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Gratitude for 2016 IDEA® World Convention

On the plane ride home from IDEA World, I reflected on all that transpired during the convention and realized just how precious, inspiring and uplifting life can be. Although IDEA World re-energizes me every year, this year proved just how incredibly connected we are despite the miles that are between us. The support for one another and the genuine love that is evident with every smile and hug often prove that words are not needed. What an incredible fitness family we are.

To my new friends and those of you who attended my sessions, thank you. Your energy and passion were infectious. I am truly grateful to you. To the IDEA team, thank you for providing the vehicle to bring us together year after year.

As my dear friend Petra Kolber so beautifully stated in her mindfulness session, "Gratitude is the heart's ability to remember." I will forever remember this week, and I will be eternally grateful. We are all truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful fitness family.

   June Kahn
   CEO and Founder, June Kahn's Bodyworks LLC
   Boulder, Colorado

My personal story is one of a girl who was out of shape and overweight in college. Fitness brought me back to life and feeling good in my skin. I became a group fitness instructor 17 years ago. Over the course of a decade, I became a personal trainer, a health club owner, a studio owner, an online Beachbody® coach, a fitness mentor and an IDEA presenter.

This year, I collaborated with IDEA to plan the first-ever Club & Studio Summit at IDEA World; I made memories and friends; I met world leaders, New York Times best-selling authors, and legends in the fitness industry; and I emceed, interviewed, introduced and shined a light on others.

This convention will live forever in my heart and soul and is a strong reminder that great things come to those who sweat, grind, believe, grow and serve.

   Trina Gray
   Owner, Bay Athletic Club
   Alpena, Michigan

Wow. IDEA World was nothing shy of amazing. With the introduction of the Club & Studio Summit and the Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit, close to 14,000 fitness professionals were in attendance this year. Many of my friends and colleagues were presenters, and I was able to reconnect after years of not seeing them. I saw many former teammates from 24 Hour Fitness® in Northridge, California, who are doing great things in the industry. I couldn't be prouder to call myself a fitness professional and to know that every day I am serving others. Thank you IDEA for bringing the industry together and for creating an event where, for 4 days, we are nothing but connected.

   Khaled Elmasri
   Founder, Nor-Cal Fitness Summit
   San Francisco

Thank you for hosting such an amazing event. I spoke to so many people who said that their lives will change from what they experienced at IDEA World.

   Lisa Druxman, MA
   San Diego

I have the best job in the world!

I traveled 18 hours from Tel Aviv to get to Los Angeles for IDEA World. I taught six sessions in 2 days (and I can feel each and every one of them in a different part of my body). It wasn't easy, but it was worth every minute! Being able to share my passion with people from all around the world and getting back so much more is simply a blessing.

I have presented in more than 25 countries and at numerous conventions, and I can say that IDEA World is the best event I have ever been a part of! It's not only because of the amazing programming, the phenomenal presenters and the huge investment in the event itself. It's about thinking through the small details, making everyone feel as one big family and creating an experience to remember.

   Yoav Avidar
   Co-Owner/Manager, Hagymnasia
   Tel Aviv, Israel

My hat is off to all of you at IDEA. I don't know how you can consistently raise the bar, but IDEA World just keeps getting better. The convention is hands-down the best, and it was awesome again this year! Thank you all so much. I wish I could have taken every session. I will be there next year in Las Vegas. Can't wait!

   Suzie Garacochea, MS
   Regional Group Fitness Director, Pivotal Fitness/Eco Fitness
   Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Thank you for inviting me to speak at the IDEA World Club & Studio Summit. I'm sure there's always a lot of thought that's put into bringing in a new speaker. I'm honored I got the chance.

   Mark Fisher
   Co-Owner, Mark Fisher Fitness
   New York

This is a brief note of appreciation and congratulations for the wonderful IDEA World event. Its size and complexity creates many challenges, but IDEA has managed to maintain a sense of community and commitment of purpose. Both of us have now been honored to experience the convention as guests and attendees as well as presenters. Having been to too many conferences and meetings, we can honestly say the IDEA team's hands-on approach has certainly contributed to the event's great success.

We also recognize the importance of continually striving to have the next year's conference be even better. It is this determination and persistence to always improve that we find so motivating and inspirational—in life and in all we do.

   Joe Weiss, MD
   Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSD School of Medicine
   Nancy Cetel Weiss, MD
   President, Speaking of Health
   San Diego

The convention was amazing! I have attended numerous conventions for various organizations and this was by far the most organized, well-run event. The speakers were excellent. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet so many top fitness professionals from all over the world.

And of course, I was thrilled to be named the 2016 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year! What a great honor! Thank you for everything.

   Carol Michaels, MBA
   Owner, Carol Michaels Fitness and Recovery Fitness®
   West Orange, New Jersey

I want to reach out and thank everyone at IDEA for your time, energy and hard work in putting on a great convention. It was an opportunity for all of us to network, meet new people, connect with existing relationships and share our passions.

   Dennis Dumas
   Co-Founder/CEO, VIRTUAL.FIT.com
   Operating Partner, Omni Fight Club
   Livermore, California

IDEA Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit: An Inspirational First

Thank you for putting on the Nutrition and Behavior Change Summit. The speakers were top-notch and the content was excellent. I have been presenting on the proven scientific benefits of plant-based eating for more than 4 years, and I was happy to hear the same message from these esteemed professionals.

   Bruce Mylrea
   Certified Holistic Nutritionist
   Co-Creator of Tabata Bootcamp
   Santa Cruz, California

I couldn't be more excited about the field we are in. I've been a personal trainer for 5 years, I have a Precision Nutrition certification and I have 2 more years in a registered nursing curriculum. After an enlightening and inspiring day at the Summit, I know I'm in the right place at the right time. Realizing that I can intertwine my fitness and nutrition background into the medical field makes me so very excited. Dr. David Katz was a wonderful master of ceremonies. Physicians like him give me hope that our healthcare field is finally in the process of positive change.

   Annie Barber
   Personal Trainer
   Bozeman, Montana

I really liked that all of the speakers at the Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit had a holistic health focus and didn't just look at weight or physical appearance as a marker of health. I also appreciated that the faculty really tried to hone in on the "why" of behavior change versus the "what." In addition, the presenters seemed to emphasize putting a focus on mindfulness as an integral part of behavior change.

Thank you for putting the Summit together. I left feeling inspired and excited about the future of health and fitness, and I'm sure most attendees felt the same way.

   Kelsey Brown, Med
   Infinitely Fit
   San Diego

Cheers for the IDEA World Discovery College Program!

This program continues to evolve into a great springboard for students to connect with industry professionals and other students. I am thankful for the IDEA staff who strive to provide the best experience for my students.

   Jeff Kreil
   Instructor, Moorpark College
   Moorpark, California

I can honestly say that bringing 15 college students who aspire to be fitness professionals to the largest fitness conference in the world has changed their outlook on their future careers. The students came back with even more energy, ideas and passion to help our community and with excitement for making a lifelong impact through their work.

   Jessica Graham, MS
   Assistant Director of Fitness, University of Oregon
   Eugene, Oregon

Thank you for offering the Discovery Program. I was part of the Moorpark College Discovery Program—what a great opportunity for college students (I'm a returning student after 20+ years raising children). I took 14 sessions (two workouts and a few lectures and workshops) over the 4 days and loved them all. Each class I took, in the order taken, built upon the information of the previous session. I took exactly the classes I wanted and gained more knowledge and information than I could have ever hoped for. I also loved the lunch that the Gatorade Sports Science Institute provided on Friday.

Now to transcribe my notes and begin to apply the information to my personal training clients and small-group classes! I purchased exercise equipment and educational and certification courses from some of the presenters and vendors.

Oh, I love Dr. Len Kravitz! I'm even considering getting my master's degree. He's absolutely awesome.

   Yvette Irons
   Owner, SYNERGY Sports Training and Massage
   Ventura County, California

Gratitude for BlogFest!

Thank you! I was not expecting this trip to be so fulfilling and inspirational. The BlogFest speakers seem to have been picked just for me. I walked away from every exchange feeling better about myself. I am so excited to implement the things I learned.

   Brandi Haney
   Creator/Owner, EatLovePlank.com
   Garland, Texas

I am grateful for my entire BlogFest experience—from the invitation through the event itself and to this day, as I utilize this new network of brands and bloggers. After I was notified that a spot was available for me to attend BlogFest, I was immediately connected to a large network of bloggers via the private Facebook group. From that moment, I knew I was a part of something special.

At the event, we were welcomed with a generous swag bag almost overflowing with everything a fitness blogger could desire! It was such an amazing experience. This was a much-needed motivation boost, and it provided me with a wonderful network of inspiration. The BlogFest Facebook community continues to provide support and motivation.

   Kylie Realmuto
   Instructor, YogaCycle
   Fitness Blogger
   Redondo Beach, California

Thank you for inviting me to BlogFest. I learned so much from the lectures and fellow bloggers that I can implement into my own blog, and I met such incredible people. I look forward to next year!

   Amanda Solly
   Lifestyle Blogger
   Los Angeles

Online Learning Through IDEA Makes a Difference

I recently watched an IDEA education course featuring Brian Richey, Saving Your Knees in a Quad-Dominant World. This is an excellent course. It's full of information presented in a very learnable way. It's also totally enjoyable and fun to watch. I've written Brian to tell him just that and to let him know that I will purchase and watch every one of his seminars that IDEA makes available.

What I learned from this video caused me to research becoming a medical exercise specialist, and I am getting ready to sign up for a MES program. Please consider offering more of Brian's talks to those of us on the other side of the country who can't get to California for a conference. This video was an invaluable learning experience that I'd like to repeat several times over on any fitness-related topic.

   Peg Molter
   Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist
   Grand Rapids, Michigan

Pokémon Go as a Family

I organized a Pokémon Go walk along the Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, California. One of the things I like about this game is that it's a great activity for families to do together! It's a perfect combination: Parents can discover what their kids are into, entire families can get out and discover their communities, and everyone can get some movement into their day. My kids are in college and they actually got up early to join us. Wow! (Although I did take them out for coffee afterward.)

   Melissa Wogahn, MA
   Exercise Physiologist, Wellcoaches® Health and Wellness Coach
   Carlsbad, California

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