IDEA members find great value in membership and each other.
At times, inspiring the world to fitness can be a challenging task. You have the enthusiasm and drive, but going it alone is tough. That’s why it’s so helpful to know you’re part of a network of fitness professionals.
IDEA membership is about belonging to something greater than yourself, being part of a movement to get people active and healthy. It’s about joining a world of research, people, ideas and inspiration. It’s about being supported in your tremendously valuable work.
In a time when it can be easy to feel disconnected from the world, membership forges connection. Members, new and veteran, appreciate all that IDEA membership brings, including world- famous fitness education. In 2004 it’s time to celebrate you and exciting new changes happening with your membership.
Credible education is the cornerstone of an IDEA membership.
“I am an IDEA member because it’s important for me as a personal trainer to be recognized by the only international leading resource for fitness education,” says Lawrence Biscontini, MA, personal trainer and group fitness manager at the Golden Door Spa in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. “Because IDEA membership is not tied with any specific company and because IDEA is not a certification agency, IDEA keeps its eyes open to trends and reports the facts.”
KC Lee, national director of group fitness, leagues and activities for LA Fitness in Irvine, California, agrees. “In an ever-changing industry it is imperative to stay on the cusp of where the industry is going. IDEA is quick to get out information in a clear, understandable format. IDEA utilizes resources who are reputable and respected for their contribution to fitness. Their wealth of information for the business side of fitness, personal training, group fitness and overall industry trends is extremely valuable.”
Carol Scott, 2003 IDEA Program Director of the Year, enjoys the informational tools that come with membership. “IDEA offers the industry the most cutting-edge information and research. Publications like IDEA Fitness Edge newsletter enable me to easily and effectively convey industry trends and information to my group fitness staff. The articles are always informative and give great ideas that apply to everyday situations. Also, the surveys give insight into the larger picture of where we are headed.”
Other members value the ethics IDEA has adopted and promoted for fitness professionals.
“IDEA, in my opinion, defies the stereotype of the industry,” says Nicki Anderson, president of Reality Fitness Inc. in Naperville, Illinois. “Simply read IDEA’s Code of Ethics. It says so much about the organization. It has grown smart without losing sight of its mission and vision, and that’s something I’m proud to be a part of.”
Anderson feels that IDEA stands head and shoulders above other organizations. “The consistent, high-quality programming and periodicals set IDEA far apart,” she says. “There are many that try to put themselves up with IDEA, but the strength of IDEA trickles down from the top. Kathie and Peter Davis [IDEA founders] are dedicated to the industry and its members, and it is evident in everything they do. I know that I’m getting the best from the best.”
Members around the world also enjoy being part of an international network.
“I first became an IDEA member in 1995, when I wanted more knowledge,” says Ken Baldwin, owner and director of Betterbodiez Personal Training Studio in Brisbane, Australia. “Australia is lacking when it comes to new information and research studies in most areas, simply because of our smaller population and the percentage of people within the fitness world. IDEA is a valuable resource that provides cutting-edge information which gives me the upper hand as an instructor and personal trainer. I have passed this information on to many friends, some of whom are now members. In fact each year now we travel as a group to attend the conventions.”
The beauty of IDEA membership is that fitness professionals at all experience levels find it useful.
New or Returning Professionals. “I would strongly recommend IDEA for those who have not found their niche. Being an IDEA member exposes a person to all areas of fitness,” says Sue Ward, program manager for Mattel Health & Fitness Center in El Segundo, California.
When Johanne Vaillant, consultant in physical activity at the Centre des Sources in Montreal, Quebec, came back to the fitness industry after 5 years off to raise children, she returned to a different world of fitness. “The late 1980s and aerobic dance were long gone. . . . I needed some solid foundation short of redoing my phys. ed. degree! I turned to IDEA because of its reputation and the researched content of its publications. In 1993 I was asked to take over the IDEA Representative program in Quebec. The rest is history. I’ve gotten tons of new contacts and friendships, helped out in numerous conferences and learned a great deal! Keeping up-to-date in fitness has been easy since I joined! I know someone is there at the end of the 800 phone number or via the Internet to answer my questions.”
Part-Time Fitness Professionals. Tim Culwell of Aurora, Colorado, finds that IDEA meets his needs as a part-timer. “Just as I am certain many instructors do, I have an alternate career that takes a great deal of time,” he says. “Receiving e-mail updates and accessing the rich resources via the Internet have been tremendous advantages for my fitness career. IDEA helps me stay connected!”
Long-Term Professionals. Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, has been an IDEA member for almost 18 years. “I am now at a career point where I can legitimately wonder how a person can call himself or herself a fitness professional and not be a member of our industry’s primary professional organization,” says Williams-Evans, academic advisor for fitness instruction and group fitness coordinator at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Williams-Evans once thought success in the industry belonged only to others. “Then one day I saw that my friend had written an article for IDEA. This stunned me. I thought, ‘Hey, she is just like me—a regular teacher. If she can write for IDEA, so can I.’ I called IDEA to speak to an editor. The IDEA staff was so accessible. They encouraged me to take a role in our industry by writing articles. They wanted my ideas and experience.
“I started to figure out that ‘member association’ really meant access. ‘IDEA member’ meant ‘me,’ not just ‘someone else already famous.’ Well, if I could get an article published, then I bet I could answer an IDEA survey. If I could answer the survey, I could get accepted onto a committee. If I could get onto a committee, then I could apply for IDEA State Representative. If I could get elected state rep, I could apply to become a presenter. The more I put into my membership role, the more I got out of it.”
IDEA members hugely value the motivation they receive through membership.
“IDEA inspires us to be better, to open our minds to new things and to teach from the heart!” says Donna Read of Donna Read Fitness in Waterloo, Quebec.
Lee agrees. “I enjoy the continual reminder that we are part of a fast-changing industry that has a huge positive impact on society. IDEA is a forum to support our common goals to improve overall health and quality of lifestyle for the future generations.”
Anderson feels this impact at IDEA events. “Every time I go to one, I realize the energy that surrounds IDEA. IDEA is truly a community that is passionate and compassionate. It will always strive to make the industry better and better for the members’ sake.”
Karla Overturf of Canyon Ranch Spa and Sierra Fitness in Tucson, Arizona, agrees. “World Fitness IDEA® keeps me going all year. It’s such a good boost. In an industry that requires us to have energy all day long, every day, the convention gives back.”
Make sure you get the most that you can from your IDEA membership. It can change your career—and your life!
“When I first started personal training, I heard about IDEA from colleagues,” says Ken Baldwin, MEd, 1999 IDEA/Life Fitness Personal Trainer of the Year and program coordinator for the professional certificate in personal fitness training at the San Diego State University College of Extended Studies in San Diego. “I was happy to find that IDEA was the perfect organization to help my business get low-cost liability insurance and for me to receive journals and go to professional conferences. My relationship with IDEA and the support of the staff have been invaluable over the years in helping me establish my professional goals. I owe my business and personal successes to IDEA.”
Jay Blahnik, 1996 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and owner of Body Dynamics in Laguna Beach, California, also feels strongly about IDEA membership. “IDEA stands second to none as the world’s leading association for fitness professionals. It is always looking out for my needs as a fitness professional and understands when and how to provide me the information I need to be successful with my classes and clients. I cannot imagine not being a member of IDEA. It is the single greatest affiliation I have had in my fitness career.”