A loan of $5,000 helped purchase additional Pilates equipment, offer more classes at a lower price point and increase my cash flow.

Dallas's story

It was in the late 90's that I first read the term downshifting. Kiplinger's Personal Finance published an article detailing the lives of several "downshifters" - people who were bogged down with big salaries, busy lives and too much stuff and they left it all behind for simplicity, sustainability, serenity and authenticity. Their manifesto, Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin, became mine.

Shortly after reading the Kiplinger's piece, the tenth anniversary of my employment at my first job out of college was acknowledged with a $100 bonus. While I was grateful for the rights of passage that this job allowed me to make: my first American Express card (green was the coveted card in those days), exotic travels to Egypt, Kenya and Turkey, and the islands of the Caribbean, the repayment of undergraduate student loans, "security" in the form of medical coverage and matched 401K contributions and introduction to the personal computer, I wanted out.

Vowing never to give ten years of my life to unfulfilling, uninspiring work at a company again, I resigned, rolled over my 401K into an IRA, and took a two year sabbatical during which time I lived frugally and free. Far from just being idle, I was busy fashioning my life without the dictates of the "musts" and "shoulds" of conventional living.

With my cash reserves dwindling I knew it was time to get back to work- but certainly not in a staid corporate setting that I escaped from. But where? And what? It was while thumbing through a catalog of video cassettes, (pre-dates DVDs) that I found my answer. Pilates.

In 2000, I spent a year self-practicing with the video cassettes I purchased (Pilates was not yet in the main-stream as it is now), then in 2001 I took the requisite 75 private lessons from instructors certified in the classical method of Pilates in preparation to audition for the teacher training program of Romana Kryzanoska at Drago's Gymnasium on West 57th street, New York City. I was accepted, completed 600 hours, then transferred to the Kane School of Core Integration and received my teacher certification in 2004.

I converted two rooms of my large East Harlem apartment into a full-service studio called Perfect Parts Pilates. Like me, it's growth has been slow, steady and organic with many iterations.

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About Perfect Parts Pilates

Industry: Services
Years in operation: More than 5 years
Website: perfectpartspilates.com


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