In the beginning of March 2020, I realized the Covid-19 virus was spreading and I needed to adapt the studio. I added sanitation stations, moved equipment, and created a protocol for social distancing. That lasted 1 day – Monday, March 23. By 5:00, Governor Hogan announced that all non-essential businesses to close it’s doors to the public. Quickly I needed to come up with a plan to go virtual. It was like opening a new division of the business. Who will teach classes? What times? How much? What is Zoom? How does it work? Where do I place the camera? Where can I find a camera? How big of a screen do I need? With in 2 weeks we had online classes.
In April Governor Hogan released his recovery plan. The small boutique studios realized we did not have a category. When I called the state for clarification of our classification, I was told we need to follow the same guidelines as the large gyms and I needed to register as a health club with the state. I’ve owned a studio since 2005 and had never heard of this requirement. I was told I was not allowed to re-open until I had registered. I started filling out the online forms but stopped when I realized the questions they were asking did not relate to the operations of the studio. I reached out to colleages and friends who not only offered advice, but contacted various politicians government officials on my behalf. After months of being hassled and threatened, I finally stopped getting e-mails.
We navigated through red tape and changes in state mandated restrictions. We asked and listened to our clients and adapted policies to ensure our clients felt safe when entering the studio. We lent out props and small equipment for virtual clients. And we survived.
Thank you to those of you who hung in there with us. Your trust and support gave us the lift needed to keep fighting, navigating, and not give up.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
owner, Chesapeake Pilates Center