Dr. Erin Nitschke brings a wealth of education, experience, and heart to the fitness industry. We are grateful to have her as part of the NFPT family.
Gather wisdom and feel Erin’s passion for fitness field from the video and/or blog that follows.
Why did you decide to become a personal trainer?
As is the case with many college-aged kids, I didn’t really know what my “calling” was, but I knew my passion was helping people find new, innovative, and enjoyable ways to achieve and live their best life.
I bounced from biology to genetics to science education to – finally – exercise science. After being accepted into the program and successfully completing my core courses, I knew I wanted to become certified as well as pursue more education after graduating with my bachelor’s.
I successfully completed my NSCA-CPT certification in 2005. That same year, I graduated with my master’s in Kinesiology and Health. I worked as a personal trainer for several years before taking on a health and human performance director at a community college.
I maintained my NSCA certification and continued to offer personal training services, but less frequently given the demands of my teaching and administrative job. I eventually earned the ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1 certifications.
Why did you choose NFPT?
Actually, NFPT kind of chose me. I started guest blogging for the organization. After getting to know Bev and Angie, they approached me about becoming more involved in NFPT ventures – something I was already desiring.
Now, I’m responsible for managing monthly fitness flops, co-hosting the NFPT Facebook Live show, and overseeing and director NFPT educational partnerships and programs. I found a family at NFPT and they welcomed me with open minds and hearts. As a result, I chose to obtain the organization’s certification.
What is the biggest challenge for you as a personal trainer?
I think the hardest thing for me was finding my footing as a young professional. While I was well educated in my field and obtained a certification, I didn’t actually (at the time) know how to start. In short, I knew the what and I was confident in my why, but the how eluded me.
Over time, I learned, I grew, and I took active steps to remedy areas of weakness and leverage areas of strength. As a result, one my many missions as a fit pro is to educate budding professionals so that they enter the field better prepared to apply what they learned.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the fitness industry?
I don’t consider my biggest accomplishment as something I’ve achieved personally, but what I’ve given in terms of my service to the educational side of the industry. I have devoted a majority of my career to higher education and preparing students for careers in all areas of the fitness industry – health coaching, group fitness, nutrition, personal training, etc.
The best reward is watching them graduate and mentoring them as they enter the field with confidence and sophisticated skill. More recently, over the last two years, I’ve taken my career in an additional direction – as a published fitness writer.
I am an editorial author for NFPT, ACE, and IDEA. I’m looking forward to having a feature piece published in IDEA’s Fitness Journal in June. I hope to continue this writer’s path and become a premier writer for the industry.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a personal trainer?
This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s the moment a client no longer needs me in the same sense he or she did when first seeking my services.
To me, that’s when you know your client has achieved a true balance in life; when all aspects are harmonized and they can now continue forth with an assuredness that was absent prior to finding you. That’s when your professional value and skill shine the brightest and speak the loudest.
Any advice for people thinking about a career in fitness?
Get and stay educated even beyond your certification. Pursue higher goals and do so with tenacity and integrity. It takes nothing to follow the crowd; it takes everything to stand alone. Decide which direction you want to go and be crazy brave and wicked strong as you navigate your professional journey.
What does the future hold for you and for the fitness industry?
Honestly? I have no idea. But, that’s the most exhilarating part – the not knowing. I think when someone is deeply connected to her passion, the universe has a way of providing thoughtful guidance towards new opportunities.
All I know at this time is that I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I’ll embrace the adventure and hang on tight.
Is there anything else exciting you would like to share?
Starting out in any career and building a name for yourself is challenging regardless of the specific professional field. There will be ridiculous politics, individuals with bad energy, and – unfortunately, haters.
But there will also be goals crushed, rewards earned, and growth achieved. Don’t skip the struggle – it’s the only way to success and it’s the only place you find your strength, so lean in to the storm. Struggle on, friends and colleagues. It’s worth it!
Get in touch with Erin on her Blog or Facebook