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Good and bad uncertainties: From the eyes of a Pilates instructor

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

Uncertainty is usually frowned upon, as most of us are experiencing now in the pandemic. Can any good come out of it? What are the effects arising from good uncertainty?

“Uncertainty is not just a sideshow. It can have a first-order impact on human behaviour.” — Ivan Shaliastovich, an associate professor of finance at the Wisconsin School of Business, researches uncertainty, an area of interest since his days as a doctoral student at Duke University

So what are we seeing today within the Pilates circle as a result of bad uncertainty?

In Singapore’s first circuit breaker, I saw how the Pilates studio that I was working in retained only one studio and closed down two other branches. I also knew of another decade-old studio that was closed and moved its operations to a shared fitness space. The recent phase 2 heightened alert also sent another of the studio that I used to work in to downsize into a smaller outfit.

The good out of it is that these operators survive and continue to thrive in their new settings. That, without a doubt comes on the back of the support of the government and the clients. Still, I admire the calmness of these studio owners. It would have taken them nights of thinking, cries of wonder, to crack the code on the next steps to embark on.

How did these Pilates studio owners ride above the storm? Getting to where they are now was no small feat in itself. Courage, passion, determination would have been their best companions.

With good uncertainty, we see the opposite effects of bad uncertainty. Across these three Pilates entrepreneur examples, we see the opportunity of pivoting to online Pilates classes; we see the streamlining of limited resources; we see the value of brand equity. To a certain degree, there’s positive energy in good uncertainty.

Isn’t that what we all need in the face of bad uncertainty? Can we pivot the uncertainties to good uncertainty?

I started my sabbatical in the year when Covid started - what a coincidence, isn’t it? Most sabbaticals as we know it would have involved some sort of travel-around-the-world episodes or live outside of the home country experience. Mine didn’t take on such similar stunts which became a positive as the funds saved has helped me buffer for all the lockdown episodes that the fitness sector has experienced during these two years.

With working from home as a default in today’s economy, we are seeing the impact on social, mental and physical well-being of the workforce. In a way, this is a good uncertainty for me as I took this period to pivot towards rehabilitative Pilates. It has been a period of gaining in-depth knowledge as I received more training from physiotherapists and working alongside the physiotherapists on clients recovering from surgeries or muscle imbalances.

Do you know what is one of the most neglected part of our bodies? Yea, you got it right - our feet! The translation of energy from the ground up has a huge impact to our knees, hips and all the way up along our bodies. Working from the ground up, I have also embarked on Barefoot Training Specialist programme with Evidence Based Fitness Academy and am now level-one certified.

Our body is indeed a living science which evolves over time. Given the right dose of positives, we can all ride through this pandemic together! I certainly hope that we can all take some time to breathe in new ideas, new perspectives, to find the good uncertainty in the midst of the bad.

You are never alone in this journey. I am also an email away.

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