Hi friends! Happy Tuesday. It has been a while since I have done an interview, but I’m SO excited for you to meet my friend Caitlin today. I met Cait at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse as we both participated on the track and field team. Cait has always been driven and inspirational. I remember when she told me that she never used the snooze button, and I was floored. The snooze button is probably my favorite feature on my phone 🙂 Since our college years I’ve seen her grow into a wife, mom, and business owner. I’ll let her tell you more.
Ames: Introduce yourself and tell us about your business.
Cait: Sure! I’m Cait, a physical therapist and owner of Dynamic Physiotherapy in La Crosse, WI. I’m a manual therapist, which means I do a lot of mobilization/manipulation, soft tissue work, trigger point dry needling, etc. I set up shop in a local gym and love it! Personal trainers and instructors get to spend so much time watching their clients (compared to a doctor, lets say) that they really know when to send these folks to me, usually before train wrecks happen. I have a really cooperative, progressive relationship with a handful of pilates and yoga instructors, Crossfit gyms, movement buffs, and the new La Crosse Wellness Center I’ll have my office in.
Ames: What do you love the most about physical therapy and training?
Cait: I love getting people back to what makes them happy. For a lot of people, movement is a piece of their happy. When I see someone back in the gym, a class, or out doing whatever they enjoy, it really makes me smile inside.
A: What is your favorite part about owning your own business?
Cait: Flexibility. I am so so blessed to be able to make this work. I can back off when my family or my body needs me to and I can go full throttle when the time is right. I also decided to step away from insurance-based billing and have a 100% self/cash pay business. I’m finding that people really appreciate it if they haven’t met a deductible or have HSA’s and it keeps the overhead and time commitments manageable for me.
A: What is the most challenging?
Cait: I’m learning to say “no” to things that aren’t where my heart lies and guard my time with my family. It’s easy to spend spare time that seems insignificant working on marketing or other business things or to make commitments half-heartedly. I fell into that trap a few times and have had someone say “if you’re not married to your practice you’ll be the first private practice owner I’ve met who isn’t”. That’s the opposite of why I’m doing this; If I can manage to keep my priorities in line, which for me are faith, family, friends and then work, I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded in my goals. I have come a long way in this department in the last year, mostly by learning the hard way, but also by listening to a few very wise women speak about this topic. This is where I’ll insert my shout out to Jen Hatmaker, who’s books are a MUST read for any momma who has felt like she needs to be Pinterest perfect, have it all together at all times, or feels like she gets lost in motherhood. I have let go of the “what do other people think…” attitude and ask myself “will I feel good about how I’m spending my time and resources.”
A: I saw on your website that you work with oncology patients. What inspired you to get your PORi certification and add this service to your business? (Excited oncology nurse over here).
Cait: This is going to be a really cool part of my practice in the next few years. Multiple women came to me with neck and shoulder pain after having breast cancer in the last few years. They had soft tissue and joint mobility problems from all of the things that go along with cancer. I could really help them out with my manual therapy skills, but I didn’t know much about cancer. I felt like I was being pushed by the Big Man to help this group of women. I ignored it for a year. The last woman who came to me was so thankful that I could help her so much after 1 treatment that I signed up for the class the next day. I learned SO much at the course and am in the process of getting this program up and running. A: That is such a great service to offer!
A: Okay, let’s transition and talk more about YOU. You have always been in great shape and a model of consistency. Let’s see if the readers can pick up some tips from you 🙂
Cait: Staying in shape is just something you have to decide to commit to more than the excuses, obligations, and things that might pull you away from that goal. I absolutely love the attitude of one of my former colleagues who would always say “Did you make yourself better or worse today?” Apply that to your training, your diet, your sleep, and yourself. I also choose to apply that to my relationship with God and my family; I never feel like I’m trying to do all of this myself because I’m not. There are times that I absolutely go in the wrong direction, sometimes for longer than I want to admit. The nice thing is, each decision is a new opportunity to make yourself better. I think it allows you to take baby steps and feel okay with that.
A:You have just entered your 3rd trimester with baby #2! Congrats! In what ways has this pregnancy been different from your first?
Cait: Oh boy (pun intended)! With Brooks, I had this tiny little baby bump. Gained weight slow and steady and felt like a million bucks up to 42… yep 42 weeks. This time, I gained 10 lbs right off the bat (it leveled off, but I was FREAKED OUT), carry this baby much differently, had a ton of nausea and have varicose veins. Compression pantyhose are so stylish, right? I still can’t complain because I’m able to stay active and feel pretty darn good, but it’s been a different ride. I think it’s interesting that it looks like I’ll end up gaining the same, 35 lbs with both boys, even though it was so different. The fittest woman I know told me she gained 50 lbs with all 3 of her kids even though she went from not exercising and a bad diet to running up to her due date and eating clean with her last. Maybe your body has a set weight during pregnancy or you establish one? My goal is always to do the best I can that day; some days I do and some days I need to step it up!
A: What does your pregnancy fitness routine look like?
Cait: I teach kettlebell classes 4 days/week, so that’s how I get most of my workouts in. Those are circuit style and a mix of cardio and strength. I tested out for my StrongFirst kettlebell instructor certification at 10 weeks, so I had been training very specifically for their snatch test (100 in 5 minutes with a 16 kg/~35 lb bell). I had be patient with my cardio capacity at that time. I could tell my body was manufacturing some serious stuff at weeks 5-9 and just did what I could. I do not run at all when I’m pregnant just as a personal choice; Ligament laxity, extra stress on the pelvic floor, and just plain being nice to my hip joints means you’ll find me on a bike, rower, hiking, doing stadiums, or swinging kettlebells instead. I back off my weights gradually throughout my pregnancy, mostly as my pelvic floor feels like more weight is stressful. I was deadlifting at 42 weeks with Brooks (A: amazing! oofta to 42 weeks!) and it felt AWESOME but I did lose more muscle mass than I’d like and had some baby weight to work off. It actually took me a year to be the same weight, but I felt healthy and strong so I wasn’t concerned. I’d rather be strong than skinny any day.
A: What are your best tips for staying active and fit throughout pregnancy?
Cait: Every day try to do 3 things: Move your butt (Even if it’s just a walk around the block). Give your baby foods that you’d feed it if you knew it’s brain was developing that day (because it is…), and take care of yourself. The previous question “Did I make myself better or worse today” still applies, just x2. Not to say you need to put pressure on yourself to cook the perfect baby with superpowers from all that kale you ate, but you owe it to yourself to come out of pregnancy ready to rock mommy-hood. Start being the example you want for your kids today!
A: What does a typical day in your diet look like? Does it change much from non-pregnant Cait?
Cait: Typical day: eggs for breakfast with either grass-fed bacon, fruit, or some sort of an oatmeal or sprouted grain cereal. Lunch is usually a quick stop home or a lunch box with leftovers or a salad. I try to make dinner most nights; we follow a clean eating philosophy; full fat foods with veggies, meat and diary included. I will say that I’m not afraid to gain a few lbs over my pregnancy to make sure I get all of the nutrients baby needs, but I’m not an ice cream or cravings person. If I want something sweet it’s fruit. Plain veggies are not appealing to me when I’m pregnant, but if I can put them in a dish or pair them with cheese (I think I should have been born a Wisconsinite) I can do it.
A: Do you meal plan?
Cait: I don’t currently, but I have and I was just thinking this week that I need to start again. Thanks for the push! 🙂 It’s back on the weekly Sunday meeting agenda!
A: Does the whole family typically eat the same foods? Is your 2 year old a picky eater?
Cait: We have a lot of different foods going on. Brooks is lactose intolerant, so he drinks goat milk and eats goat cheese. I tend to buy all organic and Doug is so budget conscious that he doesn’t when he goes grocery shopping. We have “my milk” and “your milk” type situations with several foods. Brooks eats what we eat, but loves something one day and won’t touch it the next, so that’s challenging. I wouldn’t call him picky, just sporadic. I buy new cookbooks every so often to keep fresh ideas and keep myself excited about cooking.
A: You have been with your husband Doug for as long as I can remember. What are your best tips for marriage?
Cait: Time does fly! We started dating when I was a freshman in college and got married the week after I graduated. My tips: Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Put forth the effort to stay connected and grow in the same direction together. I think the verse “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” is applicable, even if you’re not all that biblical. Don’t let other people, things or commitments get in the way of your marriage. I think there’s so many areas nowadays that you have to guard your time and your heart. This one is so important. A: I love this, well put.
A: Person that inspires you the most:
Cait: My dad is always someone I’ve looked up to and learned so much from. We’re really alike and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps and make him proud in the sports arena. Now, I find myself really looking for Christian women who exemplify a balanced lifestyle. I love the Women of Faith tour (and really want to go since it’s their last year) and some of the individual women in that group are a great resource for young moms. Professionally, I look up to some of my former colleagues from the Iowa City area as “where I want to be” skill-wise in 5 years.
A: Favorite inspirational quote or mantra that runs through your head:
Cait: Hm… I’m a country music fan (small town Minnesota girl) and I’ve always thought Luke Bryan’s “Love like Crazy” sums up what we should strive for in life: Be a best friend, tell the truth; And overuse “I love you”; Go to work, do your best; Don’t outsmart your common sense; Never let your prayin’ knees get lazy; And love like crazy.
I loved Cait’s answers! A huge thanks to her for doing the interview and I hope you gleaned some good tips from her. Have a great day everyone!