Imagine if you can the fitness industry 24 years ago. It wasn’t quite the stereotypical tight, shiny, and neon bright leotards and leg warmers from the 1980’s but it was a time of explosive growth in the fitness industry. The 1990’s saw the advent of one of the most popular fitness trends of all—the step—it revolutionized aerobic fitness classes as they were then known—“this was no dance class”. Fitness classes, adidas track suits or cropped tank tops paired with high-rise bike shorts, the scrunchy around the wrist or the ankle, the hoodie, babydoll tees, the sleeveless vest, the portable CD player (aka the Walkman), and the fanny pack was all the rage. For those of you who are too young to comment, please don’ t judge. Personal Training did not yet exist.
What did exist here in Canada was a gentleman by the name of David Patchell-Evans (or “Patch” as he is best known), who saw the need for the industry to grow, evolve, expand and connect and all of this in his mind was going to be created by concentrating on one fitness professional at a time. To achieve this Patch orchestrated the creation of a fitness conference and magazine for Canada called BODYLIFE in 1993, modelled after the most successful European conference by the same name. Patch, together with myself, and a guiding light by the name of Darin Dietrich from BODYLIFE Germany, ventured into the world of fitness conferences and the result is what we have today—can fit pro. There was one national fitness conference event along with a number of provincial fitness associations, already serving the fitness industry and while they had their strengths, we felt the need to approach the industry from a different perspective—to make fitness education affordable, accessible and applicable to the needs of what we saw as an evolving and maturing industry.
As we approach our 25th year we will be highlight the journey embarked upon in 1993. We hope that you will follow us down memory lane. It has been raucous to say the least. While we may have not always known what the heck we were doing, we always knew why we were doing it and over 25,000 canfitpro members have been impacted. That’s pretty cool.
Maureen ‘Mo’ Hagan
Vice President, Program Innovation & Fitness Development