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Pushing the boundaries: Athens Pilates studio proprietor balances enterprise and motherhood | Arts & Tradition

Because the exercise ends, the darkish blackout curtains swing open to disclose the morning solar. The neon lights begin to dim and the reformers, machines that add resistance to Pilates exercises, return to their regular positions. College students in exercise units and sweaty ponytails gather their issues and hurry to class from Push Pilates’ Baxter Road location.

Anna Margaret Ray is the founder and proprietor of Push Pilates Athens, an electrical reformer Pilates studio. Earlier than creating Push, Ray appeared in varied movies, music movies and TV exhibits, together with “Scream Queens,” “Starstruck” and “When the Sport Stands Tall.”

Ray opened the studio in June 2022 after transferring to Athens a yr and a half in the past. The studio is close to the College of Georgia and near Milledge Avenue. The situation is strictly the place she wished to be.

However Push is not the one factor on her plate.

Being a girl enterprise proprietor comes with a number of challenges. The primary problem for Ray is work-life steadiness. She’s a spouse and mother and appears like she’s “simply making an attempt to maintain up.”

In keeping with a survey of enterprise individuals by Grand Canyon College, 28% of respondents mentioned they’ve needed to sacrifice time with kids, buddies or household on account of their careers.

“It is like having two infants… I’ve one little one and he or she’s my complete world, my complete life. After which I’ve my enterprise, which is one thing to be tremendous pleased with, however it’s having to nurture one throughout a sure season, which was Push. And now, I can come again and provides [my daughter] all of the nurturing that she wants,” Ray mentioned.







Lightning bolt lights create the “electrical, vibrant, colourful neon vibe” that Anna Margaret Ray mentioned she wished in her studio, Push Pilates, on Baxter Road. “I need you to simply really feel this electrical sensation whenever you’re within the room,” Ray mentioned. (Photograph/Jessica Moore)


Working Mom journal estimated that one out of each three ladies enterprise homeowners are moms. In keeping with a survey by Sport Alliance, ladies make up 29% of all fitness center homeowners.

Georgia Stockton is a former school athlete and an teacher at Push. She sees Ray as a mentor.

“She’s a mother, she’s a enterprise proprietor, and [to] See her steadiness and juggle all that and nonetheless grind and chase her desires, simply type of observing from afar is so cool,” Stockton mentioned.

Ray begins the day on the studio round 5:30 am to show class. She solutions the telephone, pays payments and responds to emails till it is time to decide up her daughter round 3:30 pm She continues to work till round 6 pm after which tries to place the telephone away round her daughter’s bedtime. She’s again on-line doing work till round midnight or 1 am

“I put on all of the hats, when it comes to managing, proudly owning, working, working with purchasers, staffing, every thing. My telephone does not cease. So looking for an excellent steadiness between dwelling life and enterprise life might be my hardest problem this season,” Ray mentioned.

Ray tackles her days by delegating time successfully and effectively. She blocks out time the place she focuses on one activity, whether or not it’s her enterprise from her or her household life from her. She does not permit work to sneak into household time.

To cope with stress, Ray says a nap is the very best reward for getting her record completed. If she’s fortunate, she’ll get a nap every week. Massages and manicures are treats she enjoys to destress. However as a enterprise proprietor, the work by no means ends.

“As I am getting my nails completed, I am speaking into my telephone,” Ray mentioned.

Opening a small enterprise generally is a dangerous and unsure endeavor. However Ray’s trade is rising, and the athletic firm Run Repeat tasks the boutique health trade to develop by practically 17% within the subsequent three years.

“It is okay to take a threat. Take a calculated threat. Lay out the professionals and cons and take a calculated threat,” Ray mentioned.

Stockton agrees with Ray and thinks ladies should not be afraid to take “these little first steps” to succeed in their objectives.

Ray’s calculated threat changed into a possibility for her to share her love of health and to grow to be a small enterprise proprietor who balances all of it.

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