We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlin Sullivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caitlin, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Finding balance has been a huge inspiration behind my business. A little over a year ago I was completely burnt out, in full adrenal fatigue: brain fog, mood swings, migraines, anxiety- my body had been sending me signals that I was ignoring. I had always prided myself on my work ethic and ability to juggle multiple commitments but it had finally caught up with me. I was so exhausted and I realized that all the work I was doing was not even taking me in the direction of my dream: to be an entrepreneur, building my own schedule, creative, and flexible.
In order to heal from adrenal fatigue, I had to allow myself time to rest which meant taking a look at my commitments and my priorities and seeing how they lined up. I was so used to living a busy, cluttered life that I hadn’t considered what it was doing to my health. Being able to relax and just “be” rather than “doing” all the time was both scary and liberating. I also began incorporating my knowledge as a Pilates instructor and hormone health coach to make lifestyle and nutrition adjustments to encourage my body into its parasympathetic state, where it can repair and recover.
The better I felt, the more I knew that I had to connect with other people who were experiencing similar shifts in their lives, We live in a world of extremes; we are often led to believe that the most intense workout will be the most effective, that the most extreme diet will get you the best results. There’s this all or nothing, my way or the highway mentality that doesn’t resonate with me. I believe balance is the key, which is why it is one of the pillars of my Spring to Life Method. Balance in the way you move your body, in the way you eat, in the way you live. I’m so grateful for having made these changes in my life and I hope to inspire others
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Spring to Life Method is my virtual Pilates studio membership where you get access to a full library of on-demand workouts and live classes, plus nutrition and lifestyle guidance for balancing your hormones.
It’s fitness, yes, but my flows are more than just a workout. I emphasize diaphragmatic breathing to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and use cues that help you develop a deeper mind/body connection. My flows are categorized as Build, Balance, or Breathe so you have different intensities to choose from depending on your energy level or your cycle if you choose to track it.
Pilates is inherently anti-inflammatory so it is an excellent choice whether you’re cross-training for high-intensity workouts like HIIT, running, or heavy lifting, a beginner, or looking to recover from an injury. My initial reason for becoming a Pilates instructor was to regain strength in my upper body following years of ballet and several incidents of whiplash which had left my spine worse for the wear; my arms and back were weak, I suffered from migraines, and a constant aching in my neck and shoulders.
Pilates helped reduce my pain, migraines, and made me feel powerful in my body again. I knew I had to share it with others, specifically to help them overcome the chronic aches and pains that somehow become a part of our everyday existence. Initially, I taught a lot of group classes at local studios in addition to my full-time job as the bookkeeper for my family’s elevator business.
I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur- prior to Spring to Life I ran a private Pilates studio out of my home- but I never had the time or confidence to fully commit. 2020 was my opportunity. I had to slow down, stop a lot of what I was doing, recognize that I was really exhausted, and determine that I needed to make a career shift.
Hiring a business coach was the best decision I made once I decided it was time for me to go for it. She helped me hone in on my specialties and figure out how to reach as many people as possible. I am so grateful for the business guidance, but I think the most important piece I learned from her is to value and believe in myself. It’s an old cliche but we’re often our own worst critic. Letting go of my own self-judgements has been the most freeing and exciting part about starting my business.
It took me a little while to hone my video skills but years in the studio working with clients has taught me a lot about what bodies need. Even through a recording, you will get helpful cues to improve your form which, in turn, improves the efficacy of your workout. I teach you to get more out of less when it comes to movement. Many people have told me they felt so zen during my workout they couldn’t believe they were sore later!
Everything that I share with my community is something that has helped me personally on my healing journey, be it physical, nutrition, or emotional. I spent too long feeling weak, uncomfortable, and disempowered because it had become my normal state of being. Spring to Life is about feeling amazing in your body for the long haul. It’s not a fad. It’s not extreme. It’s movement that will meet you where you’re at and empower you to feel your best.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love playing tourist in San Diego when friends come to visit! These are the staples of any friend visit itinerary:
-Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, spicy shrimp tacos are my jam
-Oltre Mare, delicious Italian seafood
-Second Nature, an amazing mix menu with vegan options
-OB Beans, oat milk lattes and sparkling blueberry tea on tap
-Parakeet Cafe, matcha lattes and gluten-free baked goods
-Juneshine, gluten-free, hard kombucha! They have a tasting room in North Park but lots of local places have it on tap, so refreshing!
-Beaches! I love them all from Sunset Cliffs all the way up to Torrey Pines
-Hiking, there are so many great little paths along the coastline like the stairs down to Black’s Beach!
-Snorkeling, La Jolla Cove is so full of life, you always get to see seals & California’s state fish, the Garibaldi
-Surf lesson, I’m a total beginner but its always fun to get in the water!
-Balboa Park, beautiful gardens, architecture, and museums
-Farmer’s Markets, Saturdays in Little Italy are my favorite & Wednesdays in OB are always a fun experience!
-Belmont Park, a San Diego classic! I love to go once a year or so to ride the roller coaster & play some arcade games
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to thank my parents for always encouraging me to go after my passions. I chased my dream to be a ballet dancer which led me to where I am today and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
When I think about what my business is today, I am extremely grateful for two women. The first is Jennie Rathke. She owns Studio Flo Pilates here in San Diego and she was my mentor. I learned so much about the Pilates method from her and she really inspired me to start my own business. I’m also beyond thankful for my business coach, Christina Rice, who has helped me make my dream business a reality!
Youtube: Caitlin Sullivan // Spring to Life Method
Other: Tiktok: @springtolifemethod
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.