When I quit my editorial position nine years ago and decided to pursue a career as a fitness writer, I had no idea how far down the fitness rabbit hole I’d end up traveling. I expected I’d simply attend personal training school (National Personal Training Institute), get certified, and know all I needed to know to write for major national fitness magazines.
And I suppose I could have stopped with my fitness education right there. I could have devoted the rest of my career to pitching the hell out of mainstream media and using my basic fitness knowledge to score bylines.
But the rabbit hole of fitness and movement drew me in. What at first seemed like a means to an end (learn fitness stuff —> write fitness articles) became a passion. And I found my creative, fluffy, right-brained self immersed in things I’d tried to get out of in high school and college. Biomechanist Katie Bowman had me reading about vectors as they relate to knee alignment. Physical therapist Julie Wiebe had me using piston analogies to understand how deep core muscles function. Every time I interviewed a source for an article, I found myself hungry for more knowledge. Every new experience in my own body or with a client made me realize just how complex the human body really is, and how much there is to learn.
And it’s all been for the better. Following are the things I know to be true as a fitness writer and personal trainer.
- The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.
- I am the best learning tool I’ll ever have. Personally dealing with injuries and imbalances leads me to dig deeper and better understand issues my clients might also face.
- However, I am also the most challenging client I’ll ever train. No matter how self-aware I am, it’s very hard to diagnose and resolve issues with my own body, on my own.
- Fortunately, there are some really smart people out there with answers. It pays to be humble and inquisitive. And even sometimes to send them emails about your SI joint at 10pm on Friday night. Their knowledge is gold!
- The more I know, the better I am at finding the smart people and asking them the right questions–whether about my own body, a client, or for an article.
- Related: You can’t be a good fitness writer if you don’t already have some understanding of the topic you’re covering, You can’t expect to learn everything from Google and a few random sources. Not all sources are legit. Not all that you read online is, either. Find out who the real experts are and take classes with them, Read actual books and studies in their entirety. Do your homework!
- The same goes for being a good trainer. Don’t just do something because you saw another trainer do it. Get to the “why.” Go directly to the source. Do your homework!
- Picking smart people’s brains and teaching people how to move better is the absolute best thing in the world. I can’t imagine a more gratifying career.