How IDEA Award Recipients Inspire The World To Fitness®
With the presentation of the 2003 IDEA Health & Fitness Awards close at hand, here is a look at last year’s award recipients and how they are doing their part to Inspire the World to Fitness.
Josie Gardiner of Boston, Massachusetts is the 2002 IDEA Fitness Instructor of Year and she has been involved in the fitness industry for over 30 years as club owner, an instructor, a personal trainer and an international presenter. At age 56, she is a role model as both an older adult and as a fitness instructor. Believing that “fitness professionals can truly make a difference in the world,” Josie now serves as another type of role model as she puts this belief to practice.
Five years ago, Josie was diagnosed with uterine cancer and after months of extensive medical treatment, she discovered what it was like to be frail and inactive and she gained a new appreciation for being out of shape. When she asked her doctors what she should do to get back in shape, she was told she knew better than they did. After all, she was the personal fitness trainer. It was at that moment that Josie found a new purpose in life: helping other cancer survivors to become strong again. Now she is working in conjunction with Dr. Carolyn Kaelin, director of the Breast Care Clinic at Brigham and Women=s Hospital in Boston to develop strength and flexibility programs for cancer patients and survivors. “We are working with breast cancer survivors to develop a program of appropriate strength, flexibility and cardio work,” Josie says. “Our ultimate goal is to develop programs for all types of cancer and other rehab purposes. We want to help women improve their quality of life.”
Peggy Buchanan, MA is the 2002 IDEA Program Director of the Year and she is the director of the fitness and aquatic center at the Vista del Monte retirement community in Santa Barbara, California. Peggy and her staff work with elite athletes in their 80’s as well as with adults in their 50’s and 60’s whose sedentary lifestyles have led to premature aging. Under her leadership, the Vista del Monte Fitness & Aquatic Center has become a template for many other senior fitness facilities across the country and it also has become a Medicare certified outpatient clinic.
Her facility not only offers fitness memberships for older adults but also aquatic and physical therapy for persons with rehabilitation needs and this has significantly increased the number of people they serve. As for the future of older adults and exercise, Peggy believes there will be an increased focus on functional fitness. “Fitness professionals will be developing practical programs for older adults,” she says. “When do you lift a dumbbell in real life? Lift something useful. We put free weights into suitcases and walk with them, because seniors like to travel and need the strength to carry their luggage.”
Taylor-Kevin Isaacs, MS of Los Angeles is the 2002 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year. In addition to being a practicing personal trainer, Taylor is also a clinical instructor of kinesiology at California State University, Northridge, where he teaches “Therapeutic Exercise for Special Populations” at the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled. Taylor's clients are a diversified group, ranging from a 12-year-old, nationally ranked tennis player to a 92-year-old man with stroke-induced left-side hemiplegia, Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis, coronary artery disease and hypertension.
“My work isn’t just about transforming bodies, it’s about transforming lives,” Taylor says. His work with two young men underscores this point. Aaron was a motocross champion at 20 and Jesse, a surfing champion at 17. Each experienced a cervical spinal cord injury and was categorized quadriplegic. “My mission was to infuse them with power and strength and they both demonstrated tremendous dedication,” says Taylor. “Today Jesse is a motivational speaker visiting schools to tell students about overcoming the accident, adhering to his fitness program and achieving his goals, including obtaining a college degree and surfing again. Aaron can now hit a golf ball, walk unassisted on the beach with his friends and recently rode a tandem bike in the LA Marathon. Both Jesse and Aaron landed only to take flight again – I plan to be there every step of the way.”
The presentation of the 2003 IDEA Health & Fitness Awards will be given at an awards ceremony in Anaheim, California on July 17, 2003 during the IDEA World Fitness & Personal Trainer Convention®. Propel Fitness Water® is the Presenting Sponsor of the IDEA Health & Fitness Awards.
IDEA is the world's leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals with more than 23,000 members in over 80 countries. Since 1982, IDEA has provided health and fitness professionals with pertinent information, educational opportunities, career development programs and industry leadership while helping them enhance the quality of life worldwide through safe, effective fitness and healthy lifestyle programs. For more information on IDEA events, publications, educational products, member services or other activities, visit the IDEA website at: www.IDEAfit.com.
MEMBERS OF THE NEWS MEDIA: To receive a IDEA World Fitness & Personal Trainer Convention brochure and schedule of events, or to receive a registration form for a complimentary press pass, contact David Gilroy at: (858) 535-8979, ext. 262, or e-mail: gilroyd@IDEAfit.com