Name: Ruth Noonan

Job title: Pilates studio owner and Pilates teacher

Employer: Cockermouth Pilates Studio

Age: 48

Where are you from? I was born in Liverpool and lived there with my family, husband Dave and four sons, until July 2003.

Where do you live now? We made a choice to move to Cockermouth a few months after the birth of our twin boys in July 2003 which is the best move we have ever made.

Where do you work? The majority of my practical work is carried out at Cockermouth Pilates Studio but like most self-employed people I also work at home on the planning and preparation that goes into the smooth running of a business. This is the "behind the scenes" work that no-one sees but is vital to the future of the business.

How long have you done this job? With lots of practical help and moral support from my husband Dave we opened Cockermouth Pilates Studio in September 2008 so it is almost 12 years now. Thanks to the dedication of our loyal clients and help from friends and family the business has survived the flood in 2009 (I recall with fondness the memory of a chain of my girlfriends moving equipment from the studio up three flights of stairs to the top floor of our house, the partners of girlfriends arriving with a van to transport our large equipment to the barn of another friend where some more friends spent hours cleaning and refurbishing the large equipment with us in very wintery conditions so that, with my husband Dave managing the repairs and renovations to the building itself, we managed to reopen for Pilates classes in January 2010) and the after effects of the 2015 flood.

Take us through a typical day: Before starting my teaching day I will check and respond to email, facebook and phone messages. I will then liaise with my teachers and receptionist to ensure the smooth running of the studio that day followed by preparing for and reviewing the programmes for any individual clients I will be seeing.

If I have a new client I will be conducing a screening and Postural Assessment which will inform the basis of their exercise programme. I have several regular long-term individual clients who all choose to learn and practice Pilates privately with me as their teacher for a variety of different reasons which may include managing back pain, specific spinal pathologies or rehabilitation from major surgery.

I love teaching mat-based Pilates and Reformer Pilates on an individual basis as you can tailor the programme exactly to the clients needs and this is how the method was originally taught and it also gets the fastest results.

I would typically see between three to five clients before taking a break for lunch and having a mid afternoon nap. I will return to Cockermouth Pilates Studio for the evening sessions where I will teach group classes for Ballet Barre Pilates and Mat Pilates that vary in complexity and intensity.

What do you like most about the job? Pretty much everything, my clients are fantastic and dedicated to their Pilates practice, the teachers I work with have all been trained by me and are committed to providing quality tuition for our clients but it is really great when a client tells you how much they have found that by practising Pilates regularly they have improved their sports performance or reduced their back pain so they can now do things they previously found impossible.

What do you like least? Cleaning so I don't any more, I employ others to do it (thank you Emma and Jake)

Why did you want to do this job? I thought it would be awesome to run my own Pilates Studio and it is.

I have a degree in Sports Science and the theory behind Pilates makes complete sense to me, it is an exercise method that is helpful and beneficial.

I believe that everyone should practice Pilates and it would be amazing if it was taught in schools as part of the PE curriculum as well as being offered in workplaces at lunchtimes for employees. If there are any schools or employers who would like to offer this service don't hesitate to get in touch with me at Cockermouth Pilates Studio as we do teach outreach too.

What jobs have you done previously? Back in Liverpool I worked in Further Education at Liverpool Community College where I taught on a variety of health-related fitness and sports science courses.

What qualifications or experience do you need? In order to teach Pilates you need a Level 3 qualification, unfortunately this doesn't mean you will be a good teacher of Pilates. To be a good teacher of Pilates you need to be slightly obsessed with movement and mechanics, have a keen eye for observation and the ability to correct individual performance, enjoy working with people, be able to listen to, hear and respond appropriately to your clients needs as well as the desire to continue learning and improve on what you do.

What is a typical salary for this job? A Pilates teacher can expect to earn between £16-£30 per hour to teach a group Pilates class. This depends on the area of the country you work in and who you work for with wages typically being higher in the south.

As a Pilates Studio owner I get to keep any profits from the business, in the 12 years we have been open these have been massively different and there have been some years when foraging was a necessity to keep the family fed - I don't think my family will ever forget roadkill casserole. Thankfully that is in the past, I now pay myself £2,000 a month, I have a job I love that allows me to play out cycling, running, swimming and climbing in the beautiful local area with my amazing friends and family - thanks guys.

Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession? Follow your dreams, be bold and do it now, right now, get that ball rolling or get rolling like a ball (sorry that's a really bad Pilates pun).