Fitness Career Spotlight on Sunny Blende, MS, Sports Nutritionist
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on NOVEMBER 1, 2015
Sunny Blende, MS, is a woman who has rocked the sports nutrition industry for a long time. From swimming to ultrarunning to nutrition counseling and more, Sunny has educated hundreds of people on how to properly fuel for one’s sport. Read on to learn more about her fascinating career. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of health and wellness?
I had been a dental hygienist for years so I was already interested in Health and Wellness, but my hand were giving out and I was not ready to retire! So I went back and got my masters in Human Nutrition and decided to specialize only in Sports Nutrition.
Your Job Title:
Professor at College of Marin, Kinesiology Dept.
Company you are with now:
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
Typically I work 3-4 hours or so either meeting with clients for a consultation, inputting clients data or writing articles for two national magazines, UltraRunning and SWIMMER – the Nutrition columns. If I am teaching that semester, then I spend 3 hours in the classroom per week and more time preparing lectures/tests/projects. I also present to clubs, coaches, teams, etc. about twice a month and this involves compiling a power point show along with a handout. About once a month I get a call or email to be interviewed for some article – Runner’s World, Outside Magazine, Time, etc.
How did you get your current job in health and wellness?
I started my own website, rented a small space at a local health club to meet clients in, offered to write articles for newsletters, websites and magazines and tried to do presentations (often at a discount or free at first) to get my name out there and be seen. I have spoken at Sports Basement numerous times!
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born being a “talker” so speaking came naturally. I have also been an athlete since my 20’s so I was already involved with many clubs and teams. My teaching skills came from chairside dental hygiene. I had to learn media (internet, power point, college portals, etc.)
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Do what you love! If you like one-on-one, then do more individual consultations. If you like a crowd and can be somewhat humorous when presenting, do “Talks”. Put yourself out there. Answer questions when people ask you at the grocery store. Use your strong points and your affiliations. If you are a member of something, start with those people as clients.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?:
Making a difference in people’s lives. When I am teaching college students, I start the semester with the phrase, “You will be so happy you took this class because I am going to save you thousands of dollars by teaching you to eat real foods and not need SUPPLEMENTS”. By the end of the semester, I have many students thanking me for just that.