What IDEA members are doing every day to Inspire the World to Fitness™.
Since we officially launched our campaign to Inspire the World to Fitness™ earlier this year, IDEA members have let us know how seriously they take this mission. Below are some of the comments we have received since January.
“I ask my clients, ‘Should you brush your teeth now or later?’ I want them to think about fitness in the same way, as something you automatically do every day. When their attitudes change, walking or hiking becomes a commitment, a natural part of their day. Instead of making excuses, they get out and do something. Exercise becomes part of a new lifestyle, and they never look back.”
Connie Aronson, Ketchum, Idaho
“Here are examples of the inspiring people I train on a daily basis:
“6:00 am: a man weighing more than 300 pounds who is trying to lose weight and get off blood pressure medication
7:00 am: a woman with a knee replacement (aquatic training)
10:30 am: an 86-year-old woman working with an agility ladder to promote stride length and confidence when walking
4:30 pm: an overweight 12-year-old who wants to be on the baseball team
6:00 pm: a 45-year-old golfer working on a Pilates reformer to aid lower-back and hip flexibility
7:00 pm: a 16-year-old who is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 152 pounds and wants desperately to gain weight and improve self-esteem
8:00 pm: two female fitness competitors (team training)
“I leave work every day with a smile on my face. You asked, ‘What have you done to inspire people to exercise?’ Well, I conduct all the above sessions outside of a golf club in a tiny 1,200-square-foot room with a pool. Other members observe these people and are inspired by their challenges and progression. In turn, they inspire me.”
Mindi Boysen, Phoenix, Arizona
“After teaching the ‘healthy’ population for 15 years and losing my sister and mother to cancer, I decided to teach cancer survivors how to exercise. Who needs it more than they do? They are scared, tense, and weak from chemotherapy and radiation. After doing extensive research and getting the proper education, I began my mission. I work with another dedicated fitness professional who teaches gentle yoga classes twice a week while I teach a cardio and strength class once a week. (We require all participants to have a doctor’s permission.) Our resource center is called ‘Candy’s Place,’ in memory of my sister, who worked out 5 or 6 days a week, never smoked and died of lung cancer within 7 months of her diagnosis. Our clients become stronger physically and mentally as they discover they are not alone. I love teaching in general, but this group really touches my heart.”
Penny Cunningham, Kingston, Pennsylvania
“In 1988 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a serious chronic illness involving the digestive track. Because of the medications used to treat the illness, I went up four dress sizes in a short time. I had very little self-confidence and a very negative body image.
“In 2000 I became a certified personal trainer and had the opportunity—through the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America—to speak with others suffering from Crohn’s disease. I talked to them about how the illness had disrupted and changed my life and how fitness ultimately helped me manage my disease. I showed participants pre- and postexercise photos and discussed the physical and mental health benefits associated with exercise. I presented a complete home workout they could do at little expense (once cleared by a physician) using a stability ball, resistance bands, their favorite music and medicine balls.
“At the end of the program I had several people tell me how inspiring it was to see someone who knew firsthand the discomfort and embarrassment of the disease survive and move on. Others said it gave them hope to know that if they became even a little more active, it would greatly benefit them.”
Vanessa Bumgardner, Bellefontaine, Ohio
What have you done that’s inspired people to exercise? Do you have a client or class that inspires you? Send an e-mail, letter or fax telling us your story. We’ll be publishing your ideas in upcoming issues.
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