Hi there and welcome to Achieve Pilates!
My name is Fran and I’ve been teaching Pilates in and around Coventry and Warwickshire since 2003. I also teach Achieve Bootcamp sessions and I’m also a mum to two young children.
I truly believe that Pilates can help anyone as there are so many benefits to be gained from it however I do tend to teach a slightly gentler, more rehabilitative style of class so my sessions are particularly suitable for those with injuries, back problems or pelvic floor dysfunction. Each Pilates exercise has a modified version and many progressions so once you understand the principles of the technique you can work at your own level within the class. This means that even if you wish to progress through different levels you can still do so in my classes.
If you’d like to know more about my background and how I got to where I am today please read on below…
My career in fitness started with my PE A Level which inspired my love for learning about the human body and how it works…however…
…like many people I had actually HATED PE at school prior to this – I could have been good at team sports but the teachers never seemed to pick the shy and retiring kids for team training sessions so I just ended up resenting the favouritism shown to those who were in the school teams.
I loved to move my body though so I did my sport away from school at a local gymnastics club from the age of 6 until I was 18 when studying for my A levels and a serious boyfriend took over my interest and time!
Having been in a lovely, supportive gym club, growing up in a family of sports fans and studying PE A level at a school that suited me better meant that despite the earlier miserable PE lessons I still developed a love of sport and was fascinated by the way the body works.
This desire to understand the body more meant that my first career choice was to become a sports therapist. At the time the preferred route into this was to first train as a Physiotherapist – however when I did work experience during the sixth form I realised it wasn’t for me BUT all my 8 university choices had been for physiotherapy…
…so, I went through clearing to get a space on a Sport & Fitness Science course and ended up at Luton University studying many and varied topics from bio-mechanics to sports psychology, nutrition to applied physiology. I didn’t really enjoy the white coat lab stuff but loved the more social aspects of the leisure modules so decided during my second year to start developing the additional skills I’d need to work in the ‘real world’.
I did the Exercise to Music (aerobics!) course – probably still the most challenging qualification I’ve done although it is classed as an ‘entry level’ qualification! Then in my final year I wrote my dissertation on injury rates in Box-A-Cise classes, so I also gained the qualification as part of my research.
After uni I got a part-time job as a fitness instructor and gradually worked my way up through all positions gaining experience as a Fitness Manager, Studio Coordinator and Personal Trainer at various gyms around Coventry amd Warwickshire. I started teaching Pilates because one of my fitness instructor friends had trained and whilst I was practising the method with Clare I discovered how great it is for strength & posture and how it helped my back mobility and strength – many years of gymnastics had taken it’s toll on my body! I gradually built up my reputation and my classes grew so that I could be totally freelance, teaching 20 classes a week – mostly Pilates.
Ten years ago I lost some of my classes due to Adult Education cut backs and I was offered an opportunity to work full-time for Boxercise as their office manager and to train as a Senior Instructor. I worked my way up to Assistant Director and although I relinquished this role in 2014 to focus on my own business I still work for them as their only female Senior Instructor – quite an achievement of which I am very proud!
Whilst at Boxercise I kept on a few Pilates classes as I couldn’t stop teaching entirely as I love my Pilates clients so much! I then spent a couple of years re-establishing myself and building my timetable back up.
In the summer of 2016 my husband and I adopted two young children (they were aged 3 years and 18 months at the time) so a large majority of my time is now devoted to them!
However I’m still teaching 10 classes a week and working to promote the benefits of Pilates for everyone.
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