Legends of Fitness: A Good Read and a Great Cause

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If you're headed to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) trade show in San Francisco next week, stop by the exhibition hall's bookstore to pick up a copy of “Legends of Fitness,” written by Club Industry advisory board member and president of Club Industry Consulting (no relation to the magazine) Stephen Tharrett, along with co-authors Frank O'Rourke and James A. Peterson. In addition to being a great read, the royalties generated by the book's sales go to Augie's Quest, the Muscular Dystrophy Association's initiative to fund research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), which was named for industry icon Augie Nieto, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2005.

legends-of-fitness135.gifAs Nieto is regarded by so many people to be a living legend in the fitness industry, it makes sense that “Legends of Fitness” is not only dedicated to him, but it also features a chapter recognizing his contributions and achievements.

I spoke to Tharrett recently and asked him what he thought Nieto meant to the industry.

“Augie Nieto is a legend and icon in the fitness industry,” he said. “He paved the way for the modern era of the fitness industry and has inspired numerous industry professionals, both on a professional level and on a personal level.”

Tharrett says he is pleased that publishing “Legends of Fitness” gave him and his co-authors the opportunity not only to show their admiration for Nieto but also to generate contributions toward ALS research.

“Augie's efforts with Augie's Quest may be his greatest legacy of all,” Tharrett said. “We felt that by dedicating the book to Augie, we could share his vision and passion for the industry with everyone. And by contributing our royalties to Augie's Quest, we are in our own small way showing our commitment to his cause—one that will over time help thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people around the globe experience longer, healthier and happier lives.”

Life Fitness, the company Nieto co-founded, has sponsored the publication of 1,000 limited-edition copies of the book to be given to all registered attendees at the Augie's Quest fundraising dinner, the 6th Annual Bash for MDA's Augie's Quest. This year, the event will be hosted by Natalie Morales from NBC's “Today Show” and will feature entertainment from the band Sugar Ray. Although the dinner is scheduled to coincide with the IHRSA show and takes place at the nearby San Francisco Marriott, it is not included with IHRSA show registration, so if you'd like to attend be sure to pre-register online.

If you are not able to attend IHRSA 2011 or the Augie's Quest dinner, you can still contribute to the cause by buying a copy of the book online.

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