STOTT PILATES® Student
Danyal Timmerman had a career as a corporate maven, working in HR for a fast-paced digital marketing agency in St. Louis, Missouri. But she chose to pursue a second career as a Pilates Instructor, shifting gears in her mid-30s onto an entirely different career path
Danyal Timmerman hadn’t thought it possible to reinvent your life at 37.
But when the former dancer, competitive runner and seasoned yogi had a C-section in 2013, she had trouble rebuilding her previous levels of core strength. When a friend brought her to a Pilates class at the local YMCA in St. Louis, Missouri “it hit me like a ton of bricks,” Danyal says. The following week, she went to five classes. The week after that, she went to seven. Not long after, she embarked on a 90-day social media challenge, posting a picture each day to prove she practiced. “On the 90th day, you’d think I would take a break,” says Danyal. “But I decided I wanted to teach.”
The path to becoming a Pilates Instructor wasn’t an easy one. Danyal’s passion and work ethic had already led her to a key corporate position in human resources at Timmerman Group, a digital marketing agency run by her husband. Coupled with the rigors of raising a young child, her schedule was already jam-packed. Over several months of researching Pilates Instructor training, she discovered Merrithew®, however there weren’t any available Instructor trainings in St. Louis. But there was a training available in her hometown—a four-hour drive away.
“On the 90th day, you’d think I would take a break. But I decided I wanted to teach.”
“I feel really blessed that the training was available in my state,” she says. She and her husband took a look at their schedules, and began making the necessary adjustments so that Danyal could attend the trainings and have time to study the material during the week. She scaled back her hours at TG, and drove the four hours on weekends to meet with the eight other women in the Instructor training group.
Danyal budgeted 10 hours a week to study, cramming her brain with new vocabulary. “The manuals were like dictionaries,” she says of the unfamiliar language she was learning. But the more she studied, the easier the vocabulary flowed. Soon her study hours turned into studio hours, and currently Danyal is just a few months away from taking her final certification tests. Danyal is anxious to uncover where this new path will land her, as she is certain that teaching Pilates will forever be a part of her career DNA.
In the meantime, Danyal says that finding the time to take the training course has encouraged her and her husband to really prioritize family time and get creative in order to make the most of it. They have written wish lists of family activities to do, and have created memory albums to store their stolen moments together.
“We have each other’s pedestal to stand on,” she says.