I had planned to post a few informative fitness and health related blogs last week, but I just didn’t have the motivation to write. To be honest, I was at a loss for words over the election in the states, and writing a blog post about my favourite protein bars or the most effective strength training exercises for your glutes just didn’t seem like the best use of anyone’s time (me writing, anyone reading). My concern and sadness for women, minorities, the environment, the future for our children and humanity in general took up more space in my brain than I could deal with last week, and I just needed to disconnect and think.
I got into the health and fitness business to help others — to share my experiences and use my skills to do something meaningful and fulfilling with my time. And while it’s still important to me and something I enjoy to do, I’ve lost that initial passion somewhat. I’ve been thinking about what to focus on next — what I can do to make a bigger impact, either in the health and wellness industry or elsewhere.
After several weeks of researching options and talking to friends and colleagues, I’ve decided to go back to school and do a masters degree next September. Not only to hopefully open more doors career-wise, but also for the opportunity to challenge myself and get exposed to global issues. I’m about 99% set on doing an MBA, but an MPA is also an option since I work in government.
The downside to this, of course, is probably zero time to write blogs and fitness articles come September. But we’ll see, depending on the program I choose to do. Both programs offered at the University of Victoria (where I did my undergrad) have a weekend or online option, which I would do so I can continue to work full time.
So that’s my big life update. And even though I called this post Five Things Friday, I don’t really have five things to hare. But here are two more things that happened this past week. (more…)
This past week — save for one day when I made it in to work and one day where I worked from home — I struggled simultaneously with recovering from a marathon, a head cold and the worst fever blisters I’ve ever had all at once, and being productive with my downtime. Normally I would have had several freelance articles on to go I could have worked on, a few blog posts to write and some strength training plans that I could have completed in my time at home and felt satisfied that I used my sick time wisely and productively.
But I didn’t have anything I “needed” to do. I wrote two blog posts and one strength plan in half a day, then started to stress out. I have time at home and can’t workout, which is rare — I need to be working on something!
Instead of relaxing with a book or a bowl of popcorn and Netflix like any normal person would on a sick day, I started researching all sorts of things I should be doing. Writing more blog posts. Brainstorming a book proposal. Looking into more ad networks. Planning my next training cycle. Reading other fitness blogs. Figuring out what I want to do with Koru Personal Training next (marketing? A downloadable guide? Online groups?).
In my frantic search for something I should be doing to better myself or my side businesses, I came across this article on Brainpickings.org and let out a deep breath after reading the following quote: (more…)
Happy almost Saturday, friends! And happy April Fool’s, I suppose?
I was hoping to post more this week, but with moving and unpacking and freelance work taking up the majority of my “free” time right now, I just haven’t felt motivated to sit down and write. I still don’t, so I’m going to make this short and sweet 🙂
1. I’m starting to get some upper body strength/definition back thanks to my new strength training program. I’ve been pretty consistent with it since I got back from vacation in early March, and will continue it for another month until I mix up the reps, sets and weight a bit.
2. I’ve only done a handful of 5 km runs since the marathon, and they’ve been pretty sloggy — I can tell it’s time to go running shoe shopping (I’m way overdue as I’ve run two marathons in this pair that I’ve had since October). It also doesn’t help that pollen is literally coating EVERYTHING in sight right now and I’m having a hard time breathing outside. The only good things about my runs lately are that it’s light out enough after work to hit the trails, the weather has been beautiful and I’m treated to scenery like this: (more…)
Welcome to my blog! You came here looking for what?
“Old man eating spaghetti painting”.
Why someone would need to look that up, I don’t know… but how that term led someone to my blog a few years ago is a real head-scratcher.
I love looking at analytics and finding out how people came across my blog. Not only do these insights help me understand where my readers are coming from, what they’re interested in and what questions they want answered, but also help me to optimize my posts so they’re a bit more discoverable on the interwebz.
Earlier this week Ashley from A Lady Goes West shared some of the common and not-so-common terms that people searched to end up at her blog based on content she had written about. I loved the post — it was fun to read another blogger’s search terms, and like me, Ashley also had some very odd search terms pop up that led people to her blog.
So honour of Thinking Out Loud Thursday, I thought it would be fun to share some of the weirdest search terms that have led people to my blog, too 🙂
Before I get to the weird stuff, some of the most common search terms people have used this year that led them to my blog are anything to do with the FitBit: how it calculates calories burned, how it tracks your calories and if it’s accurate or not and (the top 25 search terms for 2015 so far were FitBit-related). That probably has something to do with this post, this post and this post.
But sometimes, much to my delight, I get a totally random phrase show up in my site stats and wonder how in the world that term led someone to a blog about running, lifting and yoga. Most of the time I can figure out what post they stumbled upon, but sometimes… I just don’t know. So without further ado, here are some of the most unusual search terms that have led people to my blog this year and my response to whomever was looking for that kind of information… (more…)
Me being a stereotypical #wellnessblogger #yogi #motivationalquote #greensmoothie #liveauthentic
Health and wellness bloggers: We need to have a chat about your Instagram accounts and the advice you share on your blogs.
Just because you’re “young, photogenic, big on Instagram and top bestseller lists around the world” does not make you qualified to give people nutrition and health advice, as pointed out by author Hadley Freeman for this fantastic The Guardian UK article.
I have to agree. Although being a healthy living inspiration as defined by our cultural standards can be a positive thing — especially since more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese — I think there is a point where wellness bloggers can do more harm than good.
Just as looking good does not make you a fitness expert, being pretty and thin with an Instagram page full of Reyes-filtered images of your morning coffee, mala beads and laptop; frosty green smoothies in mason jars topped with cacao nibs causally placed next to a carefully stacked pile of homemade raw/vegan/gluten-free/Whole 30-approved energy bars; a spiralized zucchini noodle pasta dish with cashew cream sauce (#vegan #healthy #wellness) you “just whipped up”; and wistful photos of you exploring a beach or doing yoga poses in the forest with some kind of inspirational quote about living life and following your dreams (#vcso #liveauthentic #explore) does not make you an authority on health, wellness and nutrition. As a fitness blogger who lives near the ocean in the pacific northwest, does yoga, practices mindfulness, eats primarily plant-based and often shares recipes on this blog and my Instagram feed, I’m totally guilty of some of these stereotypical shots and I’m the first to admit it. However, I’m also the first to admit I eat chocolate everyday and drink wine on the weekends, overindulge on vacations and fully believe in a life of balance and moderation. Being too rigid one way or another is not practical nor healthy, and I think portraying ourselves as the epitome of all that is health and wellness is not inspiring others to “live better” as much as we think it is. (more…)
Every summer I used to haunt the local used book store near my grandma’s place in Oyama, BC, where I’d stay for the majority of summer holidays. I’d carry an armful of Stephen King, Ann Rice, James Rollins and Tom Robbins back to my grandma’s house, grab a glass of ice tea and an orange creamsicle bar and lounge poolside whilst lost in worlds of vampires, pet cemeteries, subterranean creatures and surrealist seriocomedies.
But then I had to go to university, and had limited time to read for fun. I felt like if I had time to be reading something, it should probably be textbooks and research papers. Even though I took every English Lit course I could as electives, assigned novels simply couldn’t be enjoyed; they had to be scrutinized and dissected and written about for letter grades.
I didn’t get back on the book wagon until after I graduated university and secured a full-time job. But even then, any time I had a moment to spare to read I felt like I should be doing something else instead; something productive. I should be writing, I thought, because that’s what you need to do if you want to improve your writing skills as a communications specialist and freelance magazine writer.
Yesterday I read this thoughtful post by run blogger Susan and it got me thinking about why I started this blog and where I’m going with it now. Like Susan, I also started to blog because I was training for a race, and wanted to document my journey and maybe inspire others along the way. But I had another reason for starting a blog. And I explained it in my very first post in August of 2009:
If you stumbled upon this blog and wondered to whom this unorganized and unprofessional looking site belonged, you might have checked out my “25 Random Things” (a la Facebook) in my About section. Number 21 on the list mentions that I had a blog back in the day, when ICQ and MSN Messenger were the popular forms of social media, used mostly by teenagers and geeks. I posted regularly in my LiveJournal, mainly about what I did on weekends with the occasional “stupid customer” story from my days in the hospitality industry. I documented about 5 years of my adolescence… and it’s pretty entertaining to go back and read, and I’ll post some of my finer entries here occasionally for your enjoyment. [Note: I ended up deleting it. No juicy tales from my past will ever be revealed on this blog!]
The point is, I thought it was about time I wrote about my life again. That, and I should be writing more often if I want to become a writer… that’s what “they” say, anyway. I’m also training to run in my first half marathon this October as well as training to become better in all aspects of my life (health, fitness and wellbeing). I know there are tons of blogs about people doing these exact same things, so I will also include lots of anecdotes and observations that I usually just keep to myself in my head… rather than just amuse myself, I will try to amuse you as well!
So that’s how it all began. Now six years, one blog rebrand and 180 posts later (I wasn’t posting very consistently in the first four years), my blog has definitely become more of a how-to, magazine-style blog than a “here’s what I did today” and “these were my workouts for the week” type blog. Although I enjoy reading both types of blogs, I prefer to write in a more how-to magazine-ish style because that’s what I love to do, what I went to school for (I have a minor in professional writing and publishing), and what I generally prefer to read. As someone who is trying to build their freelance career and get more articles published in print magazines, writing in this way not only helps me hone my own writing style, but also acts as a bit of a resume — I wouldn’t have got my first published piece in a print magazine if it wasn’t for the content on this blog. I also notice my tips and how-to posts generate more traffic than diary-style posts. (more…)
At a crossroads, trying to figure out which way to go.
You know you need to reassess your life when you set your alarm for 3:30 a.m. just so you can have time to blog.
Sure, you could whip up some top ten list of your favourite foods, or maybe give a play-by-play of your weekend at the farmer’s market, but no… you read somewhere that well-crafted and researched content that is both entertaining and informative gets more shares and likes, so you spend a good hour and a half writing it (and because, let’s be honest; you don’t like to half-ass things anyway and take pride in your writing), another 20 minutes locating a photo from your Instagram feed that might be suitable (’cause you gotta have an image, but using iStock is cheating), and another 20 minutes posting and scheduling said blog post on your multiple social media networks.
You also read somewhere that to grow your blog following (which you want to do because you’d really love to reach more people and spread the message of sustainable health and fitness; find clients for the business you just started; get accepted into paid ad campaigns from your ambassador and content networks to help make all this blogging financially worthwhile; and hopefully land more paid articles, because deep down you really want to be a writer), you need to read other blogs and comment on them, grow your social media presence, AND keep up-to-date on all the latest news and research in your chosen industry, be it fitness, health, food, DIY, parenting, or design, so you can be an expert, or something. (more…)