Thank You for 11 Years at Austin Fit Magazine
My career started with a Craigslist posting for a fitness magazine design internship in May 2007. For my first three months at Austin Fit, I was an intern under the mentorship of art director Angel Schatz. I then worked as her design assistant for the next three months until she passed the torch. I was just six months in when the then editor, Drex Earle, along with the rest of the Earle family, gave me the opportunity of a lifetime that would allow me to eventually take over the design department. I will be forever thankful for the past 11 years as AFM creative director with over 130 published issues, 1,500 photoshoots, and 10,000 pages of content.
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of changes happen within myself and the fitness industry. My first workout outside of the school gym was with Cody Butler and HEAT Bootcamp. I saw him contribute to the rise in popularity of bootcamp workouts. I became familiar with the words CrossFit, Paleo, and kipping. I’ve learned about so many diet trends that my stomach is growling just thinking about them. I’ve helped AFM grow from 40 to 116 pages, and it certainly hasn’t always been easy for me personally. In all honesty, I’m not sure where I’d be without the people that I have worked with at this magazine and in our fitness community.
There are many people that I would like to thank. To my editors—Drex Earle, Melanie Moore, Leah Nyfeler Fisher, April Cumming, Gretchen Goswitz, and Liz Harroun—thank you for your teamwork. You gave me personal and valuable lessons in journalism, work ethic, and through countless different stories you shared. To my de- sign assistants—Sarah Schneider, Nicole Story, Jordan Golembeski, Michelle Suggs, Melissa Warren, Emma Canela, Anna Wanzek, Dani Parsons, and countless interns—thank you for your help, and I hope you gained some valuable insight into content production. Most importantly, we learned how to have fun doing it. To my photographer, Brian Fitzsimmons, who I’ve worked with the last eight years at AFM—I consider you a mentor. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your guidance and expertise, and I want to thank you so much for your willingness to show me the ropes. To Austin’s fitness industry leaders and community—I’ve learned so much from you, and you’ve given me so many happy memories that I will carry with me forever. I could go on about how many celebrities and Olympians I’ve worked with, but the most rewarding part of my years at AFM was getting to know the Austin community members and sharing their stories.
While I am moving on from a full-time role at AFM, I look forward to continue producing content through storytelling and photography within the Austin community. I encourage you to seek out new people, classes (heck, I’ve tried them all!), foods, and events. Keep trying new things, and you’ll begin to see a new you. Let’s not exclude ourselves from experiences because of a predisposition. It’s better when we’re together. Diversity is divine. Through all my time at Austin Fit, these are my biggest takeaways. Try it all, be respectful, and do your best.
// Keep Austin Fit //