I Inspire

Jan 01, 2008

It’s been almost 6 years since we introduced the Inspire the World to Fitness® campaign to IDEA members. The power and meaning of this phrase have taken on a life of their own. Not only do we hear you saying the words back to us, but we also see you consciously living them through the mini miracles you perform with clients every day. To humbly paraphrase Gandhi, it has been nothing short of thrilling to see a simple statement become the change we wish to see in the world!

As we continue this phenomenal forward momentum, we propose to drill deeper toward the core of the inspiration philosophy by asking ourselves why we are driven to inspire. History proves that any meaningful movement—personal, philanthropic, political, religious or otherwise—begins with the spark of one person’s conviction to make a difference. That one voice and example spreads and, before you know it, whole communities are mobilized to action and reflecting the idea back. Yet each member of that movement almost certainly felt a personal flicker in his heart that compelled him to join the effort. What is it that drives you to inspire others to fitness and wellness? What is your “I inspire because . . .” story?

If you ever need a mental-physical-spiritual boost or a better understanding of how inspiration sprouts from one individual’s heart and mind, read the “Inspire the World to Fitness” column each issue. This month’s subject, Nancy Norris, is a great example of “I inspire” in action. This personal fitness trainer and group fitness instructor runs her own business and also serves as group exercise coordinator at Hurley Health and Fitness Center in Flint, Michigan. She is an avid mountain climber who began seeking summits in 1998 at the age of 54. Her goal is to climb the highest mountain on all seven continents. To date, she has climbed 23 mountains, six of which are the highest peaks on their continents. The seventh, Mount Everest, is in her sights. “My goal in climbing the seven summits is to Inspire the World to Fitness and bring attention to the fact that if you have a healthy lifestyle, you can achieve any goal you set, regardless of age. My motivation comes from within,” Norris says. “I want to inspire others, so I need to walk the talk.”

Other great examples of “I inspire” at work are the numerous IDEA members who have stepped forward to volunteer their time and expertise in our partnership with the Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation. All of these fitness professionals have a personal reason for giving back to kids in schools, but their efforts will make a collective difference in their communities and ripple outward to create a healthier society in general. We will report details on IDEA members’ work within the Alliance partnership throughout 2008.

As we begin a new year, take a moment to reflect on your personal purpose in the fitness and wellness industry. Ask yourself a few basic questions: “How do I inspire? Whom do I inspire? Why do I inspire? Am I still as excited as ever about my career?” Write down your answers as your personal statement about why the work you do is important. Refer to it when you need a lift this year; or even better, share your statement with others. Prove that the small but determined voice of one person can become the resounding symphony and action of the masses.

I inspire. You inspire. We all inspire others to be the best they can be. As Nancy Norris says, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Have a healthy and prosperous 2008,

Fitness Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1

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