Inspiring fitness: Focus on what you can do |

Inspiring fitness: Focus on what you can do

This week I have been busy preparing to speak at the IDEA Personal Training Institute in Alexandria, Va., Sunday. This is one of the premier personal training conferences in the world. There are 650 personal trainers from 37 states and 10 countries who will attend this sold out event.

IDEA (International Association of Fitness Professionals) is a 30-year-old organization that promotes the educational sector of fitness. Their motto is “Inspiring the World to Fitness.” That’s a mighty powerful motto and a very lofty goal!

Fitness professional are much like school teachers – they entered their field because they want to make a difference. But in fitness, we most always focus on and advertise to the people who are already exercising. While this group is extremely enjoyable to work with, current statistics say they represent less than 15 percent of the population. That leaves 85 percent of our citizens not exercising regularly.

My question today is “what will it take to inspire you”?

Sometimes the inspiration comes from a critical or “close call” life event like a stroke, heart attack or serious accident. The relief that we have survived can inspire us to take better care of our body.

Receiving bad news can sometimes result in inspiration. The development of a disease or condition, cancer diagnosis, a newly prescribed medication – even if it happens to a close friend or family member – can inspire us to be better stewards of our health.

Inspiration can come in the form of a new season of life – retirement, becoming a parent or grandparent, death of a loved one. Sometimes, when we are taking time to evaluate a new phase in our lives, it can feel like a fresh start, inspiring us to explore new directions.

I believe my job as a fitness professional is not only to teach people how to exercise, but to inspire and motivate them to reach their health and fitness goals. I am most often successful when I can help a client come up with their real reason for inspiration and when the timing is right.

If you are not exercising regularly, take some time to identify how your life might be different if you were healthier. Focus on all the things you can do rather than the things you cannot do.

What will it take to inspire YOU to fitness?

Scott Jackson, CSCS, MES, B.S. Physical Education, owner of Scott Jackson’s Real Life Fitness Personal Training Services in Nevada City, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Medical Exercise Specialist and an IDEA Master Trainer. Email questions to, call 530-265-4041 or visit or our Facebook page for more information.

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