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Taking the Long Way

Writing was my first love.

When I was seven years old, I started my own newspaper. It was originally called The Baby Goat Express, and I guess when I realized that that didn’t make any sense, I renamed it The Nahanni Explosion. (We lived in the bush near Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories.) I took a Creative Writing course by correspondence in high school (and I wasn’t even that nerdy so that was a big deal). When Rory Gilmore decided she was going to journalism school, I decided I would, too. I got a summer job at the local newspaper, The Fort Nelson News. As I type this, this is actually on the front page.:

I moved across the country, by myself, at the age of 17, to downtown Toronto, to attend the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where I was accepted and embraced as the grammar Nazi I have always been. (The irony of that run-on sentence is not lost on me.)

In the summers between my third and fourth years of school, working at the good ol’ Fort Nelson News, I fell in love with a handsome Mountie (my first actual love, of course), who is now my husband. We stayed together through my last year of university and, after graduating from Journalism school, I moved back to Fort Nelson, and back to him.

Done with reporting, I got a job at the local literacy society. Here comes my second love… (not literacy that would make this story really boring).

Fitness is my second love.

I began working out in Grade 12 and continued when I went to university and was no longer dancing competitively. I gained the Freshman 20 and fought back hard, becoming fascinated with fitness, doing yoga, reading every fitness magazine, and falling in love with group fitness.

Eventually, after university, I began teaching fitness classes, and then yoga classes, which became so lucrative and popular, I quit my job at the Literacy Society and taught full-time. It was a dream. I was writing casually, and for free.

I guess you could say the body is Love #3.

A few years later, I wanted more. I wanted to know more about the body. I applied to go to Registered Massage Therapy School, which is a very intensive program in British Columbia. It was an incredibly busy and stressful two years, but then, voila! I was an RMT. (Not exactly that easily, but let’s say so.)

There I was: working full-time as an RMT, teaching 5-10 fitness or yoga classes a week, teaching weekend yoga workshops, and being that friend who has to book engagements two months in advance. I was very busy and very happy, but I missed writing.

Since journalism school, I will be honest; I have not often been paid for my writing. I specialized in online journalism where I learned about blogging and twitter (both of which were new at the time), and did little about either of them. At national fitness conferences, I took fitness writing lectures for seven years. I read two books about freelance writing and took an online course.

I never tried because I never wanted to fail. I never asked to be paid because I didn’t think I was worth it.

What if I wrote and nobody wanted to publish it? What if nobody wanted to read it? What if it didn’t make me any money? What if it took time?

So here I am, coming full-circle after learning to blog more than 11 years ago, finally publishing my first blog post.

I feel like my personal training client who has been walking her entire life, but is too scared to jump up on that little step. But more than that, I am telling you that it’s never too late, we have to make time, and it’s OK to take the long way.

xo,

Anne

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