Distinguished Service and a Guitar Riff

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Yesterday morning's all-conference gathering began with a few awards and a not-so-award-worthy performance. (Although it was fun to see the IHRSA board loosen up.)

The morning started with the John McCarthy Industry Visionary of the Year Awards, which were presented to Lloyd and Roberta Gainsboro, co-owners of Dedham Health and Athletic Complex in Dedham, MA, and Phil Wendel, owner of Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs Fitness and Wellness Centers in Virginia and co-owner of Maryland Athletic Clubs. The awards honor club operators who have made an unprecedented or unique contribution to the advancement of the club industry as a whole. The three winners have been working to bridge the gap between the fitness industry and the medical community. The Gainsboros have created partnerships with medical providers, putting it at the forefront of a national movement toward combining health, fitness and medical services, according to IHRSA.

Wendel helped develop medical fitness and wellness programs that address the needs of people with chronic diseases. His company's General Physician Referred Exercise Program allows any patients with a physician referral to enroll for 60 days for $60 in a personalized exercise program based on the physician's recommendations.

After handing out these awards, Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO, took up a challenge made by the IHRSA board to write and play a song about exercise, “IHRSA's Working Out.” For better or for worse (depending on how much you enjoy seeing a bunch of rhythmically challenged people dancing), Moore called the whole board on stage to dance and join in as he played the song on an electric guitar while a video of people singing the song played in the background. I have to say that Moore seemed to know what he was doing with the guitar. However, other than Lynne Brick, co-founder of Brick Bodies (who took off her jacket and got into the song), it didn't seem that many of the other board members could say the same, but it was fun to see them try. They did get the crowd up on their feet, clapping along, as you can see in the somewhat shaky video from IHRSA.

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