To be short, my degree is in kinesiology. To be not so short, I spent time taking classes all over the place–from sciences with the hopes of being a teacher to nutrition with the dream of being a dietitian to writing with the determination to be a journalist–along the way.
What’s your job?
I do a lot. I teach fitness, mostly at the gym at Western–there’s something awesome about teaching on campus! I’m a life coach–with a particular passion for working with people ready to get real about their lives. I work for Gainsborough Family Chiropractic as their community ambassador–think social media, community, and connection guru. am a life coach. I am a freelance writer–on health and fitness, mostly, but I’ve got a bigger portfolio than that!
What does a life coach do?
I don’t know. All I know is what I do. In it’s simplest terms: help you move from where you are to where you want to be.
Which certification did you get to be a fitness instructor/personal trainer?
I started out with a YMCA certification through a program at my university, where they also did an apprenticeship to give us practical skills–that was invaluable! I switched it over to a CanFit Pro Fitness Instructor Specialist after a year or so when I decided to get my first personal training certification and went with the quickest I could find–CanFit Pro Personal Trainer Specialist! Having two CanFit Pro certifications made it easier to stay certified because I could go to the conference every other year and earn my continuing education credits in one go. To be a spinning instructor, I did a Reebok certification followed by a Spinning certification. The Reebok one, which never expires, was to be honest not as good as the more expensive Spinning one, which I’ve since let expire. I also did a YogaFit certification so that I could teach some yoga! Then I did my level 1 Crossfit certification.
I want to be a writer. How’d you land your articles?
A combination of timing, luck, and hard work. My first step–and the one I recommend most to people–was getting experience. In this field, experience is key! I worked for the Gazette, where I wrote for free but could write my ass off. I took writing courses. Next, my work for Bankrate started through a writing prof of mine who hooked me up with the editor. That helped me land my work in Canadian Cycling Magazine, but I met the former editor of the magazine at the bike show in Toronto and asked if they took freelancers. Who I am mattered a lot there–the fact that I’d done some cool rides like the Gran Fondo in Philadelphia and the one out in Vancouver/Whistler–as did having the courage to ask if I could write for them. Ditto for how I got in with Runners Feed–being a part of the community + balls.
So my advice is: write for free (if you love doing it, you’ll love doing it for free–and if you want to write about what you want to write about, you’ll probably be doing it for free!), don’t be scared to ask, always look for story ideas (I carry a notebook with me but I write on anything–napkins, business cards, my hand–and use my phone a lot to write inspiration down), and write something every single day–even if it’s just in a diary. Simple: if you want to be a writer, write.
I can’t believe you used to have an eating disorder! How’d you get over it?
Lots and lots of effort, mistakes, patience, reaching out, and learning. I made a list of steps that were important in one of my most proud posts but in summary, I decided that I was worth it and starting proving it to myself.