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IDEA Member Spotlight

Each month this section briefly focuses on a few idea members who stand out in the crowd.


Member Since 1987 • Columbus, Ohio


“I’ve had quite a journey in fitness,” says Melissa Lowe—from the days her mother would take her kids on long walks to teaching aerobics to put herself through nursing school to opening her own Pilates studio after a 36-year nursing career. She joined IDEA in 1987 and has attended IDEA World nearly every year since.

“I hear clients say, ‘I was in my best shape when you were my instructor,’ which I attribute to evidence-based research presented during IDEA conferences and learning new fitness trends.” And she loves working with three generations: “. . . clients who had me as a group fitness instructor (baby boomers) are now sending their kids (millennials), who are now parents, and those parents are sending their kids (Generation Z). My philosophy is I got you in shape then, and I can
get you in shape now!”


Member Since 1995 • Florence, Oregon


Tracy Markley first joined IDEA as a student member, and that led to a phone call from another member who was looking to sell her fitness business. “I met her, took over her part-time clients and began my own studio. It all fell into place,” says Tracy. Today, she owns Tracy’s Personal Training, Yoga and Pilates; has written three fitness books; and is on the Education Advisory Board for the Medfit Education Foundation. She also hosts a fitness radio show and speaks about fall prevention at stroke recovery groups and senior centers. The common thread in her journey has been education. “I feel strongly that if we limit our education, we limit our clients’ success,” she says. “When it comes to stroke recovery, that can mean stroke survivors will be in a wheelchair the rest of their lives—or not. And that is very powerful.”


Member Since 2007 • Gurnee, Illinois


It was 1981, the “dawn of aerobics,” when Deena Stovall enrolled in a class near her home. Six months later, she was not only teaching; she was also choreographing a program for 52 instructors in six states. Today, a cancer survivor living with rheumatoid arthritis, she’s still helping others achieve their fitness goals, teaching a variety of classes at multiple facilities. She began leading senior classes 13 years ago, developing a class called “Move It or Lose It”—inspired by her father’s decline from Alzheimer’s disease—which incorporates active, simple, brisk movement, balance and range-of-motion exercises. “I preach constantly the ‘gospel’ of exercise,” she says. “I don’t want others to fall victim to the same limitations my Dad did. Whether [my class participants are] 70 or 27, I tell them to just keep moving. I’ve seen lives and health improved in remarkable ways!”



If you would like to be featured in this section or know an IDEA member who stands out in the fitness crowd, email a brief description of your (or your colleague’s) fitness activities and achievements and a high-resolution digital photograph (at least 300 dpi, in focus, well-lit and at least 3” × 3” in its original digital format) to Sandy Todd Webster, [email protected] Please include your IDEA member number, if possible. You (or the colleague) must be an IDEA member to be considered for this section.

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November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

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