Caitlin Ritt had dreams of becoming a ballerina, but a childhood injury and subsequent life revelation took her on a very different course. Today, Ritt is the founder of The Lotus Method (TLM), a San Francisco based fitness studio focused on fitness methods designed specifically for future, expecting, and new mothers.
Prior to starting TLM, Caitlin was a professional ballet dancer. Having dreams of becoming a ballerina, Caitlin started ballet at a very young age. At the age of 15, she sustained an injury. With the help of various fitness professionals, Caitlin was able to overcome her injury, and returned to dance.
As Caitlin advanced in her career, she was accepted into several dance companies, experiencing noted success. However, at the age of 24, and reaching the height of her career, Caitlin pivoted her career path. She decided to leave the world of dance.
Pivoting Career Paths
Caitlin remembers coming to a point where she became frustrated with the dance world, and what it was giving (or not giving) her. “In the dance world, you’re judged not by the quality of your work, but by the aesthetics of your work … I was already really frustrated with only being praised, and receiving reinforcement and appreciation from outside sources … I realized that this was just unhealthy, and I eventually became unhappy.”
When she transitioned out of the dance world, Caitlin had intentions of going into fitness services for dancers, but with her first pregnant client, she realized there was a tremendous lack of knowledge and resources on pregnancy and fitness. Entrepreneurship and the career of pre/postnatal exercise and fitness fell into her lap completely by accident. But today she loves every minute of it.
Creating Value and Community
As a pre/postnatal exercise specialist, Caitlin focuses on the functional movement patterns of women. Specifically, TLM utilizes a methodology that goes into the movement patterns of that play into how a woman picks up child; it focuses on what muscles need to be strong for a vaginal birth, or during the time a woman breast-feeds her child.
The training offered at TLM pays close attention to postural alignment, and strives to eliminate pain for women that society has traditionally associated with pregnancy. Due to TLM’s methodology, Caitlin notes that approximately 95% of her clients experience minimal to no pain either during or after pregnancy.
In an effort to ensure that workouts are fully suited to individuals, and the needs of their bodies, every client is required to work one-on-one with a TLM trainer. With this policy, Caitlin has more control over her company’s quality assurance and is certain that she makes much more of an impact.
However, Caitlin appreciates the need for a sense of community for pregnant women who want to maintain their fitness and health, especially during pregnancy.
Caitlin explains: “I still wanted that community aspect, I wanted to create an actual physical space where women felt safe and empowered and supported. So, we actually have group training with a max of 6 women, after you have trained one-on-one first. The thought is, while it is a group setting, the trainers know the bodies of the participants, and know what each woman should be focusing on because they’ve personally trained them.”
Career and Identity Shifts
Like anything worth having, the process of achieving goals and dreams comes with plenty of challenges. In fact, for Caitlin, the hurdles and obstacles that came as she began to build her business were the easy part.
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