Caitlin Bovée BA & Sc loves to move. Athletic from a young age, Caitlin has always enjoyed team sports, solo activities as well as movement and dance. She began teaching fitness at the age of 18 through the YMCA/YWCA and ACE and continued to delve deeper into movement therapies throughout her twenties while completing a bachelors of arts and science from the University of McMaster University. In her early twenties, she completed her Matwork andEquipment training at Body Harmonics, Toronto.
Caitlin focused on rehabilitation throughout her Pilates and fitness training. She has trained with Margot McKinnon (Toronto), Marie Jose Blom Lawrence (Long Beach, California), Eric Franklin, Brent Anderson (Polestar, Miami Florida) and countless others to develop her skills at assessing a clients’ movement patterns and helping her clients create efficient and pain-free movement.
At the age of 25, Caitlin experienced a stroke on her right side. She received the chance to use her post rehabilitation knowledge on herself. Those years of recovery gave Caitlin an inside view of the process of rehabilitation. Though difficult, Caitlin looks upon her stroke as a life-changing event which has been a teacher and provided her with an immense education. After years of practice, Caitlin Bovée works primarily with post-rehabilitation clients referred from Guelph chiropractors, physiotherapists, and other health practitioners. In 2009, Caitlin was nominated for a Women of Distinction award through the YMCA/YWCA of Guelph by her clients and colleagues.
Caitlin believes that “our bodies are amazing,” At Pilates in Guelph, she leads a team of talented and similarly minded instructors that provides leading-edge instruction through the mat, reformer classes, and private sessions. One of Caitlin’s joys is sharing her vast knowledge and excitement about movement and bodies with other Pilates and movement instructors. She feels privileged to be Senior Teacher training faculty for Body Harmonics, teaching their program since 2007.
Pilates in Guelph is a fully equipped studio located at 109 Surrey Street on the south side of downtown Guelph. Blending a beautiful historic stone wall and a new custom-designed studio space; the studio highlights Pilates in Guelph’s focus on combining traditional wisdom with modern scientific research. Featuring two studios; one format and another devoted to reformer classes, It is an inspiring light-filled space perfect for the focus, connection, and spirit of the mindful exercise. Additionally, Pilates in Guelph will be expanding into the south end of Guelph at a beautiful oasis of a studio.
Hey Caitlin, can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Caitlin Bovee. I am a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to a great 7-year-old. We often joke that my second child is my studio, Pilates in Guelph. At Pilates in Guelph, I strive to create meaningful change in clients and employees lives.
My movement career started over 22 years ago in coincidental and serendipitous ways. I believe Pilates and movement re-education was my destiny, and my passion for helping people successfully achieve their movement goals reinforces that belief.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Movement is in my blood. I need a movement to be well and balanced. I have an autoimmune disease and it has given me many challenges but each time, I had a flare, set back, re-evaluate period, I was drawn back to the movement as a method to help me rebuild. It is the reason I do what I do because every time I had to rebuild my body and rebuild my health, I learned the rebuilding process. Knowing it so well from personal experience, I have a certain wisdom and authenticity that leads to success for my clients and instructors.
What sparked your initial interest in pilates?
I was an athlete as a teenager, then got sick and went to personal training and fitness to rebuild myself emotionally and physically but needed more. Enters Pilates…
Then a stroke, a premature child, and an ongoing autoimmune disease mean Body Harmonics Pilates and movement re-education was my saving grace. It continued and continues to help me rebuild, learn and find physical strength to support my journey.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of Pilates in Guelph?
Move better. Feel better. Perform better. You can and we can help.
What is the most important lesson you want your students to take away from the experience they book with you?
Self-efficacy. My clients do the work. I facilitate. I want them to feel empowered to change how they move. This, in turn, will influence their health, and more broadly, their life.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years?
Growing. Helping Pilates and movement instructors do this good work all over Southern Ontario.
What outlets do use to promote Pilates in Guelph?
Word of mouth mostly. I dabble in social media but I have built up a reputation in Guelph for my ability to help those who cannot find help other places. When we opened there wasn’t social media (back in 2000) so our reputation had to speak for itself. In early 2000, we did have a television show called Pilates in Guelph. Still, to this day, I have people coming up to me saying they watch or used to watch me daily on the show
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Three things give me career satisfaction. One is having clients say they feel better and can move better. Two is Pilates instructors and movement educators showing excitement about the possibilities – the successes really – of teaching and helping people with Pilates. And the third is going to the studio and seeing my employees have a job that is filling and rewarding.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your career?
A stroke in my twenties, a 25-week premature baby girl in my thirties. Living with an autoimmune disease that requires me to continuously balance and prioritise. Then in the last 20 years, a surge in Pilates, then a decline in Pilates, employees leaving, and working on finding a great team.
After my daughter was born, I knew I had to change how the business was run to make it a more effective business. I focused on systems and consistency. Putting the right people in and taking those who didn’t fit out. And it has been in the last 4 years that the business has really taken off. I am passionate about Pilates and movement re-education and passionate about making Pilates in Guelph a success for everyone
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
There are 3 that I want to mention. Firstly, my sister Ahme Bovee, she started this studio, then moved to Michigan to start another studio. The second is the Founder of Body Harmonics, Margot McKinnon, who has created a wonderful Pilates program and 2 strong healthy studios in Toronto. Then my mom (can you hear the cheesy ahhh), as a single parent, she went back to school and became one of the first naturopaths in Guelph. She had a successful practice until she retired last year. My mother showed me that there were no limits.
How do you define your own success?
Smiles of those around me.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
I started in this field when I was in my early twenties and had many years where I was the youngest person in the room, studio, or course. I am not the youngest in the room anymore and I can feel my experience, drive, and knowledge. Furthermore, living with an autoimmune disease, means I have to live my life with authenticity and truth of who I am. I do not look like the Instagram Pilates studio owners. I am not super social and bubbly but I am passionate and dedicated to this profession, my clients and my teachers. And knowing what I am and being ok with what I am not, gives me the strength to #BEYOUROWN.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
My vision and plan for 2019 is to facilitate success through movement and through movement careers for those around me. I am looking into opening a 2nd studio, to give my current instructors more opportunities and have more space for clients to experience the benefits to their health and wellbeing Pilates in Guelph can make for them.