00:08:02] Olivia: From a specifically Pilates perspective, can you tell me about how you found Pilates or what your first Pilates class or experience was like when you were a student before you became a teacher? 

[00:08:15] Sho: Absolutely. I can tell you real simple and you're going to laugh, Windsor Pilates, the little infomercials. That was my very first experience with Pilates. I come from a, a, a sports background. Right. So I was an athlete in college. I played soccer and it's funny because now that I'm a runner, I laugh at myself. I remember, you know, Um, I was the worst runner on the soccer team. I was the worst runner. Okay. I was just like, they would just be like, if this girl would just come on already, you know, I came from a different background, you know, like my parents were educators, they were not big on sports. Um, big on discipline. Big old school, but just not big on athletic talent. And I kind of, I'm always mad at them about that. Like I could [00:09:00] have been something, you know, I could have been somebody. 

[00:09:03] Sho: Um, but I was always, it was always drilled into me discipline. And if you want something, you would put in the work to get that something, you know, but just never any like kind of physical prowess, you know. I did a couple of things here and there for fun, you know, like, oh, but not until I got into college when I really started like, okay, sports is a thing and people are really into it and exercise and fitness is a thing. But even then I was still learning and, and I'm trying not to be all over the place, but I want to say, this is like different backgrounds.

[00:09:35] Sho: So. Here I'm a black woman from Houston, Texas. I go to school in Missouri, predominantly white school. In fact, that's how I got my ride there is because they were trying to diversify, right? They had like less than 5% people of color at the school. Um, I went to Stevens College, which is like a little, it actually was a finishing school. So they're trying to change that, that [00:10:00] perception. It is crazy because nobody's ever heard of my school except for old white ladies. They're like, you went to Stevens College? Like, yeah, that was me. I had never heard of equestrian science until I went to Stevens College. If you don't know what that is, that's a, that is a diploma for people who ride horses. That is insane to me still as an adult. 

[00:10:20] Sho: Um, so there were a lot of things that culturally I had to learn. And so I'm saying this to say, like, I joined the soccer team, never worn a tampon. Did not know what that was about. And so it was all this, this shift, like people are like, what I'm on, I'm on the soccer field and there's pieces of my pad everywhere. Not to be disgusting, but when you don't know, you don't know, you know? And so this whole thing of like learning physical fitness activities and, you know, Being exposed to different things, learning how to use a tampon, just all kinds of stuff came into play. So here I am thinking I'm pretty good, you know, until you get into this team and it's like, [00:11:00] girl, you suck. Honestly, I was garbage. I was garbage. Okay, I was just like, can't keep up, can't run. 

[00:11:08] Sho: And so the competitive part of me, that side of me, that's like, I will not be the worst person, I will not be the last person, kind of kicked in. And so that's where I started getting into fitness and doing more. But then as you, I feel like as you kind of scratch the surface of fitness, you start wanting to learn more if you're into that, right? You want to like, okay, well, why is it so tough for me to run? What am I doing wrong? Oh, you know, my coach is like your core and your, your form. And I'm like, okay. And so that kind of like got me paying attention more to like, okay, strength and my core strength. And what does that really mean? And why does that affect my running?

[00:11:43] Sho: And then once I started getting into that, then I started saying, okay, like they had all these, this was back in the day. I'm an old lady now, but back in the day it was like the infomercial craze of every fitness fad you could possibly have, you know, like. And you're, you're trying to figure out which one is [00:12:00] the real thing and which one is a scam, you know, like, and they had this Windsor Pilates and I was just like, Oh, let me try this. You know, I'll see, you know, who knows? I was just open to whatever. 

[00:12:10] Sho: And the shit was so fucking hard. I will never forget that. Like that first time doing it. And, and, and, and so there's a point to this. I am getting somewhere. Cause I know you're like, well, she didn't went to college and all this is because. When I went to school, I had taken a dance class, but at the time I did not know that what she was teaching us was Pilates. But I remember that it was an all white lady. She had that haircut, like the lady on, um, uh, the Incredibles, you know, that straight blunt, um, bang and the curt, like the blunt, you know, bob. And I was like, this lady's a bitch. I hated her. She was so mean. And I just felt like, this is this serious? Like I'm just taking this dance class for credit. Now I'm about to throw up, right? Like [00:13:00] it was so hard and I realized in that moment during the Windsor Pilates, like this is the same moves. And that's when I started to learn.

[00:13:08] Sho: I had talked to some of my other, my friends who are dancers were like, Oh yeah, most dancers do Pilates. It's super, um, important in the practice. And I started doing more research and learning more, like cheerleaders do Pilates and athletes do Pilates. It's, it's a big foundation for a lot of the movements that you do. So then I really started to get into it more and then I'm like, Hey, I kind of want to, you know, teach this. And it was random. This was random. How I got into fitness was random. Everything I do is pretty much random, but you know, it's like, I don't know if you've ever felt this, like, you know, when you know, like when you're like, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. You know, I should be, this is right. 

[00:13:48] Sho: And, um, very much for me, it was like my journey in fitness, learning body mechanics, learning anatomy and how the muscles work and how they move. And I'm just like, this guy is kind of a genius. This Pilates [00:14:00] guy, like this is all clicking. This is all making sense, but it all came from the Windsor Pilates woman. And the, and I have to say this is to give her credit the way she made her videos was really attainable to the regular everyday person who may not have had that background. And I appreciated her for that because even now I can see where she's going as a teacher where she was going with that to make it attainable.

[00:14:23] Sho: Because I do feel like a lot of times, sometimes we get so caught up in the form and the alignment and saying the right words. It's like, what? If you ever come to my class, I say real words. I say words that make sense to people: booty. That makes sense. And I have had people say to me, like, uh, do you think that's appropriate for you to say booty? It's like, but you got a booty though. Like, why is that not important? Like most people know booty. Most people do not know glutes. I can say glutes all day. They don't know what that is. So I, what I liked about her is that she made it accessible. She made it make sense. [00:15:00] 

[00:15:00] Sho: And at the time, which to me was pretty, uh, progressive in her video, she had all different body types. She had people of color. And she had men, right? It wasn't a whole bunch of pretty girls with makeup on. And that's, that resonated with me. No, that really resonated with me, you know? So that, that's my beginnings. Um, it was me, Windsor Pilates and Tae bo. That was my regimen. I'm really telling my age now, saying Tae bo. Somebody's going, what is Tae bo? Let me Google that. 

[00:15:37] Olivia: So how did you make the leap from, okay, this is making sense and- I also want to chime: in your parents being educators. You are also an educator. Like they didn't totally like leave you in the dark. Like some of that transferred over, for sure. Like you can see your passion for really teaching the movement, not just leading a fitness class. We're really learning skills and transferable skills and [00:16:00] the same thing in different contexts. Very Pilates. I know this is why I love your yoga class. 

[00:16:04] Olivia: So how did you make this jump from, okay, this is pretty cool and this is like probably helping me play soccer. How, how did you become a teacher? How did you do your training?

[00:16:14] Sho: So, and that's another funny thing too, again. Um, so my father was an educator, uh, my whole life. And that's where my discipline comes from. People always say, were you, are you ex-military? I'm like, you had to know my dad. He was old school, old school black. Okay. He was, get in there, shut your mouth, and do what the teacher says do, okay. And so from him, I just, you know, knew that. You have to put in the work. And from him, I learned how to command a room, right. You know, like getting people's attention because, you know, as a teacher, and I see it all the time, even in the fitness community, you know, you can be a teacher that can lead, or you can be a teacher that the students lead you and they just run over you and do whatever they want to do.

[00:16:57] Sho: And my father was from that old [00:17:00] school discipline. Like he, he was no, like if I came to school, be like, Oh, your dad. Like they hated my dad. They did. They hated him. I mean, it's just true. But it was because he was one of those people that, you know, he just didn't take no shit. Period. And for me, that's how I always tell people, I'm never upset if you don't want to take my class, but my class is my class. Like we have all different types of teachers, go where you want to go, but my class is my class. 

[00:17:24] Sho: So I had that impression on me of leading a room that my mother, she's like the artsy part of me, creative. Um, and, you know, so I never had a problem standing in front of people, talking in front of people, you know, I would see that too. Like when new teachers come, I'm like, girl, you know, you, you're in front of the class, right. LIke, you gonna have to speak up. Right. You, you can't be scared to teach the class. So that has never been an issue for me. You know, like I got a big mouth. I don't have a problem being in front of people. And the thing for me is, um, it's what I like to do.

[00:17:56] Sho: And so what happened was, this was, [00:18:00] again, random. I have a son, he's grown now, right? But he was a kid. And, um, he was in karate and I would just go and sit, you know, like how moms go and sit and he's taking class. And the instructor was just like, you should take karate too. You should take the class too. I was like, I'm an adult. And he's like, yeah, he's like, you're here. So I started taking class too. And I actually loved it. Again, fitness, right? It's all related. 

[00:18:27] Sho: And at the same time I was living in an apartment, jumping all over this lady head, working out, right? I'm on the top floor. She's underneath me. She hates me. She hates my guts. She's just like, I wish you would die. And I'm just like, sorry, but I got to work out. This is what I do. And I had another really good friend who was like, you should, you should join a gym, you know, maybe be mindful of the people who you're over and again, this is all new to me. Like you have to realize, like it never even crossed my mind to join a gym, like join a gym, huh?

[00:18:59] Sho: You know, [00:19:00] like I just, it's, it's a whole new world and I hate to sound like, Oh, like I'm just this, you know, country bumpkin, but a lot of people, you know, like, how do you know to go pay and join a gym until somebody says, Hey, join a gym. 

[00:19:12] Sho: So this is back in the day, Women's Workout World. I don't know if you remember that. You might be too young for that, Olivia. But it was a place where women could go and work out and feel comfortable cause it was only women. And I actually loved Women's Workout again, again, because it was a safe space. Women would come in there with rollers in their hair, looking all kind of busted cause they didn't care. You know, as opposed to at the time the option was Bally's and that was just like the meat market. You know, Oh my God, the girls coming in with the lashes and the jewelry, like to work out. Right. 

[00:19:46] Sho: So when I came to Women's Workout, I was like, okay, this is cool. Cause I feel like these are people who really do want to work out. Like they are here for a reason. And me being me loud and boisterous, you know, I had never taken a group fitness class. I [00:20:00] played team sports, but I'd never taken a class, you know, in team sports, you just go to the gym, you pick up some weights, you do your workout and you go and you leave. Or you work out with the team. So now, man, they got these classes, they got kickboxing. You know, I've been doing my Tae bo. So I'm ready. Let's go. Let's go. 

[00:20:16] Sho: You know, and I am having the time of my life, you know, cause I'm enjoying this. And the teachers are like, who is this girl? They're like, who are you? You have to teach somewhere. I'm like, I don't know. No, I just, I'm just doing this so my neighbor doesn't shoot me in the night. And they're like, no, no, no. We have this program. We want you. We definitely, we would love to have you as a teacher. That's what happened. So they were like, you don't have to do anything. We're going to teach you how to teach. Cause I was just like, now what's the catch? What you want me to do? And I mean, already going, I'm paying for, uh, Woman's Workout World was dirt cheap to nothing like what people pay and I was like paying Planet Fitness, right? Like I think I paid 10 a month and I was sneaking off on my lunch break. Cause I had a regular job, corporate job, go [00:21:00] work out. 

[00:21:00] Sho: And then I found myself. You know, okay. My hour lunch is now a two hour lunch because you know, I got to do all my little things. Plus I got to take my class and I got to shower. So then I'm going to martial arts. I'm learning martial arts, what my son is probably annoyed. Like my mom's in here with me, but I don't care. And the instructor is like, do you, I feel like you, you must teach or something. 

[00:21:23] Sho: Cause you know, like I'm working with other moms now. I'm like, you should do, you know, the other moms that are sitting, I'm like, you should do it with me because he said we can, since our kids are in the class. So other moms are doing it. I'm like, okay, no, you need to work that arm. You got to lift it up higher. And I'm saying all the, you know, he's like, I feel like you teach. And I'm like, you know what, Women's Workout World just started asking me to teach. Cause at first I just thought it was so stupid. I was like, whatever, I'm just here to work out. 

[00:21:47] Sho: So I finally go ahead and I decide, I say, okay, I'm going to do that little training program. It was real low key because it's Women's Workout World, right? I mean, when I tell you just to give people who are listening the idea. [00:22:00] Back in the day, when you did fitness, it wasn't fitness unless there were neon lights everywhere and there were neon lights everywhere. There was a stage. You can't even find a gym with a stage anymore, right? There was a stage for classes. I was up on the stage when I taught it. Okay. So I started training there and they were like showing me all these different things. And I just like, I was just in love. Like, this is great. Like I get to not only learn this stuff, teach this stuff. Plus like now I'm, I'm teaching, I don't have to pay for my membership and I get paid to teach the class, you know? 

[00:22:36] Sho: So that's how it all kind of started. And then I'm like, okay, well. I want to this when you learn, you have to get certified in things like certain things you want to teach. You have to have the credentials, right? So she, you know, they're teaching me like, okay, you want to get a group fitness or you want to get your CPR. Um, you could teach this because you don't have to have a certification [00:23:00] in this. But if you want to teach this, you got to get a certification in this. 

[00:23:03] Sho: So I'm learning all this stuff and, um, you know, like this is so crazy because even my son, we laugh when he was younger, like I would literally drive my car and play fitness music and do cues just like in the car, just say cues out loud over and over, just practice cues like, okay, four, three, two, now need to the left down up, you know, like, cause you have to practice saying the stuff out loud because you get in front and you just fucking it up. You don't know what you're saying. People are like, what do you want me to do? So that's how it all started. 

[00:23:34] Sho: And then I was like, okay, I like Pilates. How do I get into Pilates? So that's, that's how we start there. And on the journey of getting certified, which again, we could go forever. Right. But like, that's when I was like, Oh, this is, this is kind of an elitist thing. Oh, this is a, you got to be rich to get certified. That's what my mindset was back then. So, you know, you, you look, [00:24:00] fortunately for me, you meet people like I do it like this, you know, like I can help you do it like this. So, and this was before Club Pilates, right? Which, and I don't have anything, I'm going to say this, I have nothing against any organization at all. You know, to me at the end of the day, we know what it is. Okay. It's about the green dollar. People are making money. 

[00:24:19] Sho: And I get it, you know, I always say, I wish I do kind of wish there was a certification for step aerobics because I wish we had a universal language, you know, like that's the thing. Like you'll go to one club and they're calling it a topsy turvy, right? I don't know what a topsy turvy, you go to another club and they're calling it a up, up lunge, you know? So it would be great if we had a universal language that everybody spoke. So I do get the benefits of getting a certification. So therefore, you know, the person is actually generally qualified to teach what they're supposed to be teaching. And you kind of, it's a language we can all speak together and that people aren't just making up stuff over here, left or right, bottom, top and bottom. 

[00:24:59] Olivia: I [00:25:00] will, I will interject though, even in the Pilates world with our certifications, we still call things different things all the time. 

[00:25:09] Sho: Funny because even like, you know, even in yoga, like Pilates, like people say, Oh, I went to, um, I don't know if you've heard of Ritual, Ritual Yoga. I went to Ritual Yoga and they did this and I'm like, yeah, that's not really that pose, but I get where they, you know, you need something to say and you don't have enough time. Cause theirs is all like poppity pop. It's like hip hop yoga, you know, bippity bop bop dance drop to the side, kick it. I'm like, okay, I guess, you know, I don't, I try my hardest not to knock different styles because I want people to feel like there's a style for them. Right. And some people love that stuff. So I'm not knocking it. 

[00:25:45] Sho: Like I, I was in Indianapolis over the weekend and I took a, um, Bikram yoga, which I'm surprised people still are using Bikram, but whatever, whatever, yup, no judgment. And it was just so [00:26:00] slow. It's so boring. I was just like, are we going to do anything today? That's what I felt when I was in practice. I was like, okay, I like hot. Hot don't bother me. But can we actually do something? We've been- But again, there's different things for different people. 

[00:26:17] Sho: So I try my hardest not to knock people and their different styles, but it's tough because, and that's one of the reasons why I like Vinyasa and I like YogaSix, because we try not to teach to names, because if you notice, I try to just tell you the body movements, because what does that mean? You know, what does skier mean? What is, you know, bold me, you know, like, what does that even mean? I don't know. 

[00:26:38] Sho: When I first started trying to get into Pilates, I realized, okay, you know, I, at that time I'm young and I'm a single mom and I don't have just like money coming out of my ears like that. You know, I'm trying to make a way out of no way.

[00:26:50] Sho: And so I started through, um, through, uh, Women's Workout World, right. They would train you on certain things and get you certified. And they had like, [00:27:00] you know, I don't know if you know this, but every club kind of has their own internal certs. They may not, you know, be transferable to another place, but within their organization, they feel like that counts. You know, it's like Kaiser is uh, they sell cycle bikes. So you could get certified on cycle through Kaiser, through their program. Everybody has their own thing. So I started through that and then I ended up working for LA Fitness and then LA Fitness will have different programs and they, and they, at the time was big on getting CECs, like get your continuing education, keep taking these classes, keep taking this. And so, you know, it's free. So I'm going to get in and fit in where I can. 

[00:27:40] Sho: And then I started doing more research on my own, reading books and stuff like that. And so then I went through, at the time, AFA was the place. I don't know if you know this, like if you want to get certified, baby. You go to AFA, you can get a certification for 50. Okay. 50 whole dollars. Like they used to do these big things every [00:28:00] year where it was like a huge conference and a certification that would normally cost you like three or 400 only cost you 45, but you had to go to wherever it was in your area. Like, so it might be in Wisconsin. If anybody in the Midwest wanted to go, you'd go there. You'd save that date, you'd go. And then it'd be worth it though, to get your cert, you know, because I also at the time, cause I'm a personal trainer, I had my, um, a certification and that shit was so fucking expensive. Like even now, I mean, it was super expensive back then, but it's still super expensive now. I mean, it's just hard. 

[00:28:34] Sho: I think when you're a teacher, like, you know, my first job at Women's Workout where I was getting paid 10 to teach a class, 10. Yeah. So yeah, yeah. We want you to teach. Of course. I don't know, you know, I don't know cause I'm young. Like, Oh, you're not getting paid nothing. That's popcorn girl. But yeah. So of course it behooves them to get you to, to, to take their [00:29:00] classes and for you to teach for them for next to nothing. Cause they're making all the money off of your little 10, especially with trainers. 

[00:29:06] Sho: I really want to say that for anybody who's listening, if you're trying to be a personal trainer, yeah. Do not fall for the okie doke. You put too much time and effort in your education to be out here training people for peanuts. Like, you know, like some of these places, I ain't gonna say no names, but you know, they're paying you 10 to train somebody for 30 minutes. Like that's insane. That's crazy, you know, but when you don't know, you don't know.

[00:29:32] Sho: So that's why I love that you have this. So if you put any amount of money into your training and you feel confident in who you are, please do not accept anything less than what you're worth. I don't care how badly you want to get in. I promise you there are people out here who will pay you what you are worth. Don't fall for that. That is a trap of the devil. Don't fall for that. Because, you know, when you're young and you're like, I got to make my mark and I [00:30:00] want to just get in. I'm just trying somewhere, anywhere, you'll know, you'll know. 

[00:30:04] Sho: Like for me, if you have consistent classes packed full of people. You're good. There's something about you that makes people want to come. And if the group or the organization that you're working for, it doesn't recognize that, they don't deserve you. Go somewhere else. 

[00:30:21] Sho: That's one thing I love about this day and age. We're in with podcasts and social media It's like you can make a place for yourself. Even if the big corporations don't want you there and you gotta know that a lot of these corporations are still on that old mindset, you know, that you gotta look a way. You gotta have a certain type. It may not be a black type. It may not be a woman. I mean, that's just what it is. 

[00:30:48] Sho: Like, I just want a good teacher, right? If I go to take, I just want to go. I don't care if you're transgender. I don't care if you got on lipstick, makeup. Somebody was talking about, they have some viral posts about this [00:31:00] Costco lady. She, her pants was too tight. Do I give a damn about how tight the lady's- You know what? I hate when I go to Costco, I can never find anybody. Can you just help me find a napkins? That's all I give a damn about. I don't care what you got on. I really don't. You got, you know where the napkins are. Thank you. Costco's humongous. I don't want to spend all day walking around here trying to find napkins.

[00:31:21] Sho: So for me, I always try to impress this upon new teachers. Be you. Don't try to copy me. Don't try to be me, be you. That's authentic. When you're your authentic self, people are drawn to that. And that's how you get followers. You get people to take your class. I feel like when you're trying to portray something, it's not authentic. People can see right through it. You don't make a mark. 

[00:31:45] Sho: And let me say this to the white girls, white girls, listen. You're a dime a dozen. I'm not trying to be an asshole, but you got to realize it's tons of white girls teaching fitness. You got to be different from every other white girl. I got to remember you. I want to be like, man, I remember Olivia. I want to, [00:32:00] what's her name again? Cause I want to take her class. 

[00:32:03] Sho: You know, I'm always trying to tell people you, who you are, what you bring is what makes me want to come. A pushup is a fucking pushup. Chaturanga is Chaturanga. 100s are 100s. Facts. So we're not reinventing the wheel here, but it's the spark that you put on it. The, the, the spin that you put on it. It's your flavor. It's your seasoning that you bring to it. That makes me go back to your class. 

[00:32:30] Sho: It's just like you said, there are people who are like, I don't fuck with y'all. And I know that. I know that. They're like, just what you said. They don't want to do that ab work. They're like, I don't want to do no ab work. I came here to lay on my mat and get hot. Okay. I'm not mad at you. But I'm here for the people who want to do the ab work. The people are like, man, that really felt good in my body to work up the abs and really work the abs. I like how she threw that in there, that little spice in there.[00:33:00] 

[00:33:00] Sho: That's what makes people come to your classes. And that's what makes you, you know, what, you know, what, what are we calling now? You know, like the hot commodity or the, you know, the fitness person, whatever, you being you. I think that's really important. Just don't, don't be white bread. Just don't be just like another teacher who says the same things all the time. 

[00:33:22] Sho: You know, if you notice when you come to my class, I mean, I do have, uh, uh, some of the words that I say a lot, but I really try to tune into that day and that practice and how I am in savasana. And what I'm saying is really true to that day, in that practice, and the people who came to that practice. I don't have like this, like one size fits all savasana, thank you savasana, and it's over. Like I'm speaking to what we did that day. 

[00:33:48] Sho: There are days when we are killing, okay, we are killing. And I know you are trusting, right? Cause you're like, I could break my teeth. This girl is crazy. And I recognize that. [00:34:00] And I'm saying to you, I acknowledge that you put your, your faith in me. I acknowledge that you're trusting that I know what I'm talking about.

[00:34:12] Olivia: Hi there. I hope you're enjoying today's chapter. So far, there's great stuff coming up after the break to be sure too. Subscribe wherever you're listening and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. There, you can make a one time donation or become a member for as little as $5 a month.

[00:34:32] Olivia: Membership comes with some awesome perks, including a shout out in the next episode, a monthly newsletter, a monthly Zoom call with me, and more. You can also visit links.OliviaBioni.com/affiliates to check out some sweet deals on products I use and love. Now back to the show.[00:35:00] 

[00:35:09] Sho: And I'm sorry, I'm going to rewind back to Pilates. That was another reason that I was drawn to Pilates is that because my father is an educator, because of my background in sports, I have, I think I'm different in a lot of ways because I'm really into the foundations of anatomy, alignment. Those things matter to me, like, because this is how you protect your body.

[00:35:38] Sho: And I'm, I'm looking at the end game. It's not an, I don't, I don't care if you can kind of get up into the plank. What I'm caring about is you're learning how to actually plank so that you can continue to do it for years and don't end up ruining your body because nobody said your alignment is all off.

[00:35:55] Sho: And I, I would say this too, even in, when I was, and that's the thing about [00:36:00] coming from a different place, right? Coming from the Pilates side of it. When I was in my yoga teacher training, boy, we had a lot of back and forth. Cause I was just like, yeah, but that don't, that don't line up, that the math ain't math that, that don't add up. I hear what you're saying, but, but what I know about anatomy is telling me that's not true, that's untrue. That's just science. 

[00:36:23] Sho: So, you know, I come from a background where, you know, my father being an educator, I was, I was taught question no matter what it is. Don't be afraid to question. And even in class, I'm always telling you guys, ask questions. Don't be afraid. Like I want to, if I can't make it make sense to you, then you shouldn't be doing it. I mean, there are people who get out of jail and they're now all of a sudden they're fitness gurus and nothing against people who went to jail, but baby, no, I need to know you know what you're talking about. Just because you was lifting up concrete cinder blocks in the, in the joint doesn't mean that you should be leading me in this practice, you know. 

[00:36:59] Sho: Like I, [00:37:00] we, we, we had this guest instructor one time for karate and like his gi was all dirty. He brought a student with them and he was flipping them around and throwing them on the ground, doing all kinds of crazy stuff. You don't do that to your own students, you know? And I remember going to my, my, I went to my sensei at the time and I'm like, And you know I'm not going to do shit with him, right? You know, he, he better not come over here near me. 

[00:37:25] Sho: And that's important too. Like I'm teaching you to understand how to follow not just me, but yourself. Right. And that's a hard place to be. Right. I never want robots. I say that all the time. I don't want you to just do what I said cause I said, do it. Cause I'm the teacher. I don't- I want you to be in tune and I want you to hear that. So I'm always trying to explain why we're doing this. I want it to be valid. I want you to be like, that makes sense. Okay. That's a valid reason. I think that's fair. 

[00:37:56] Sho: And I think that's what a lot of teachers don't want to do because they don't [00:38:00] know. They really don't have the answer. They haven't thought about it. They're following what somebody else told them to do. And I don't like that. Like, don't just have me out here just doing stuff to be doing stuff. 

[00:38:11] Sho: One thing about what I love about yoga and Pilates is that connection to the body and how these shapes are changing you in so many different ways, right? It's like the 100s, like the more research you do, right? The more you learn about the core and core strength. You know, we know so much more research now, even from when I started fitness. Everything comes from your core. Your power, your center, how you breathe, your posture comes from the core. Like, and then when you think about, I'm sorry, I'm jumping all over the place. And of course you can cut, jump in anytime and tell me, shut up, give me a turn show. I'm the fucking interviewer. 

[00:38:47] Sho: Um, but like when you think about as I started doing my research on Joseph Pilates and just like his background and how he came up with, it's just, it's phenomenal, [00:39:00] right? Like, it's just amazing. And me being a black person, I can connect to that, right? Making a way out of no way. Right? Here you are confined. Here you are feeling like you don't have a way out, but you going to make something out of it. Okay. They gave you the scraps. You about to make soul food. Don't worry. Everybody going to want what you got. Like that's, that's to me what resonates to me. Like you have nothing, you don't have any equipment. You go, but you're going, you're going to make this work. You're going to figure out a way you're going to do something. 

[00:39:34] Sho: So that resonates with me connecting to the body, learning how my body works. Oh, this makes sense. That's why it feels that way when I don't do it. Right? You know, it's like there are people, like we were left there, you know, we have some students in our class that we take together and I'm always trying to get Jayna- Jayna's another student in class- to connect to her body in different ways because she's very bendy. Right. And a lot of the stuff she's doing, [00:40:00] she's just doing cause she's just doing stuff, but there's no connection to how the muscles connect. And I'm like, you're going to hurt your shoulder cause you're just going, you're not like doing the technique to get into that shape. 

[00:40:10] Sho: That's one of the things I love about you. Cause I, I swear I can make the subtlest cue and you immediately are on it. You're like, Oh, got it. You make that adjustment. I love that. Like that. I do, I do. I mean, it's just like, you're here. That's what we mean when we say be present, right? Like if you were a robot, if you are AI, why have a live class? Why have you come here? Why talk to you and speak to you? And let's talk about what's going on. That makes such a big difference. Okay. I'm going to be quiet. 

[00:40:40] Olivia: No, no, no. This is beautiful because I think you've answered a lot of questions that I would have asked, um, because I can see through the years that you have taught multiple modalities that you are so clear about what's important, about what you're trying to convey, about how [00:41:00] you do.

[00:41:00] Sho: Thank you. 

[00:41:01] Olivia: Approach things so that people can understand them. That is phenomenally well thought out. You can just tell that you're an experienced teacher. 

[00:41:09] Olivia: How have you evolved? How did you get here? Because I can't even imagine what baby teacher Sho looked like, but how did you- I know that you had kind of the soul searching and you've got, you know, the support from your parents, very much questioning everything, but how, how did like- think of you teaching that first class at Women's Workout World. How do you see yourself as having evolved as a teacher? 

[00:41:33] Sho: That is such a funny question. I love that you asked that. I think all teachers go through phases, right? So let me just tell y'all everybody right off the bat. I had a hot shot phase where I just thought I was the best thing coming. You couldn't tell me shit. I was everything, you know. My classes were packed. Everybody was saying my have you gotten in Sho's classes? I just thought I was everything. 

[00:41:58] Sho: And I [00:42:00] remember at the time and this is Women's Workout World, right? This ain't even you know, like most people don't even know Women's Workout World. Um, the supervisor who, she was like the manager of the whole gym. This was the downtown location. She had been on leave because she broke her ankle. So when she came back, she's like, who are you? You know, like, you know, like, I don't know you and whatever. Right. And I was like, Oh no, you know, such and such just told me that, you know, I should try to go through the program and she thinks I'll be good fit. And I've been trying out different stuff and she's like, okay, let's see. And so then she like auditioned me, right? 

[00:42:42] Sho: Um, and let me just say this. I don't know if I'm the only person. I just think it's so ridiculous to have a fitness resume. Can I just say that? I just think it's stupid. I just do. I just think it's so fucking stupid. What is it that you want me to put on my resume? I know how to kick and punch and tell people to [00:43:00] kick and punch. Like you can get nothing from a paper resume. Nothing. Okay. Maybe you'll see what other places I teach you. Why not just say, make a list of every place that you've taught. That's fair. But like when I have to sit down and write down like, um, excels in the skillful art of explaining cues and beat counts, like that's just, just, just dumb to me. 

[00:43:22] Sho: Anyway, so I think you have to see the person audition. I'm like, okay, cool. We like you. We want you to come. Like, I can see you're capable. That makes sense to me. So I auditioned for, she loved me. She puts me on the schedule, but somehow she had to end up going, helping another club for a while. So she was away from our club, her home club. She went to another club. And when she came back, she was like, well, I just want to see what everybody's doing. So she's like dropping in and, you know, doing a little. You know how they do. 

[00:43:51] Sho: That's, that's the other thing I don't like. Like, one thing that I've evolved in, and I really take this to heart, so whoever you are, if you're listening, if you teach people, if you [00:44:00] supervise people, be on the team. Don't be against the people that you work with and work around. It's not helpful. You've been there. For somebody to come in your class, sit in the back with a pen and paper and do this, and just write on a notepad, make little faces. That's not helpful. Like why would you do that? It's intimidating. It's not going to, I'm not going to have a good class. I don't feel like you're on my team. 

[00:44:25] Sho: It's totally different to be like, Hey, I want to take your class today. Have fun. It's no pressure. Just have fun. Like, that's me and you working together. I feel encouraged. But you sitting in the back with a clipboard like you're fucking Debbie Allen and this is fame. That shit is so fucking bogus to me. I just like, don't you want me to succeed? Because if I succeed, therefore you succeed, the company succeeds. 

[00:44:51] Sho: So, she comes in and she's like making her notes. Cause I'm the shit! Girl, I'm the shit! [00:45:00] When I tell you this lady took me down about good 10 notches. Okay. Oh, yeah, and you know who you are. Adrienne, if you're listening, you know who you are. I love her though. I love her. She was like i'm gonna i'm gonna have to take you off some classes. I said what? Yes. Yes. That is like death toll to teachers. You're taking me off a class. How are you taking me off a class? She was just like, and this was the, this is the biggest thing. She was just like, you need some work on your teaching, like just your teaching. 

[00:45:36] Sho: And I couldn't believe it. I was so shocked. And she was like, I'm going to have, um, one of the other guys work with you. And he was like, not even a teacher. He was just like working the front desk. But I didn't know at the time, he had taught, he's just choosing not to teach. He was really more like assisting her as a manager, right? Gay dude, loved him to death. 

[00:45:54] Sho: And I'll never forget. He came, I taught step. He came and took my class and he was just like, at the end of the class, [00:46:00] he was like, can I ask you a question, baby? And I was like, yes. He was like, who, who, who was that class for? And I was like, what are you talking about? He was like, because I felt like you was working out and we was watching. I don't feel like the class was for us at all. I said, excuse me. He was like, you, you didn't teach us nothing. What did you teach me? You was doing a whole bunch of fancy stuff. It was very fancy. I mean, it was, it was so fancy that if you had looked out at the class, nobody was doing what you were saying. That's how fancy it was. 

[00:46:28] Sho: He was like, if you can't teach me how to do it, you're not teaching me. He was like, you are working out for yourself. You're not teaching. And that totally, he was like, it makes no difference how great you are, how good you look, how strong you are. It doesn't matter. But if what you're saying doesn't translate, if you look back and nobody can get it, nobody's coming back to your class. It's not accessible. [00:47:00] And that has stuck with me throughout the years. 

[00:47:04] Sho: It's like, even when we come to yoga, sometimes I'll re- I'll teach a same move again, because I'm like the last time we taught it, I noticed places where I could teach it better, walk it, make it more accessible, where it would make more sense to do it this way. Cause then more people will get it. That's so important to me. Like, okay, last time, cause you know, sometimes you just know how to do a thing and, and you're, you're not realizing that. You haven't taught it. You just did it, you know? And so, there are other ways that you help the people get into this. Like, that's so, that's so crucial to me.

[00:47:39] Sho: Like, that's why I'm so big on this is the same shape. You already did the shape. You think you didn't, but you already did it. You did the shape. It's just in a different way. Like, today we were doing low plank, low plank. That's the same thing you gotta do to get into that hurdler, to get the body down and put the weight on the arms. And people don't realize you've been doing it the whole class. [00:48:00] That's so important to me. It's so imperative. 

[00:48:03] Sho: So it's not enough- and you, and you'll notice like, as you, you know, go through your fitness evolution as well. There are teachers, I mean, and I've had, I've had supervisors telling me, you should come in, put your shoes down and make an entrance for yourself. Like what? So I've taught all formats, right? I've taught, I've taught indoor cycling. I was big in indoor cycling for a while. Um, this was back when Flywheel was everything and I taught at Flywheel. So I've done all the fads, right. And you know, you're going to walk in, you're going to put your shoes down and you're going to put your elbow on the bike and be like, are you guys ready for this ride? Girl, if you don't get out of my face- I'm not doing that. 

[00:48:48] Sho: But for so many people, that's what it is, right? It's your number of followers. Like, and I've worked at places like that, like everybody, you want to get everybody's Instagram before they leave. Um, and you want to connect with [00:49:00] them. Yeah. Like, I just like, that's so not me. That's so not me. 

[00:49:03] Sho: And then that's the other thing too. Now you're adding a layer of work for me that you're not even paying me for. Oh, oh yes. I've had people you have, you have a responsibility. You have to put at least one social media posts a week. They call it collateral. Oh yeah. So these are the, the bewares of teaching and it goes across the board. You know, you feel like in yoga and Pilates, they would steer away from that, but don't, don't be, no, don't be fooled. They'll do it because at the end of the day, they're trying to make money, right? That business part comes back. 

[00:49:35] Sho: But what I truly believe, I truly believe this, and this is how my business has worked. It's just based on what I do, I don't have to go by gimmicks. I could. I don't want to, and I don't have to, thank goodness, right? I just go by my ability, right? Because people are like, oh, you should do the waist trainers and you should do, God, right? Sorry, I'm not trying to shit on people who [00:50:00] do waist trainers, but let's be honest, that shit's bullshit. I'm telling you right now, if you're listening to this podcast, do not believe that a waist trainer is going to make you have a flat stomach, because it's a lie, it's a lie, it's a lie from the pit of hell, okay? It's a lie. That shit pisses me off. 

[00:50:13] Olivia: This is a perfect segue. I'm cutting in because you've, you've said earlier, you know, that especially with now, with the internet, with social media, you can carve your own way. You can make your own place and you've made your own place. Can you tell me a little bit about the inception of ShoMo Fitness and you know, how that fits into your fitness land? 

[00:50:34] Sho: Absolutely. Again, I, I, my story is different. It's all kind of weird avenues. Right. So I started, um, working with someone, we were going to build a business together, you know, um, stepping out on faith. And, and, and that's another thing too. Like, I want to say this, even though I'm a black woman, I definitely still have had some privilege because I had parents who always affirmed me, always supported me. [00:51:00] Um, I could be like, I'm going to quit my job today and I want to, you know, camp across America and they'd be like, okay. But they always gave me the benefit of the doubt of like, they know if it was something I was going to do that I had put in the effort, the work, the energy, I knew what I was doing. 

[00:51:18] Sho: So I'm going to say that everybody doesn't have that, right? I've always known if the shit didn't work, my parents were going to save me. And that makes a big difference, right? Like that's a huge. Knowing you have a catch, knowing you have some support. So I want to say that if you do decide that you want to go out on your own, I don't want to knock it, but you do need to support, you need a support network. You need to, you need to feel, you need to have some air of breath, knowing that you won't be destitute, you won't be homeless, you won't be living under a bridge with one shoe. You know what I mean? Like that makes a difference. 

[00:51:53] Sho: So I always knew no matter what happened, my parents would catch me. And I was always affirmed. So, you know, like I went to college, I have a [00:52:00] degree, I'm not a dummy. I'm always like, well, I can always get a job, you know, because I always go back and work at a desk. Right. So that's always been there. But then I, as I started to get more into fitness and I realized like the corporate side, you know, the, uh, racism that's involved, the sexism that's involved. You start to get into like, there were moments where I was like, you know, what am I doing? Like, do I even want to do this? Cause like so many people have turned you, turned me off. 

[00:52:25] Sho: And it's crazy even in yoga, even in Pilates, because you know, we have this idea that yoga is just like, Oh, we love everybody and everybody's welcome. And that's a lie. And I've dealt with, you know, white men speaking out of turn to me and having to be checking people left and right. Like, Oh no, he thought this was 1865. Let me let you know what it is. 

[00:52:51] Sho: So, if you decide that you want to do something on your own, you have to really feel secure in who you are. And that's a really hard place to [00:53:00] be, but you have to be very, very sure of who you are, because there will be people who will try to test it and question it no matter what. Okay. I don't care how many followers you have. I don't care how confident, you know, like the new thing now, I think is imposter syndrome, you know, like people feeling like I don't deserve this. Let me tell you something, everything that I have, I know damn well I deserved it. I know that I worked my ass off for it. I'm very fortunate. I'm glad, I'm lucky that I'm doing something that I like, that I love. 

[00:53:32] Sho: So for me, it was like, okay, you know what? I'm not going to wait on some white person to, to say, to recognize my talent. I'm not gonna wait for the avenue to help someone else's business. Because that's a big part of it too. Like, you know, they, they, they dangle these little crumbs in front of you. Like you could be assistant manager or you could be the lead teacher here. You could do [00:54:00] this. And, and all the while they're, you know, making you jump through all these hoops to build their shit. That's the crazy part. Like you doing all this backwards, bending over to pump up somebody else's stuff. And at the end of the day, you're a disposable commodity, right? They could drop you at the dime, doesn't move on with life and you're nobody's in them. You don't exist anymore. 

[00:54:23] Sho: So that's what made me start saying, you know what? I'm really good at this. And people would say, Hey, is there any way can I work with you one on one? I would love to do, you know, what you're doing. Because you know, that's the other part of working for gyms and clubs and corporations. There's always the behind the scenes, right? And I get, you have to have rules and you have to have regulations, but some of the behind the scenes crap, it just makes you want to not do it anymore.

[00:54:50] Sho: You know, I remember for a while, LA Fitness. So, you know, these corporations, they make money, right? So they had made this partnership with this group called power [00:55:00] music. And so. I don't know if you've ever heard Power Music. It's garbage. Okay. It's like Kids Bop. Okay. Like they take the song that you know, but they put in like their little studio artists. So you listening, you're like, this is a Kanye West song, but why does this sound like Juju being from around the corner is doing the rap. I don't, it's garbage. Right. Exactly. 

[00:55:20] Sho: So, you know, you trying to do your workouts and the people are like, what is this shit? You know what I mean? Like. And you force, they're like, you have to use this music. You have to do it this way. The other thing is like the equipment never works. Right. So now you're yelling cause the microphone doesn't work. Or, you know, you know, the, we can't do the full workout the way because the equipment isn't where, cause they don't spend that money on that. But now they expect you to pull out and make miracles. And then they don't respect. 

[00:55:45] Sho: Like, I don't care where you are. I don't care what organization it is. Group fitness is what keeps the members coming period. It ain't the weight machines. It's group fitness, period. [00:56:00] People come because they want to be a part of something. They want to feel good. They want to walk out.

[00:56:03] Sho: So I just started noticing, like, you know, I want to do this. I, I don't want to be confined to all these rules. Honestly, I want to play curse words. If I want to play curse words, I'm grown. These people are grown. I don't want to feel like, you know, seriously, like it's so many rules behind the scenes. And you're up here up all night picking out playlists, trying to find the right songs, trying to do this, put the beats down, get the counts, get to the style they want it to be.

[00:56:27] Sho: And it's like, this, I mean, this is dumb, you know? So I was like, I just want to have some more creativity in what I'm doing and how I move. And the other part of it is you'll, as you start to teach more, you'll find there are people who want more than what you can give them in a 60 minute session. You know, at the box club, you know, they want more, they want to go to that next level. And it's hard to do that when you are confined to all these rules of, it's got to be like this, got to be like this, this is, this is blah, blah, blah. And I'm just not into the gimmicks. I'm just going to say that right off the bat. [00:57:00] I'm not, I'm not mad at anybody who wants to do that stuff, but I just, I'm not, I want to teach the thing.

[00:57:06] Sho: I don't need it to have, you know, some rhymey, diddy, beboppity dance part in the beginning. I don't, you know what I mean? Like, I just want to teach the thing. I don't want to feel like, well, I've got the first 10 minutes to do this. And then the second 10 minutes, and then this, this 30 seconds here, you know, like, can we just do, can I just teach a good class where you walk away and you feel accomplished? You feel like you've got something out of it. 

[00:57:33] Sho: So that's my, that's one of the reasons why I started on my own. And what happened was honestly and truthfully, um, I started running cause the guy I was dating was an asshole and treated me like crap. Oh yeah, this is, this is a true story. I was teaching, I was already teaching, right. And, but I was, you know, teaching for locations and, and I had my regular job. And, [00:58:00] um, the guy who I was dating was like, I mean, you're a fitness instructor, but you don't really look like a fitness instructor. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. He was like, you should be running so you can lean out. And I was just like running? I never, I was just like, why? I'm like, I run, you know, like just do a little warmup here or when I'm playing sports or whatever, but I'm not like a runner. 

[00:58:23] Sho: We went out running. He was the worst. He was one of those people like, why are you going so slow? Come on. Yes. No. And I don't run. Just treating me like shit. But again, the competitive nature in me, like that moment, I was like, I'm going to run you into dust. This is all that you needed to do. I'm going to ruin you. And so therefore I had to become amazing to smoke him into the ground. And I did. And so I started dragging him around like, what's taking you so long? Let's go. Come on, let's move. 

[00:58:59] Sho: [00:59:00] And then I started getting into it more, you know, racing. I was like, Oh, I'm going to do a marathon. And I noticed that I have friends who were running, right. And they were joining, doing stuff and I'll be like, okay, so where's, where's the person who's pacing you? Like, how are you doing it? Where's the guy who's training you? And they're like, Oh, they don't, they don't show up. They just send me an email and they tell me what to do. And I'm like, wait, and you're paying for this? Like you're paying money for this. And they're like, yeah, I'm like, so they send you an email and tell you to run this on a Tuesday and you pay money for that. And they were paying big money. And I just felt like that's not what training is. That's not what coaching is. That's not, that's not beneficial. If I could do it on my own, I wouldn't need you, you know? 

[00:59:45] Sho: So literally one year I was just like, you know what? I'm going to take people outside. I'm going to help them run. That was like the beginning of my, my fitness company. Like I was already teaching classes here and there and doing stuff here and there. But then it was [01:00:00] like, Come on guys, go with me. I'm going to show you some different things we can do and help you on the line. And from there, I just started teaching more and more classes on my own. I would teach outside. You know how you do you, you do classes outside until you realize, Oh, Chicago's going to charge you to teach outside too. Um, nothing's free, nothing's free. 

[01:00:21] Sho: Um, but that's kind of how I got into it. Just this idea of teaching people and letting them connect in a way that, you know, I always tell people I'm not for everybody, right? Some people need a swift kick in the ass, period, point blank. And they know that about themselves, you know. It's like, you know that you're the type of person who can talk your way out of doing it. And you need me to be like, I don't care what you said. We're doing pushups. Let's go, you know? 

[01:00:52] Sho: And I always tell people, like the people who train with me, I'm like, you know, you need me. Because if you had Becky, you'd be running Becky and you wouldn't be working out and you wouldn't be doing [01:01:00] nothing at all. You know what I mean? Like, that's the beauty of it. Everybody's different. Everybody's different. I, you know, like I'm not telling you it's my way, but I've just learned from years and years of doing this of, like you said, we, we've talked about, you know, training and people coming into sessions and, you know, I cannot carry you. You have to want it. 

[01:01:23] Sho: And that's a hard part for people and I'm drawn to those people who want it. Not that you're perfect. Not that you're the best. Not that you're ever going to get all the things. Not that you're going to be the skinniest person in the world. None of that. It's just that you want it. That's who, that's who I'm here for, for the people who want, they want it. They just don't know how, but they want it. That's what makes me want to teach. 

[01:01:49] Sho: That's what I love about Pilates. It's like when people come in, you know. I used to, when I first started teaching Pilates, One of my very first students, he didn't tell me this. I didn't know until his last day, he was in a car [01:02:00] accident and his back was jacked up. Right. And so I don't know that, you know, people don't tell you all this stuff. I didn't know that, but I'm just telling him like, you can get this. If you're just patient with yourself and you work on your core strength, if you work on the alignment, it'll come.

[01:02:16] Sho: And I used to always tell people like, Hey, you know what? Therapy is hard. So people always feel like, well, if you come to the class, it's supposed to feel good. And I'm, I'm going to be the first one to tell you like, no, this is not going to feel good. This is going to suck. And I always tell people like people who get hurt and they have to go through physical therapy, they're crying. Have you ever seen them? They're crying. And the people are like, no, you still got to put pressure on that leg. No, you still got to move that arm. You know, it takes work. It takes you being uncomfortable. It takes it not feeling good sometimes. 

[01:02:46] Sho: And a lot of people, a lot of times, especially in this day and age, people don't want to hear that. They want me to be like, Oh, you don't want to have to. No. No, I don't believe in that. I believe, like you're telling me your knees hurt. You [01:03:00] need to do that so that the next week and the week after that your knees don't hurt like that and you feel better. You got to take that castor oil. You got to take the shot, you know, and at the end of his training with me, he was like, you don't know this. You have changed my life completely. 

[01:03:19] Sho: And here's the other, the other gag too. You know this, I know you know this, Olivia, physical therapy ain't nothing but Pilates, you know. I said it, I said it. No people taking all your money, you might as well go ahead and sign up for Pilates class. 

[01:03:33] Olivia: I have a client who is in physical therapy and he got his, you know, his handout of exercises and he's like, we've been doing all this in class. And I was like, yeah, yeah, we have. And, uh, he's like, oh, and I was like, that's what it is. 

[01:03:49] Olivia: Like it's, it's Pilates. It's graded exercise. You start small, you make it bigger. You make it more complicated. You make it more fancy schmancy, more load, whatever. But [01:04:00] you start where you are, you do what you can and you are able to do more. But the doing it, like this is, this is the whole movement thing is the only way out is through. You don't get better at doing, you know, jump throughs or L sits by not practicing them. You gotta do it and it gets better. 

[01:04:17] Olivia: So, uh, one last thing I'll chime in about your classes. We started doing these L sit drills in January and now we're seven months of doing them and people are who, the first time we did it, looked at you like you were crazy and like, how dare you? What do you want me to do with these blocks? What? You want me to lift my butt and my legs? How is that even possible? are now lowering the blocks. They're doing it with like less extra space. They're getting the jump back. 

[01:04:46] Olivia: And it's, it's really a testament to you, your belief in yourself, you can see how confident, how assured you are of yourself and you know that you're the real deal, you know that what you're leading us through is the real deal and the trust that [01:05:00] your students have in you that you can see those kinds of things. And that happens whether you're teaching step aerobics or you're teaching Pilates or you're teaching yoga.

[01:05:09] Olivia: So I don't want to keep you forever, Sho, but I appreciate so much all of the stories you shared and the winding road. It's really fun, I think, when you've been in the industry for a long time to look back and be like, Oh yeah, that was totally random that that happened, but I was in the right place at the right time. I said, yes, this person handed my butt to me when I needed it handed to me. I got better. And here I am. So thank you so, so much for sharing. You are so awesome. 

[01:05:36] Sho: Thank you so much, Olivia, for having me on. I think this is amazing. I think this is so important for other teachers and for people who just want to know what's happening. Like I, you know. They, people don't know. People have no idea. So I think this is great. And again, I love you as a student. I love practicing with you. I love learning from you.[01:06:00] 

[01:06:05] Olivia: Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teacher's Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. Check out the podcast, Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual, and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates goodness, check out my other podcast Pilates Students' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts. The adventure continues. Until next time.