When I first left my job writing beauty, health & style stories for Marie Claire, people thought I was mad. Leaving the security of a glossy monthly to do my own thing and, by my own admission: “probabaly spend my days in a onesie” did seem risky at best and entirely foolish at worse. It was about four years ago, when print first started having a really hard time. Magazines were folding, redundancies were abundant, and every time my editor walked out of her office we all assumed we too were done.
The concept of my stupidity was probably bolstered among the more traditional journos and brands by the widespread feeling that ‘blogger’ was a bit of a dirty word. At press events, journalists would be greeted with gifts and sycophantic juniors, whilst bloggers would be squeezed in after hours, and of course kept entirely separate.
The irony of course is that the upper echelons of bloggers (and now the slightly broader category ‘influencers’) regularly have far higher site traffic that many magazines do, and increasingly accurate reporting and trackable links are repeatedly proving their worth for brands in terms of ROI.
What this has meant is that becoming a blogger or influencer is now seen as a legitimate profeassion, and just about everyone technically is on that journey thanks the accessibility of apps like Instagram and Snapchat. And that in turn has made blogging all the more competitive. It’s no longer enough to breeze through as a vague lifestyle blogger – you need a niche. And last year, I decided my niche would be fitness.
This came about pretty naturally. Whilst I sort of fell into the fashion and beauty industry thanks to a dogged attitude to internships and work experience and my consequent roles at Marie Claire, Elle, Instyle et al., ithas never really felt quite like my home. Yes I love preening myself and styling-up outfits for events, but I couldn’t tell you what Karl Lagerfeld showed in Paris three seasons ago, or even take a stab at the trends we’ll be wearing next season until I’ve swatted up on FROW at LFW. So when last year I started getting invited to review bootcamps and new waves of fitness classes with brands branching out into sportswear (I owe a lot to the athleisure trend tbf), I suddenly realised: fitness didn’t have to be a hobby on the side. I could mould my influencing to incorporate both the dressy, red carpet side and the gym side.
So now I do sort of a mix of both. And if a brand has both sports / fitness plus fashion / beauty? Absolutely winning.
The main goal I set myself this year was to cement myself in this industry. I want to be taken seriously, not just someone who jumped on the fitness bandwagon. In my presenting role, this is super important. My love of fitness came from serving in the British Army, but I lack the credibility of many tv presenters who have previously excelled in sport. So I swotted-up on my GCSE sport science, researched PT qualifications, and eventually signed up to a level 2 & 3 Personal Trainer course with No 1 Fitness Education.
The course taught me things that are essential to become a qualified PT, but also so much extra. The mix of theory and practical meant what we learnt wasn’t just a fleeting regurgitation for the test, but actual knowledge that’ll stay with us throughout our careers.
Passing the qualification has also given me the confidence to up my own training. If I’m honest, I always used to be a bit afraid of the weights room, and had never even touched a barbell. That’s all changed now, and my gym sessions are so, SO much more efficient.
No 1 Fitness Education are based out of 2 London studios, and run a variety of courses throughout the year, from PT qualifications to nutrition. To find out more, visit their website.