Excited About Education

As a certified professional in health and fitness, I am constantly seeking new avenues to expand my capabilities and diversify my experience. In so doing, I frequently delve into industry research and education. I attend numerous industry-based events, seminars and workshops annually, striving to maintain and increase my knowledge base for myself personally and for my clients professionally.

My attendance at IDEA Personal Trainer®—NYC last October and the Inner IDEA Conference® this past July provided me with great insight and useful tools that I apply every day with my client base. In addition, IDEA membership and the corresponding source materials, IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Trainer Success, have served as invaluable assets in my professional development.

Jason Bosley-Smith, CSCS

Abingdon, Maryland

I just returned from the IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC conference. I knew it was going to be an exciting weekend of learning, networking and experiencing a great city. It exceeded all of my expectations. I want to mention two presenters who really impressed me: Dr. Jose Antonio and Douglas Brooks. They are two of the best presenters IDEA could have chosen. Their knowledge, presentation styles and willingness to engage in conversation were everything an attendee could ask for. Thank you again for re-energizing me and my staff.

Greg Justice, MA

Prairie Village, Kansas

IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC was a great conference! The synergy among the researchers, teacher/trainers and equipment developers really impressed me and has generated lots of good questions in my mind. I left feeling reinspired and refreshed for the workweek ahead. Thank you so much for the terrific job you do. IDEA has been an important resource for me for many years.

Cris Caivano

New York, New York

Just a quick note to thank you for getting me out to the Idea Personal Trainer—NYC conference. It was a great experience; I really like what IDEA represents for the serious trainer as an independent businessperson. The three seminars I attended were all terrific and opened me up to a lot of new things. Next year I need to plan to stay longer!

Cary Raffle

New York, New York

I’m still feeling the power of the first Inner IDEA Conference. A colleague whom I convinced to come to Inner IDEA recently wrote this to me: “Thanks for turning me on to Inner IDEA. I thought the conference was extremely powerful. At many fitness conferences, the ego is very evident. Inner IDEA participants, presenters and providers were not only 100% receptive to everything that was happening but they were also giving. It really did capture the blending of the fitness industry with the mind and spirit. I felt the whole group left with a strong connection to each other. There just aren’t enough words to express how great it was. I left remembering who I am! ”

Ronda Gates

Lake Oswego, Oregon

I’m writing to share my joy with you. I received my October Fitness Journal, which covered the IDEA World Fitness Convention® in Las Vegas. Can you imagine my surprise when I saw myself in the picture and, moreover, read my quotation about Sunrise Yoga at Red Rocks?! Now I really feel that I am a little Siberian part of IDEA World Fitness. Thank you!

Mariya Bilskaya

Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation

International Presenters, Beware

I was recently invited to present in London, but it turned out to be a fraud. All fitness presenters with websites and who travel internationally should know about this. Here’s what happened: Oceangate Model Agency contacted me by e-mail inviting me to come and train for 14 days. They offered me a large amount of money. They offered to send upfront money for flight, hotel, meals and car service but would not sign any agreement until I arrived. They sent five $950 cashier’s checks from Wal-Mart. They told me that once I booked my flight I should send the remainder of the money back (minus my flight cost) to their agent, who would book my hotel, meals and car service.

I thought it was odd that they picked me to come and train, so I began checking them out. Of course, I couldn’t find anything on the company or the person [who contacted me], so I asked a friend who lives in London to check them out. He couldn’t find anything, either. After the cashier’s checks arrived, I took them to my bank and asked if the money orders were real. They said yes; however, the whole time my gut was telling me, “This isn’t right.” So I decided to wait to see what would happen. Oceangate insisted I return the cash to them by Western Union. After I told them I would only return the cash upon my arrival and would make my own hotel arrangements, they got mad and decided to cancel the training engagement. They insisted that I return all the money immediately.

I went to speak to someone from Money Gram (a competitor of Western Union’s) to find out how the process works for sending money to the UK. The Money Gram representative informed me that this situation was most likely fraud because I didn’t know the person I was sending the money to, because it was a large sum and because the whole process transpired over the Internet. She told me it usually takes 2 weeks for the checks to clear. I went back to my bank and asked them to verify that the cashier’s checks were legitimate and, of course, they were not.

I reported all of this to the FBI, which has a website, www.internetcrimecom plaintcenter.com, where all Internet complaints are filed. Thank god I listened to my gut feeling, as things just didn’t add up. It’s important that others know what is going on out there, though.

Tamiliee Webb

Rancho Santa Fe, California

Adding RD to Your Credentials

I was excited to see an article expressing the importance of registered dietitians (RDs) and how much education they have to go through to get the RD credential (October 2006). As an RD interested in fitness, I have always felt that RDs don’t get the credit they deserve. I also want to say how refreshing it is to see an article regarding this topic in a fitness magazine geared mostly toward personal trainers and group instructors. Ethics is a big issue, and the article may clarify some of the confusion surrounding how much nutrition advice personal trainers are allowed to give to their clients.

I do want to point out that in the section titled “Recipe for Starting Out,” the author mentioned considering an internship with a dietetics program at a local hospital or university as an option for becoming a registered dietitian. To clarify, serving an internship is not an option but a requirement if you want to become an RD.

Sarah M. Agena, MS, RD

Miracles Fitness

West Lafayette, Indiana

Programs for Cancer Survivors

Editor’s Note: In our October Mind-Body News column “Question of the Month,” we asked what programs readers were involved in to support survivors of cancer. Members Naomi Aaronson and Bonnie Berk shared the following responses.

I am an occupational therapist and fitness instructor who works with breast cancer survivors. Integration of mind-body techniques along with a traditional fitness regimen is quite effective. My warm-up combines deep breathing with a progressive sequence of neck, shoulder and arm movements while marching in place to reduce lymphedema risk. This is followed by a circuit training routine alternating leg strengthening with arm strengthening and balance exercises (yoga balance postures such as the tree). I end with standing yoga sequences using a therapy ball to stretch the hamstrings, back and shoulders (adapted downward dog). Finally, my clients enjoy just being in the moment as I invite them to lie supine. I use myofascial release techniques to the arms, shoulders and legs, ending with “cat’s paws” to the chest and shoulder (area of discomfort and tightness) as [the clients] perform deep breathing to decrease any discomfort. Classical music plays in the background to really foster relaxation and a sense of peace.

Naomi Aaronson, MA, OTR/L, CHT

Bayside, New York

I helped develop the Partners in Wellness Program with the help of the local YWCA and several foundations, including the Carlisle Area Health & Wellness Foundation. Partners in Wellness is a complementary therapy program designed to help people diagnosed with cancer for up to 18 months posttreatment. The program includes massage, yoga, Reiki and Heart of Healing. Each person chooses any of these modalities/classes and is allowed to receive up to six massages, six Reiki sessions and six yoga classes, as well as attend a 7-week Heart of Healing class. With the program now in its third year, we have been able to help over 100 people.

Our pre- and posttests consistently report that people in our program feel better, have fewer symptoms from treatment and are empowered by their ability to continue exercising and to go through treatment in the most positive ways possible. In addition to offering these services, my partners and I have also spent lots of time educating both the public and medical resources about the benefits of complementary therapies in cancer care. For the grant period July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006, we saw 69 people. Of this group, 53% completed postevaluations; 80% reported a decrease in anxiety and stress; 60% reported a decrease in fatigue; all who reported nausea reported a decrease in nausea; 40% reported an increased feeling of well-being; 64% reported a more positive attitude; and 36% felt the quality of their life had improved as a result of the education and support that they received.

Bonnie Berk, RN, MS, RYT

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Seven Secrets to Teaching Group Exercise

Editor’s note: The following are just two of many complimentary letters we received about Mark Joseph Kandarian’s article “Seven Secrets to Totally Outrageous Teaching” in IDEA Fitness Journal, September 2006. If you missed reading it and you’re an IDEA member, be sure to access it on the IDEA Article Archive on www.ideafit.com.

Mark Kandarian’s article ranks as one of the finest articles ever published in an IDEA periodical. Not only should it be mandatory reading for every fitness instructor, but there should be a law decreeing that every instructor has to put into practice what [Kandarian] eloquently outlines.

There would be a lot fewer unfit people in this world if all fitness pros took to heart his simple and brilliant philosophy: be a great person first. Perhaps then becoming a great trainer/instructor is not so hard at all. The article will be hard to top; it’s just about perfect. An instant classic.

Ken Alan

Los Angeles, California

“Seven Secrets for Totally Outrageous Teaching” was very informative for new teachers and a good reminder for those who have been teaching a long time and might need a “refresher”! I particularly enjoyed the author’s sense of humor while he was giving proven tips on successful teaching. We referred to the article for our annual meeting of the group exercise department at the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. I’m sure many health clubs and instructors have also benefited from the article. I hope to read more work by Mark Kandarian in future publications!

Dan Hogan

New York, New York

Certification Integrity

I just opened to page 6 in the October 2006 IDEA Fitness Journal and read the letter about the certification debate, as well as author Sean Riley’s response. You go, Sean! As a fitness professional with impeccable credentials and nearly 30 years working with clients, I found myself embroiled in just such a situation at an establishment [where] I was subcontracting to train clients. I discovered that for nearly 10 years the owners of this establishment had allowed staff to falsely advertise certifications. I voiced my concerns via e-mail and in face-to-face meetings with the owners for the 3 years I was there, only to be told that I should mind my own business and that I didn’t understand how to run a business. Huh?

Seems pretty straightforward to me that if you tell the public the staff you employ are certified when they are indeed not, that’s lying, unethical, unsafe and illegal.

I take umbrage with someone charging industry rates when [he or she does] not take some of the incredibly grueling course work and pass the exams that I do to be the very best I can. In fact, this experience has so appalled me that I am writing to the governor of Washington to petition for state licensure for PFTs and instate whistle-blower protection. I filed a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission and was told that I had no recourse because I was not a state or medical professional, even though they agreed those owners were being discriminatory. I immediately terminated my training agreement, but I was devastated and disillusioned by [the owners’] appalling lack of integrity.

Nancy Jerominski

Seattle, Washington

IDEA Membership Has Its Benefits!

The October 2006 issue looked great! The brief summary titled “Got Insurance?” could not have been timed more perfectly! Over the past couple of weeks, this topic has been discussed with many of our exercise instructors and contracted trainers who do not have benefits with us due to their part-time status. I passed the information along to them and they were very excited.

I also enjoyed the article regarding how/what to include when interviewing group exercise instructors. We have three new, very young, staff members, and this article wraps everything I need to tell them into one package. Thank you!

Last, what an awesome collection of memories from the IDEA World Fitness event. How exciting it was to see the “Survivor: Lake Las Vegas” picture on the last page and, of course, I was quite excited to see my name in the text. I am so glad that I became an IDEA member. The information included in this publication has been more helpful to me than any other trade magazine I have subscribed to or currently receive. I will definitely be renewing my IDEA membership, if only to be able to continue receiving the publications. Thank you for being so good at what you do!

Heather Simpson

Surfside Beach, South Carolina

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    January 2007

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