Meet Karen Poole - Personal Trainer, Co-Founder of W3 Move and Fitness Writer for 8fit app.
This Northern California fitness lover has been a supporter of FITOutfit since the beginning and I have really enjoyed watching her grow and flourish in the fitness space and am always excited to see what she's up to. From partnerships to brand ambassadorships, Karen is on the rise so stay tuned!
This former athlete is sharing her BEHIND the BRAND story of how a new found love of running turned into a new career and new opportunities.
Name & Roles
Group Fitness Instructor
Fitness Writer for the 8fit app & Co-Founder of W3Move (We Move)
What inspired you to become a fitness pro?
I just fell into fitness. Growing up I was always playing sports from gymnastics, to volleyball, basketball, track - basically anything that got me moving. I went to college and graduated with a degree in business and marketing with the end goal to always work for Nike at World Headquarters in Beaverton, OR in some sort of Sports Marketing role. However, when I married my husband, we ended up moving to Northern California, so I had to pursue other jobs.
I played college basketball and once I graduated was looking for a way to keep active so I took up long distance running. Honestly, that has opened up so many doors and led me to meet so many people. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be chosen as the Sponsored Athlete for Athleta in 2013 and from there my love of sharing fitness and running in the community grew. I studied for my personal trainer certification and just jumped in head first. It's been a lot of fun and a lot of work too.
I recently started working as a content writer for the 8fit app and get to share my love of fitness in new ways. Stay tuned for exciting things from 8fit in 2016!
My biggest inspiration for becoming a fitness pro was probably just how much fitness meant to me. It changed my life for the better and wanted everyone else to feel the same thing. I wanted to share what I learned with others. I love living a life of sweat and personal development. It's who I am so it's about time I embrace that.
What's a typical day in the life for you?
A typical day in my life is to wake up around 6:30am. I am just not much of a morning person so I would much rather sleep until 8am - but it never happens. Have breakfast - oatmeal or egg and then try to start doing some writing for 8fit around 7am or 7:30am. They're based in Berlin, so I catch up on emails and questions from my co-workers and then get to work on various copy for the app, blog and marketing.
I usually eat lunch around noon and may see a client or two. Afternoons, I'll do some more writing and train clients. I also teach three group fitness classes a week.
In the evening I usually get my workouts in and after 8 years of evening basketball practices, my body is wired for evening sweat sessions. Then I go home, eat supper, relax, catch up on emails and hang with my husband.
What's the story behind W3Move?
W3Move was born out of the desire to spread a fitness movement around the country, maybe even world, via social. We want to inspire and lift others up and help them find their true potential.
Arie Rich from NYC, Adriana Cesar from Washington DC and myself, from just north of San Francisco saw an opportunity to share our journeys, lift others up and inspire people to live a healthy, fit life.
What's been your biggest success thus far?
My biggest success in fitness would probably be running three marathons. I've learned something about myself each and every time. I really found my love of fitness through running and without it, I don't think I would have even become a trainer - I probably would have stayed at my desk job. It gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone. I would also consider my various ambassador events with Nike as huge successes and stepping stones for the future.
Conversely, your biggest failure(s)?
I don't know if it is a failure yet - but I always feel that I haven't lived up to my potential. My dreams seem close at times, but other times farther away. I've had little failures like getting through the phone interview process at Nike and then missing out on the in-person interview or not getting my PR at a race. But each failure has helped me to work harder the next time and to learn new skills that better my chances for future success. Failures can be really beneficial in the long run.
Top three things you wish you knew when you first started:
First - I honestly wish I would have known the value of stretching before my first marathon. I just trained and ran and paid for it by not training properly. I had really bad IT Band syndrome that was pulling my knee caps inward.
Second - I wish I knew how good it feels to help someone else reach their goals. It's life changing! I probably would have gotten into fitness training much sooner.
Third - This applies to starting W3Move and managing my own blog and social media. Be prepared to invest a lot of time into these things. And content management tools are so helpful - Hootsuite is great!
Can I do a fourth? - Surround yourself with people who know more than you do and learn from them. Network, network, network! You never know when it will pay off or when you can help someone else out. Relationships are key in any field.
Top three tools/apps/technology you can't live without:
1. As bad as it sounds - I never go anywhere without my phone. I must have it for tracking exercise and of course, my social media obsession.
2. My GPS Watch - I have the first generation Nike+ GPS watch and I just love it. We've run thousands of miles together and been through so much.
3. Two Apps - the Nike Training Club app and 8fit app. Both have great workouts and tools to help you workout anywhere. As a trainer, I don't always want to think about my workout so it is nice to just find one on the app and let it push me.
You've worked with big brands such as Six 02 and Nike and are a brand ambassador for several other brands so what advice would you give to other fitness bloggers/pros looking to connect with big brands?
The best advice I can give is to first BE REAL. All the brands I've worked with I truly believe in and have spent my own money on before connecting. I often interacted with them on social or promoted them before they sponsored me.
Second, don't be afraid to reach out and tell a brand you would like to partner. A lot of times they are more than happy to partner with you.
Third, create value for them and work hard. Follow through with your promises and work. This often leads to other offers. Your blog is your resume - make it great!
Who's your professional crush & why?
I have been following Marie Purvis, Nike Master Trainer, for years. I think back in 2009 was the first time I interacted with her. I did her workouts through Nike, then had the chance to do some live Nike Training Club workouts with her over the last few years and her energy and passion are catching. Someday I really hope I can become an NTC trainer as well. Goals!
2015 has been a busy year for you so what can we expect from you in 2016?
Thank you! 2016 is going to be a big year and it starts off with my bucket list trip to Australia to sightsee, run and watch the Australian Open Tennis Tournament live...I can hardly wait!
I'm sure I'll then run a few races - but I haven't planned my racing schedule yet. I'm also toying with the idea of running Marathon number four - so stay tuned!
We're planning on making W3Move bigger and better, but that's still in the works...Stay tuned! We're also hoping to have live events in 2016.
And training! I plan to train more clients and celebrate their successes!
Extra credit: How do you stay motivated and on track?
My biggest motivation is honestly my own personal expectations for myself. To really be at your best you have to find a way to self motivate. At the end of the day - you have to put in the work. My friends definitely motivate me, but my personal goals keep me on track 80% of the time.
The best way to stay on track is to have an end goal. For racing, that means have a certain time goal or distance goal. I'll pick a race a few months away and set a plan to meet my goals.
Has Karen's story of leaving a desk job to pursue her career in fitness inspired you?
Share your in the comments below!!