June 30, 2014

chk_01Peter Davis, President and CEO
Kathie Davis, Executive Director
You can’t be much more of a Mover or Shaker in the fitness world than IDEA–The Association for Fitness Professionals. It’s the world’s largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. But, if you are not one of its 65,000 members, you may not know that IDEA’s mission to “Inspire the World to Fitness” is carried out every day through initiatives such as regional and international Fitness Conferences, continuing education for your favorite fitness instructor and personal trainer, the award-winning IDEA Fitness Journal, and IDEA FitnessConnect, the international, online fitness network and professional database.  At the helm are Kathie and Peter Davis, who gave their dream it’s wings to fly in 1982. They have guided the evolution, expansion and re-invention of the organization, keeping it vital and relevant, Aerobics to Zumba, throughout the years.

I attended my first IDEA conference in (cough) 1986. It was a defining experience that opened my eyes to what the fitness business was and could be, outside the confines of my home town perspective. I took classes and attended lectures from the top names of the era in fitness: Candice Brooks (née Copeland), Ken Alan, Len Kravitz (not yet Dr. Kravitz), and so many more. These great presenters inspired me and helped hatch a dream that someday I could be good enough to be with them: professional, knowledgeable, on stage, at IDEA, as a presenter. The dream of being “worthy-to-present-at-IDEA” grew, through experience, study and honing my skills at many more IDEA conferences than I can recall. I became professional, knowledgeable and, ultimately, I was able to give the dream its wings to fly.

Let’s fast-forward a couple of decades (more or less) to 2011. In that year my dream, the one that got it’s wings so many years ago, was soaring, for I was about to attend World Fitness IDEA as a finalist for the most prestigious award I could hope to receive in fitness, the IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year. I was en route from North Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama to share the TRX  “love” with an editor of Health Magazine when I got “the call” from Kathie. I was to receive the award! It’s like winning the Fitness Oscar. I’ll never forget the next thing she asked, “Are you driving? Are you going to be OK?” I guess she could tell I was excited. 🙂

Working together as judges for the National Aerobics Championships, I got to know the human side in addition to the professional side of Kathie. She was a kind yet fair judge. Gotta love that!

It has been my privilege to admire, over the past  30+ years, the remarkable careers of a couple who made it their life’s work to create a healthier planet. From IDEA’s founding in 1982, Kathie and Peter Davis have done just exactly that and that’s why they have earned the recognition and honor of their induction into The National Fitness Hall of Fame for 2014. I can think of no one more deserving. Applause, applause, Peter and Kathie! Congratulations! end10