So I started to write a little blurb about this on my Facebook, and I still may, but I realized that I actually had more to say on the subject that I originally thought.
This is a spur-of-the-moment blog post that was inspired by a conversation (or two) that I have had with a couple of my close friends lately. The conversation boiled down to a few things, but most importantly:
I am NOT an “expert,” and I don’t know that much about nutrition and training.
Does it shock you to see me write that?
For my own benefit, shouldn’t my job be to convince you that I am an expert and guru who knows anything and everything about fitness? Maybe. But I would feel like an asshole doing so. (and apparently I have inadvertently done this lately, and for that, I apologize). To me, an expert is someone who knows more about their field than almost anyone else in the world. That is definitely not me. Have I gotten great results with clients? Yep. Have I helped a lot of people? Sure. But I am no expert.
My background is actually in business. I was in my junior year of college getting a Bachelor’s in Finance and Marketing when I fell in love with nutrition and training. It was February of 2004… I had hired myself a personal trainer, and fallen in love with the gym. This love for the gym was amplified when I started dating another personal trainer (not the one I had originally hired) and he introduced me to sites like T-Nation and EliteFTS.com. I was hooked.
Over the next several years, despite still being in business school (I went on to get my MBA) I devoured everything I could get my hands on in regards to nutrition and training information. I also started spending a lot more time around my good friend and now business partner, Jim Laird. Jim has almost 2 decades of experience in strength and conditioning and is one of the most unconsciously competent people I have ever seen in regards to the human body and what it needs to function optimally.
While I was in grad school, I helped my then-boyfriend start a nutrition and training software company called Red Point Fitness. The concept was amazing, and it was executed quite well, we just didn’t know how to market it, which is a shame, because it could have helped a lot of people. We also built it based around the idea that other people were like us and were willing to plan out, and weigh, and measure every. single. meal. (Hint: they’re not).
Shortly after that I decided to go up to Indianapolis and get a routine assessment from Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman at IFAST. They ended up blowing my mind with their knowledge and the way they viewed the human body. I immediately became obsessed with them and for the last 3 years I have taken as many trips to Indy as possible to learn from those guys. Sometimes I go 2-3 times in a 4-5 week period! I want to devour every little bit of knowledge I can from them, and figure out how to apply it to myself and my clients.
During this time I was training clients online, and some in person, but it wasn’t until right after my IFAST trip (almost 3 years ago) that Jim approached me about helping him with his bootcamp classes that he was starting. That was Spring of 2010, and without either of us knowing it then, it was through that initial inquiry, that J&M Strength and Conditioning was born.
We are creeping up on 3 years of being in business and things are going great! Even though I am only coaching clients about 10-12 hours a week, I have the opportunity to coach anywhere from 5-20 people at a time, so I get the experience of coaching 100+ bodies a week, which is fantastic. Even if I were working full-time as a 1-on-1 trainer, I would only get to coach ~40 bodies/sessions each week and I wouldn’t be forced to learn how to coach/cue so quickly on the fly. So I feel blessed for the opportunity to work with so many people in such a condensed amount of time.
The rest of my time is spent on reading, studying, doing admin/marketing/business stuff for the gym, as well as working on Girls Gone Strong, and my own blog/brand. I am so blessed that Jim is willing/capable/eager to spend 60+ hours a week in the gym coaching our clients and designing our programming, and I am grateful for the best employee in the world, Lucy Hendricks, for putting up with both of us. We couldn’t do it without her.
So, long story short, I don’t have close to the amount of experience that many people have in this field, and I apologize if I have ever given anyone a different impression. Yes I have been trying to learn everything I can for the last 9 years, but my more extensive hands-on experience has only come about in the last 3 years.
If I didn’t make it clear above, I feel like I am so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from incredible people like Jim, Mike, and Bill, but on my best day I don’t hold a candle to people like them when it comes to knowledge, experience, or coaching skills.
Like I have said before in this blog post, the more you learn, the more you realize you really don’t know anything.
So I guess that means that if all goes well, by the time I am 70, I will REALLY feel like a dumb-ass. =)
Well my friends, thank you for letting me get that off my chest. It’s important to me to always be super honest, and not attempt to come across like something I’m not. I LOVE this industry and I really want to make a difference, especially in the lives of women. I feel like I have a lot to share (and a lot to learn), and I really hope that you’ll do me the honor of learning, growing, and sharing along with me.