This week we introduce you to our client Emily Schneller – mom and wife, CrossFit gym owner, CPA, opera singer, and now blogger. Emily kindly agreed to share with us what it is to wear so many hats.
In her blog Eat Clean and Jerk, Emily writes about her favorite topics – travel, food and being a mom. Furthermore, Emily tells us why she decided to start her own blog and what it takes to write interesting pieces of content that people want to read.
Hello Emily! Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us what’s keeping you busy?
Hi everyone! A LOT keeps me busy! I’m a mom to a toddler, wife to an entrepreneur, CPA at a fortune 250 company, CrossFit gym owner, classical singer, contributor at New Orleans Mom’s Blog, and if that wasn’t enough… I just started my own food and lifestyle blog!
I played soccer for 20 years, but I always hated the traditional gym scene. I never knew what to do and I never saw results from my own routine. I tried gym memberships, bootcamps, home workout programs, but I was unmotivated and it was all a waste of money! People usually discover the paleo diet after they find CrossFit, but I found the diet first! Eating real food just made sense and my husband and I decided to try a CrossFit class at our local gym almost 6 years ago. What started as something fun to do together turned into a passion. CrossFit and paleo have completely transformed my body! I never thought I’d be in the best shape of my life in my 30s even after having a baby!
Together with your husband you run the CrossFit Roux gym. Tell us why did you decide to start your own business and how does it help your community?
When my husband came home from getting his training certification, he had stars in his eyes. He told me that he needed to make this his life! We took a chance and he quit his job while we were pregnant with our first child, and we put it all on the line to try to make this dream a reality. A little over two years later and we’re expanding the gym to include a dedicated lifting facility, we’re running healthy eating challenges, and our membership continues to grow! We credit the success of CrossFit Roux to the amazing community of people we’ve built around us! Our trainers are top notch and our members are the best! We’re a big family!
You’ve also been a guest blogger at New Orleans Moms Blog and a few months ago you started your own blog. Tell us about your motivation to share your life experience with your community and do you feel rewarded?
At our gym we get in a circle before each class, introduce ourselves and answer the question of the day. One day, the question was if you could have any job and money didn’t matter what would you do? My answer was a blogger, hands down. I love reading blogs and I was always envious of the lifestyle that seemed to come with it! I wanted to work from anywhere, tell people about products I loved, and help to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. It seemed so silly to me that if this was my dream job that I wasn’t doing something to work towards it– especially when being a blogger doesn’t require a big break or someone to hire you! So, I jumped in! I absolutely feel rewarded when I share my life through my blog! Someone made one of my recipes for the first time the other day and tagged me in their picture on Instagram… I felt like people were actually listening to what I had to say and it felt amazing!
You organize The Eat Clean, Live Clean challenge, tell us more about it.
Part of exceptional physical performance is what you put into your body. Diet and exercise go hand in hand and it was important to us at CrossFit Roux to equip our members with the knowledge and motivation to eat to perform their best! We tried doing other mainstream eating challenges, but most people quit after only a few days. So, we rewrote the rules and started our own challenge! The Eat Clean, Live Clean challenge is a 6 week challenge that promotes eating clean, sleeping adequately, taking a fish oil supplement, exercising 30 minutes a day, and stretching 10 minutes a day. Points are logged each day on EatCleanandJerk for complying with the rules. Each participant is paired up with another challenger, so it adds another level of accountability. The team who improves the most on inches lost and physical ability with a baseline workout in addition to their daily point total wins a portion of the cash pot. Challengers are also added to a private Facebook group for support, recipe ideas, and friendly trash talk!
You administer a group on Facebook where you interact with the participants in your challenges and track their daily points. Wasn’t this sufficient? Why did you need a dedicated website?
I ran 5 challenges via Facebook only and I would manually log everyone’s points in an excel spreadsheet each day. This was fine when our challenges were 15 or 20 people, but by the 5th challenge we were up to 50 plus people and it just got to be too much for me to handle! The form set up on the website has made my life SO much easier! Our current challenge has 67 people in it, and I’m incredibly grateful that I don’t have to spend hours tracking points!
Many people want to start a personal blog but they are not sure where to start from. As a new blogger, what were the biggest challenges you encountered and what advice would you give to anyone who wants to start a website and reach people outside of their local communities?
Honestly, having the guts to start was my biggest hurdle! I am NOT savvy with technology at all, and I was lucky to have FastComet to help me get everything up and running!
Your blog is full of interesting stories and beautiful pictures. Is it fun to run a blog? How much time do you spend writing and publishing your posts?
Thank you! It is fun, but very time consuming! Luckily, it doesn’t feel much like work and I’m sure I’ll get more efficient as I do it more. Writing and publishing don’t take much time at all- maybe about an hour or two, but recipe development, execution, testing, picture taking, photo editing, social media… that’s what takes the majority of the time! Usually I’m chasing a toddler around while I’m doing all those things too, so that just adds to the chaos!
Would you recommend FastComet to friends and what are the best things that you like about our services?
Yes! As I said, my technology skills and knowledge were (and still are) lacking. I had to google what SEO and plugins were! FastComet never made me feel silly for asking questions, and provided great resources to help me understand how to attract more people to my site. I was able to have complete creative control without being overwhelmed with too many question or options. Whenever I had a question or issue, I received a prompt reply with a solution! I can’t say enough good things!
Thank you very much, Emily! Lastly, can you share with our readers your plans the future? What is the next big challenge you’re looking forward to?
Right now, I think my plate is as full as I can get it! I will continue to improve my skills as a photographer, cook, and blogger. My goal for the future is to impact the most lives as I can and teach people the benefits of treating your body well! I think I’m well on my way!
A BIG thank you to Emily for sharing her story. Tell us about yours, let us know what makes you get up each morning and what is keeping you up late. You can always contact us and share your story or simply say hi!