The Modern Wonder Woman- Andrea Speir Owner of Speir Pilates
Posted on 16 December 2016
Tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up in the San Fransisco bay area, I lived and breathed dance. I was dancing competitively around California when I injured my knee. I was put into physical therapy with Pilates as the main focus to get me strong and back on stage in no time. I loved the method and what it did for my body, and was able to return to dance. I went on to get my degree in dance and theater at UC Irvine and continue on to dance and perform onstage in London and New York.
Unfortunately, my knee gave out again and I once again returned to Pilates. It was at this moment that I stopped and truly gave this incredible form of fitness my full attention. I obtained my 600 hour certification out of Power Pilates in NY to learn more about the teachings and also my own body. When I began teaching, I truly fell in love. Teaching others the methodology that changed my body ended up changing my course in life. Teaching was beyond inspirational. I made this my full time journey.
I began noticing that sometimes clients would go to do a bit of cardio after their Pilates sessions, since the main focus is on lengthening, sculpting and strengthening the muscles. To make the workout a bit more “all in one,” I began adding in some of my favorite cardiovascular and modern training elements into this classical Pilates approach.
I added elements of HIIT and tabata as well as some of my favorite moves from the ballet barre. I utilized modern props such as resistance tubing and bands, gliding discs, free weights, and more. This method began catching and I reached a point where I physically couldn’t teach anymore hours in a day. It was at this point I officially created the Speir Pilates Training Method and opened my first studio in downtown Santa Monica, CA.
We utilize the classical reformers as well as mats that fuse in all these fun, effective and “sweat-tastic” elements to give you one fantastic workout! We are currently in the works for the second location here in southern California as well as our streamable workout TV channel called SPTV for those who can’t make it to our CA studio.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learnt as an entrepreneur?
To listen to as many smart people as possible. I quickly realized and embraced the fact that I may be an expert in my method and what I do, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert in other areas of business. Listening to the ideas and advice of others is invaluable. You must lose ego and be open to your initial ideas shifting and adjusting.
What daily habits keep you productive?
Scheduling out my time is huge for me. I have my teaching schedule set, but establishing what I do in my “non teaching time” has really focused me. I set time to write, take calls, meet with my team, etc. Organization and taking things one at a time has also helped to keep me from getting overwhelmed.
Why is health and fitness a priority for you?
Health and fitness is everything to me! It is not only what makes me happy, but it keeps me energetic, focused and sane! I feel so much better when I eat healthy and when I exercise. Sometimes if I’m feeling a bit sluggish or low, I’ll take a workout class or even go for a walk and I am always energized and filled with endorphins after!
How do you prioritise your workload each day/week?
I am such a scheduler! I have lists that say when certain articles are due to what blogs/magazines and then I establish what day I will be writing with that deadline. I do the same thing for studio work! Having this schedule set beforehand helps me to make sure things get down when they should. I will say, teaching classes and clients is so energizing and a great break in the admin-style work that keeps me on my toes and running with a higher energy all day!
What do you do to concentrate?
I love going to coffee shops to write and work. Being in a buzzy environment actually helps me to zone in. It also keeps me from getting distracted with what could be around me (TV, phone, other people like my husband…)
Do you have a morning routine or ritual?
At the moment my morning ritual is a bit different than normal since I’m 5 months pregnant! I wake up, do a bit of stretching since my body is a lot tighter than previously. I take a warm shower to relax and wake up my muscles. I always eat breakfast for energy and take my prenatal with a big glass of water. Once I’m at work, I love making a hot tea with honey and lemon at our coffee corner at the studio.
What do you do to unwind?
I love going on hikes with my husband in our area! Los Angeles has some beautiful trails, my favorite are the ones that look out at the ocean. So relaxing for the soul! I also love going to the farmers market, even if I don’t get anything. It’s great being out in the community in such a leisurely way.
What are your thoughts on mistakes, challenges or failures?
You will always make mistakes. I know it’s cliche, but I truly believe those are the moments when we learn the most about ourselves and how far we truly can go in life. We become stronger, smarter and better equipped to push forward toward the future and outcome we want. As for challenges, I believe if it isn’t a challenge than you aren’t pushing yourself to the greatness that could be in your future. Challenging yourself and pushing forward is how you will create and achieve even more than you dreamed possible. With this kind of drive of course there will be failures, but those are stepping stones on your path to your dream. Nothing comes easy, I truly believe you have to create your path to success and just be ready for bumps in the road. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t experienced moments where I felt beyond devastated, cried and felt completely at a loss. I also have been aghast at the fact that I dreamed something and it came true. It is now going beyond what I even imagined to being something literally beyond what I dreamed. Persevere. Trust yourself. Trust your talent. Trust your drive. Then start with the first step on your journey to achieving it.
What was your biggest achievement/ something you’re the most proud of?
My biggest achievement is opening Speir Pilates. I dreamed the space and imagined what it might look like, what the energy and vibe might be and then made it happen. The feel and vibe of the studio is one of the things I’m most proud of. I felt that in a lot of studios I taught at over the past ten years, there was a bit of a competitive energy amongst the staff. I wished there was a place where us fitness instructors didn’t feel competitive in any way toward each other. I wanted to support my fellow teachers and feel supported in return. At Speir Pilates, we encourage teachers to go out and achieve anything they dream with their careers and want to help them in any way possible as well. I also wanted the clients to feel like we were a beautiful studio but with a neighborhood feel- everyone is welcome and everyone is an athlete. Hearing the feedback both from the staff and teachers as well as the clients that repeats this back to me (without them knowing this was part of my mission statement) has floored me and made me so proud and happy that my dream in that sense was achieved.
What was your biggest setback? And was there a life lesson that came out of it?
My biggest setback thus far would be the time it took to open the studio. The city permitting ending up taking almost a year, so my predicted date of opening kept getting pushed back. Although it seemed beyond devastating and nerve-wracking at the time, I realized that a setback is merely that- a set-back and keeping my focus on what I was doing and trusting that things would workout out kept me on course and in the end showed me that one hiccup doesn’t mean it’s all over.
Finally, At Vie Active we celebrate the notion of being FLAWSOME, realising that we can’t always be perfect and that our imperfectness is what makes us who we are – what makes you FLAWSOME?
Well I would say what got me in this career in the first place was based on a flaw in a way! I injured my knee and was unable to return to the stage in the way that I had been. My dreams and life plan of being a dancer was taken away and instead I found a different path that changed my life in the best way possible. I think realizing we are human and we can be happy if we realize we can shift and share our passions in many ways is what makes us interesting!
I also don't think of myself as your stereotypical fitness instructor- yes I like to eat healthy and workout, but not in a crazy way. I love food more than anything, and we actually have “donut friday” at my studio. I’m in my mid-thirties and being balanced and enjoying life is something I think is just as important as being fit. I’m fine not having a perfect 6 pack, I would rather enjoy cooking and food but just in balance (we can’t have donut EVERYday at the studio), and working out but to feel good and feel healthy, not to look like a victorias secret model.
Where can we find you?