My job as a fitness writer is to interview experts. For years, that was good enough. So, what led me to want to become a trainer?
Writing is what I learned in journalism school at Northwestern University, where I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and it’s what I do when I write for publications like TIME, Men’s Health, and Runner’s World.
I didn’t need to be an expert in my own right—not when top researchers in their field would answer my emails and texts within minutes, walk me through complex topics in microscopic detail (literally microscopic, in some cases), and even reach out to me when they came across a study I might find interesting.
All that changed when I realized my knowledge sometimes surpassed that of the person I was interviewing. I’d be speaking to a well-known fitness pro and think, “Wait a second, that’s not right!”
That’s when I realized it was no longer enough to be the conduit for other people’s expertise. I needed to develop my own and become a trainer.
My guess is that you have a similar reaction when you see a poorly crafted workout on a popular website, or read a fitness article that’s riddled with inaccuracies. You’ve probably thought, “I can do better than that.”
The problem, for both of us, is that there’s no easy transition from one to the other—from writing about fitness to being a fitness pro, or from training clients to writing about the training process.
I was determined to do it anyway.