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20 QUESTIONS WITH AUSTIN TEXAS HANDSTAND TRAINER CAITLIN HARTUNG

Get to Know Us By Handstand Sr. Editor - Mary on Sunday, November 12, 2017
20 QUESTIONS WITH AUSTIN TEXAS HANDSTAND TRAINER CAITLIN HARTUNG

Caitlin, thanks for taking the time to share with all of us here in the Handstand & Fitness community! We’re excited to get to know more about you!  Let’s get started…

 

 

Editor:   You live & breathe sports & fitness! You rock climb, hike, play volleyball, basketball, & more!  Have you always been attracted to an active lifestyle or was there a certain moment, goal, or sport that really captivated & motivated you to begin your journey into health & wellness?

Caitlin:  As a child, I was always naturally athletically inclined.  I was always playing outside, jumping over fences, running through the neighborhood with my siblings and friends.  I have always loved the feeling of running and getting my blood pumping.  I have always been attracted to physical activities, but it wasn’t until I got a trainer of my own that I realized it was an option for a profession.

 

 

Editor:   You’re lucky enough to live, workout, & play in one of the BEST places in the whole country for physical fitness, Austin, TX (Go Longhorns)!  What are some of your fave spots to workout & play in the ATX?

Caitlin:  Austin is amazing, I feel like I STILL haven’t explored all the awesome spots for fitness.  I love to hike.  Two of my favorite trails are Riverplace Trail and Spicewood Valley Trail.  Austin also has some really cool fitness classes, for example, Anti-Gravity Yoga/ Aerial Yoga is one of my favorite ways to get some yoga in, but with a little more fun added to it!

 

 

Editor:   What does a typical day in the life of YOU look like, & how do you balance out all those breakfast tacos & BBQ that Austin is so famous for?

Caitlin:  Austin has a lot of yummy food, and I definitely do indulge from time to time, but always in moderation.  Often, I eat at home.  A typical day is a difficult thing for me to even come up with, every day is so different!  I get up early and either take my daughter to school and go train or go train super early.  I train clients sometimes from 8 am until 8 or 9 pm, with small gaps in-between.  If I have a large enough window of time, I work myself out.  At the end of the day, I usually collapse into a small puddle on the floor.  

 

 

Editor:   We all have that special something inside of us that sets us apart & make us unique.  What’s your “special sauce”?

Caitlin:  I love to have a good time.  If I’m not having fun, I’m not living!  I like to joke around and play pranks on people.  I don’t easily get upset or offended by things.  I try not to take life too seriously.  I’m also intensely competitive at times.  Not that I can’t handle losing, but I love to win.  So I’m a strange combination of fun-loving and thrill-seeking with a dash of competitive… I’m driven by fun and the natural highs life has to offer.

 

 

Editor:   What is your personal favorite motto, quote, or strategy, for staying strong, positive & fearless?

Caitlin:  Love yourself enough to live the life you want to live.  If you aren’t happy, you need to rearrange your life until you are.  Love yourself enough to do the hard things that make life better, and to treat yourself from time to time.

 

 

Editor:   What attracted you to Handstand & what is your favorite aspect of being a Handstand Trainer?

Caitlin:  I like Handstand.  I like the way they run… I think they do a lot of good for people, and I have always been a fan of Reebok.  I wanted to be involved.  I’m always trying to get my name out there more so that I can inspire and help more people.  Handstand seemed like a good avenue to do so.

 

 

Editor:   Growing up, who was someone who truly inspired you, & why?

Caitlin:  There was a man who went to my church named Brian.  I met him when my parents took him in and gave him my brother’s room while he recovered from brain surgery. Brian had a tumor, one that they operated on at least 3 times, before determining that he would die from it.   Brian was one of the most positive, kind-hearted, loving people I ever met.  He always called me his ray of sunshine, and I would try to cheer him up while he lay in my brother’s bed.   The man never showed me any fear, only happiness at the beauty of life, and occasional sadness for the son he would leave behind.   Brian showed me that he wasn’t afraid of death, only afraid of not living life to the fullest before he died.  He was a beautiful person and made me determined not to waste my life.

 

 

Editor:   In order to grow, physically, mentally, & spiritually, it’s often necessary to leave our comfort zone.  What does the area outside of your comfort zone look like?

Caitlin:  Well, to be honest, I was always a very shy child.  I was afraid of people in general.  To this day I am a die-hard people pleaser.  So it’s outside of my comfort zone to tell people what they don’t want to hear.  It’s also outside my comfort zone to reach out and be friendly to people before they reach out to me.  But I try to do those things as much as I can in order to grow as a person.   Physically, I’m uncomfortable with Olympic lifting.  It’s something I hope to learn to do eventually.  I continue to shy away from it, though.

 

 

Editor:   It’s easy to find oneself stuck in a rut, doing the same activities, training the same way, day in & day out. How do you keep things fresh & ensure that you’re continuously growing & evolving?

Caitlin:  I always try to do new things as often as possible.  I like to go take crazy fitness classes, learn new skills, and ask other trainers to teach me things I have seen them do that I haven’t learned yet.  I like to go to personal training conferences, read new studies on fitness that have recently come out, and stay current.

 

 

Editor:   If there’s one piece of advice you could give to your younger self, what would it be?

Caitlin:  Just one piece of advice??  Hmm… I would tell myself to stop caring what everyone else thinks, and chase after what I want above all else. To trust myself more.

 

 

Editor:   What’s your favorite “Cheat Meal”?

Caitlin:  Pepperoni Pizza 🙂

 

 

Editor:   What does true success mean for you personally?

Caitlin:  True success is contentment with your life with movement toward future goals.  Success is not being afraid that you can’t pay your bills this month.  Success is having people in your life who you love and who love you back.  Success is many things.

 

 

Editor:   As a trainer, it’s easy to focus on the physical practice of training; do you engage in any type of a spiritual practice to help you balance mind, body & soul (i.e. meditation, visualization, affirmations, gratitude journaling, etc.)?

Caitlin:  Does therapy count?  I believe we can all benefit from therapy.  I started seeing a therapist after my divorce and I credit him to helping me find peace and happiness in my own life.. learning to live my own truth.  I’m not a very spiritual person, but if I were, therapy would be my church.

 

 

Editor:   What does balance mean to you, and how do you achieve it?

Caitlin:  Balance is having a good mixture of work, fun, family, etc.. I’m still working on maintaining a good balance.  I like to prioritize in order to balance.  What is most important to me?  My daughter.  I need to make money in order to feed and clothe her and put a roof over her head.  So I have to work.  I also need to work because I need more purpose in my life.  So I work on Mon, Wed, Fri and every other Sat and Sun.  Tues and Thurs, I stay home with her, and I will do this until she is in grade-school.  I also make time for dating and going out with friends at least once per week.  I do not schedule clients at certain times in order to make sure I have time for myself and my own needs.  Scheduling life can really help you to balance things.

 

 

Editor:   If there was a fire & you only had time to grab 3 things (outside of humans & pets) what would those 3 items be, & why?

Caitlin:  My retainer… my laptop… and my phone.   Retainer to keep my teeth healthy, laptop because it has all the photos and information I need to keep training, and my phone because I need to call the fire department haha.

 

 

Editor:   What encouragement & advice do you have for that busy mom/dad, student, full-time employee, who’s on a budget but still strives to be healthy & fit? (Sidenote: Handstand offers many tiers of personalized, on-demand training, starting at just a few bucks per week/month—always a great place to start)!!

Caitlin:  Schedule time in for a workout.  You don’t have to join a gym to get a good workout.  You can do it from home, I work out at my house all the time.  Utilize what you have and what you can handle monetarily.  If you have kids, you can incorporate them into your workout, or find a gym with childcare.  Schedule the time in, though.  You won’t do it if you don’t make it part of your schedule.

 

 

Editor:   What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Caitlin:  I once told my Grandma “I can’t cook.”  She responded, “Can you read?” And I laughed, but she said “Don’t laugh.  I’m serious.  If you can read, you can cook.”  

I know it’s strange that this is the best advice I’ve ever received.. but it was a reminder to me that I was telling myself I couldn’t do something because I didn’t WANT to do it.. not because I actually couldn’t do it.  Don’t tell yourself you can’t do something if you simply don’t want to.  If you want it badly enough, you can usually find a way.

 

 

Editor:   If you had a magic wand & could change ONE thing in the whole world, what would it be?

Caitlin:  One thing???  That’s hard.  I guess I would get rid of Monsanto… they’re ruining the food industry.

 

 

Editor:   What does self-care mean for you, & how do you indulge & recharge after a long day or week?

Caitlin:  Self-care involves loving yourself enough to take care of your physical and mental health.  It means healthy indulgences, but mainly keeping healthy habits.  When I need to recharge at the end of a long week, I like to have a healthy but tasty dinner and a glass of wine.  If I’m extremely stressed, I’ll book a massage or have a girls night in and do facials and mani-pedis.  

 

 

Editor:   No matter how hard we try, or how positive we strive to remain, sometimes life gives us lemons.  How do you personally turn those lemons into lemonade; i.e. how do you handle disappointment?

Caitlin:  I try to find the good in every situation, even when it’s abysmal.  If I can find the good, I can latch onto it and at least appreciate the lessons I am learning while I go through a difficult or disappointing time.  I also lean on the people in my life who I know are always there for me.  It’s very important to have a support system.

 

 

Extra’s!

 

Editor:   Encountering roadblocks in life that come between us and our goals is inevitable, & it’s important to push through these roadblocks, but that’s easier said than done.  What are some roadblocks that you’ve encountered along the way, & how did you push through them?

Caitlin:  I once injured a glute muscle and it kept me from doing gymnastics for an entire semester.  I was so frustrated.  But my coach told me I had to take the time off and so I used that time to become more flexible because I was “the least flexible gymnast” my coach had ever trained.  Thanks to that semester off, I was able to gain a ton of flexibility in my wrists and hamstrings.  I’ve maintained it for the last 10 years.  It’s been awesome.

 

 

Editor:   How do you start each morning? Do you have any specific routines or tricks to set a positive tone & prep for your day?

Caitlin:  I like to drink a full glass of water and rush around to the home alone and listen to music while I dress myself and my 4-year-old.  Just kidding.  I like to drink a full glass of water, eat a healthy breakfast, chat with my daughter, and ease my way into the morning.  I try to wake up with plenty of time before my first client so I’m not stressing out about getting to work on time.

 

 

Editor:  If you had a spirit animal, what would it be, & why?

Caitlin:  A squirrel… because they are small and cute and full of energy.  They love to jump and play just like me!

 

 

Editor:   What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

Caitlin:  Hmmm.. I like to go on adventures with fun people.  Explore something new, or take a hike, or try new food.  I like to spend the day goofing off.  

 

 

Editor:   What is your greatest personal challenge/weakness & how do you keep it in check?

Caitlin:  I love to indulge, and I’m a bit lazy.  How do I keep it in check?  I use substitution for my sweets cravings.. like I drink stevia sweetened soda if I want a soda.  And I don’t allow sweets in my home.  As for my laziness, as long as I get at least one day to goof off and lounge around a little, I am usually very productive the rest of the week.

 

 

Editor:   As a personal trainer, part of your job is to bring high levels of energy & positivity to your clients; even when you’re having a bad day. How do you overcome your own frustrations, & ensure that you show up fully for your clients?

Caitlin:  When I’m at work, my personal problems get checked at the door.  If it’s an extremely bad day, I will take 10 minutes to cry or talk it out with someone on the phone, and then I go to work and I leave it for the end of the day when I’m done.  In general, I’m able to get through the hard days by being positive and giving my clients that positive energy… it’s a great way to turn a bad day around.

 

 

Editor:   Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Caitlin:  In 5 years… I hope to have more fitness accomplishments.  I’d like to try doing a ninja warrior or something cool like that.  Ultimately, I hope I’m happy and just enjoying life.  

 

 

Editor:   What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Caitlin:  Graduating with my Bachelor’s with a 4.0.

 

 

Editor:   What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received, or that you hear other trainers tell their clients that drives you crazy?

Caitlin:  “Don’t think about it just do it.” No.  You do need to think about it.  If you are working out and you’re trying to use a specific muscle, you should ABSOLUTELY be thinking about and concentrating on that muscle.  And you should be focused on your form.  I heard a trainer say that once and I was not impressed.

 

 

Editor:   As a trainer, you spend the majority of your time discussing & analyzing your clients’ health & fitness goals; what are some of your personal goals in relation to your own health & fitness?

Caitlin:  I’m always trying to attain a perfect and more sexy body… but ultimately, what I care about most is being healthy and capable.  I want to compete in a ninja warrior,  I want to learn how to surf.  I want to be able to do handstand pushups.  I just want to keep adding things to my list of things that I can do.

 

 

 

 

Loved this post? Let us know below in the comments, or feel free to comment and ask Caitlin H. a question.  You can also book her on our on-demand training app, Handstand, where top vetted trainers come to you, write customized plans and more. 

 

Handstand Sr. Editor - Mary
Hi Handstand Family! I'm so excited to be here as a fitness, yoga, & writing resource for all of you! I teach private yoga instruction & I also serve as junior editor of Handstand's incredible blog! I'm really looking forward to working with, & getting to know all of you! Namaste! Mary

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