fbpx Skip to content


IDEA’s 40th Anniversary Timeline

Be a part of fitness history in the making.

IDEA 40th Timeline

This week has been especially rewarding and a bit nostalgic as I reviewed the much-anticipated IDEA 40th Anniversary Timeline that the content team updates on every major IDEA milestone.

So much has happened at IDEA and in the industry since our last timeline refresh in 2017: Three acquisitions, the COVID pandemic and the resulting quantum shifts in how our industry does business. It’s somewhat mind-boggling that all of this happened over the last 5 years, with most of the changes unfolding in just the last 36 months.

See also: Club Industry: IDEA Is Acquired

I’m not one to dwell on the past, but the tradition of this timeline helps us all to honor yesteryear, to understand how far we’ve come as an association and as an industry, and to look forward with intent on how we will shape the future. The aspirational part of this exercise is what I find to be most exciting. If you were to plot a course for what the next 5 years of your career timeline might look like, what would you include?

Do you want to be a presenter or subject matter expert? Do you want to author an article for Fitness Journal or another publication? Will you open your own business? Perhaps you have designs on becoming a health coach or adding a nutrition specialty to your arsenal of tools to help clients be their best? It’s blank canvas time. Mix your colors, study the framework and paint your masterpiece. No matter what you need, IDEA is here to support you on the journey.

IDEA’s path has been leading-edge, storied and full of heart. We grew from a fledgling association and a small annual gathering of fitness professionals into a respected industry leader, continuing education provider and imagineer of the impressive IDEA® World Convention. IDEA has come to this exact moment in time as a sum of all the parts, moments, people and happenings since the company’s founding in 1982.

Here, on our 40th birthday, we reflect on the trajectory and growth of IDEA’s role as a guiding force in an awesome industry that continues to be fluid and brimming with innovation. It’s been a whirlwind, and you have all been such a big part of the fun! We hope you’ll enjoy reliving (or learning about) some of the highlights in this time capsule of IDEA’s history.

Meantime, I’m thinking through my outfit for the Ruby Red Party at IDEA World in just 5 weeks. Will I go with Vegas-style glitz and glitter or opt for something totally retro in red? Either way, I can’t wait to be there live and in person to greet all of you at the door. Hope to see you there as we bask in the rare energy of this convention and create even more memories and history.

Drop me a line and tell me what you’re excited about or challenged with these days. Write to me at [email protected] or reach out to the content team at [email protected] to tell us what you need. We look forward to serving you every day.

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

Related Articles

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.