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Image / Editorial

How I spend my working day – Pilates pro Anna Frankland

by Rosie McMeel
31st Oct 2019

Having lived in Australia for a short while, Anna Frankland was inspired by their popular wellness industry. Three months after her return home to Ireland, she opened Reform Pilates Dublin. Eight years later, her thriving business, which overlooks Dublin Bay, offers personalised training as well as group classes. 

“There are so many different skills involved in running a business and teaching Pilates,” says Anna. “I am always learning on the job from those around me and from mistakes I have made over time. I came from a corporate background where I worked with start-up businesses for many years so I brought a lot of useful business skills with me when I started the studio.” Anna’s personalised approach to both her business and her training means clients tend to become something of an extended family. As a result, she’s organised Pilates retreats overseas, with another planned to Cordoba next year.
“Empathy is critical when you’re working with people the way we do, it’s also really useful to have a genuine curiosity about what motivates people.” Increased awareness around movement as medicine is one of the things that most excites Anna about her industry right now. “The growth in the popularity of Pilates in Ireland now means that it is accessible to a lot more people. At Reform, my instructors and I strive to reinforce the message that Pilates as a form of exercise is for everybody, every age, every gender, every background, every one should be comfortable wherever they practice it.


I wake at…
5.30am a good few mornings a week to get to the pool in UCD. I loved swimming as a teenager and returned to it when my youngest daughter turned one. I swim with a fantastic group of people and find it sets me up for the day. It benefits my mental health just as much as my physical health. I also try to get into the open water as often as possible for the same reasons.

Breakfast is usually…
Overnight oats with fruit and seeds and a coffee. This is just as important as my swim!

I can’t go to work without…
Checking out the schedule for the day. When I know which clients are coming in for classes and private sessions, I plan ahead by taking into account what each client has told me is going on with them at the time so that they get the most out of their session. I really feel this is what makes our studio stand out as we know all of our clients personally and adapt the session to their requirements.

Deciding what to wear each morning…
When I am teaching is pretty straight forward: leggings and a top I can move in. I usually wear a mix of Sweaty Betty, Lolë, lululemon or pieces from Skulpt. Over the years I’ve found you really do get what you pay for with workout gear. When I’m not teaching, despite best intentions to make more of an effort, I spend a lot of time in jeans and shirts or jumpers with flats (high tops or boots) in the winter. I love & Other Stories, COS and Beautiful South when I feel like treating myself.

I travel to work by…
Bike as I love the feeling of freedom and the fresh air. I also have no patience for traffic.

I start my working day at…
The studio if I’m teaching, and at home if I am working on the business. I have a beautiful view of Dublin Bay from one of the rooms at the studio so I always take a few minutes to appreciate it before starting work. No matter what the weather it is always beautiful.

I usually spend the first portion of the day…
Teaching or catching up with instructors and clients.

I break for lunch…
Whenever I can. I’m no good without lunch as I get really ‘hangry’! I always make sure I get half an hour otherwise my husband and kids know all about it later on. I usually have soup or a falafel wrap for lunch. But if I’m short on time I’ll have oat cakes and a banana.

I keep my energy topped up by snacking on…
Almond butter on toast, fruit or whatever my three children are having in the afternoon.

I think meetings are…
Great when you need them. There is no substitute catching up face to face with someone. I have seven fantastic instructors whom I try to meet up with over coffee whenever we can.

The most useful business tool I use every day is…
WhatsApp. It’s invasive but oh so useful. I also use MindBody for all of my business needs, it’s a US-based software provider for studios like mine. It makes running my business time efficient as it’s reliable and user friendly.

I save time by…
Reminding myself that good enough is usually good enough.

I rarely get through my working day without…
A reminder of how lucky I am that I get to do something I love every day.

The best part of my day is…
Sitting on the couch snuggling with my kids in the evening after a busy day.

The most challenging part of my day is…
The afternoons when I juggle school pick-ups, homework, after-school activities and dinner with work demands. When you run your own business, you don’t ever get to switch off. The trade-off being that I have amazing flexibility in my day and this is something I value immensely.

I know it’s been a good day if…
I don’t feel I have to turn on the laptop after the kids have gone to bed.

I usually end my day at…
10.30pm, often this drifts to later, but my aim is to get to bed early during the week as it makes me a nicer person the following day.

I switch off from work by…
10.30pm, or at least I try to.

Before I go to bed, I’ll…
Often prepare my breakfast for the next day, get my gear together and make sure there is food in the fridge for school lunches and that the uniforms are clean.

I often prepare for tomorrow…
By switching off with a book before turning off the light. It’s the best way to clear my head of work stuff.

(Main picture features Anna, her husband Ray and children, Sofia, Phoebe and Ella).


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