What does August eighth, cabin six and Auntie Susan have to do with one another? The answer is that they are things that I have in common with Caleigh Rykiss. Caleigh is someone that I have known my entire life. We share family, have the same birthday and one year, at summer camp, we were in the same cabin. She is someone that I’ve always looked up to because she always was doing cool $hit.
As the years passed, most of our communication was on our birthday and we sometimes have the sporadic social media interaction. I have always been fascinated with what she’s up to (her career has been pretty awesome, so far) so following her on social media was always a must. Right now Caleigh is downright killin’ it, especially on Instagram.
She’s a fitness influencer based out of Toronto and she’s helping women (and men) change the way they feel in their own skin. She’s not just changing lives on social media but she is doing it in the flesh.
Caleigh is the ultimate crusader when it comes to positive body image. She’s the brains behind Bodylove, a.k.a BOLO. Her website describes BOLO as “the new dream destination for active, busy, young professionals in downtown Toronto. Come for a crazy good workout (we recommend the signature BOLO BOXING classes for max sweatage), stay for a coffee, to hang with your peeps post-sweat or to answer emails – we’re all about offering a multi-tasking space for like-minded hustlers.”
(Um, Whistler…hello? We need a space like this.)
When I was in Toronto last December, I stopped by her BOLO pop-up and I fell in love with the vibe and concept. If you’re in that neck of the country, I recommend checking out a class.
Her Instagram account is a place where you will get inspired to get off the couch, be active and to truly love yourself. You can feel her BOLO passion radiating off of each Instagram post. For my second feature, and during the month of love, Caleigh was naturally the perfect fit to shine the spotlight on.
BKV: What’s your social media weapon of choice (aka platform that you can’t live without)?
CR: Instagram. It satisfies those consumers who want to stare at cool photos and also those who want to read opinions and thoughts. Best of both worlds
BKV: When you aren’t on social media what can you be found doing?
CR: Lol. Running my new business, BOLO (or BodyLove). Startup life – I work 14hour days pretty much 7 days a week!
BKV: Where’s your favourite spot around the globe to post from?
CR: BOLO, of course.
BKV: How did you get started on social media?
CR: My CaleighFIt account first started as a vehicle to promote my fitness/wellness and body image articles published on platforms like Fashion Mag, CBC, Yahoo etc. Slowly it became it’s own brand and my outlet to express myself both physically and intellectually.
BKV: What other social media platforms are you active on?
CR: I’m not, really. Is that bad? Facebook is where I connect with family and old friends but really I’m not that active anywhere but Insta.
BKV: How much time do you dedicate to social media every day/week?
CR: Probably about an hour or two a day… at least. Between posting the goings on at the gym, editing videos, pictures and writing captions as well as engaging with followers and other experts in the wellness community – it eats up a lot of time but it’s a beautiful thing. I’m trying to get better at shutting it down earlier in the evening but I’m usually on it right until my head hits the pillow.
BKV: What inspires your content?
CR: Honesty, empowerment and real talk. Forget about “jumping into Monday like…” fluff posts. How do you really feel today and what can someone else take-away something from what you’re going through? These are the questions I ask myself before I post. Obviously not everything can be so heavy but for the most part I want to hold myself accountable to be as real as possible.
BKV: How do you set yourself apart from others on the platform?
CR: In the fitness community it’s easy to get away with pretty/fit-looking photos and write fluffy captions. I aim to be about something bigger than that; to share my realities and hope that people can relate. I drop f-bombs, I open up about my struggles as a woman and as an entrepreneur, I post unfiltered thoughts and photos. I want to connect and not just look impressive…because anyone can look impressive…
BKV: What feature(s) do you wish existed on social media/your favourite platform?
CR: I wish we could post longer video on Instagram.
BKV: List 3 social media accounts that inspire you:
CR: Omgkenzieee, KaisaFit, MeghanYuriYoung
BKV: What do you love most about social media?
CR: The ability to connect with complete strangers about important and vulnerable topics. It’s incredible to feel like someone you’re never going to meet just “gets you.”
BKV: What message do you have for your fans who want to follow in your footsteps?
CR: BE REAL. Hold yourself accountable to be more open and vulnerable. It will feel uncomfortable at first – but that’s where the magic happens.
See, isn’t she rad? So rad, that I wanted to include these bonus tidbits about her.
What inspires Caleigh to do what she loves every day?
“All the women who have ever felt like they weren’t enough. It is one of my life’s missions to give them the confidence and desire to prove everyone and, above all, themselves wrong; to defy expectations and break the habit of underestimating themselves.”
Some final words from Caleigh about growth:
” [My] fave thing about life is the ability to evolve, reinvent and grow – both personally and professionally. If you had told me when I was in my 20’s and an entertainment TV producer that I would eventually open my own gym, be a body positive activist and a trailblazer in the fitness industry I would NEVER have believed it. Life is funny that way.”
Want to follow Caleigh on Instagram? Click HERE.
The Creator Series is a 12-part series where Blair connects with social media creators that inspire her. Each month, on the 15th ( or a few days later…like this month), the spotlight will be on a new creator. Each interview is meant to help ignite creativity, inspire content creation and to connect one another together. Dig deep and create.