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Each week, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden will bring you his most important topics of the moment in a short five-minute video as part of an ongoing series called “Take 5.”

IHRSA’s Take 5: Thanks & Gratitude

This week, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden not only shares updates on IHRSA and the industry, but also takes a moment to give thanks and share what he is grateful for.

2020 has been a tough year to say the least, as our lives have been upended in more ways than one. Although the world we live in today is much different than anyone could have possibly imagined a year ago, it is important to take a moment every once in a while to reflect on the things that we do have, and to remind ourselves of the things that we are thankful for.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent not only discusses IHRSA resources, new research, and updates on the fitness industry, but also takes a moment to give thanks and share what he is grateful for.

Watch the full video above, read the full transcript below, or jump to a section by topic:

  • 0:04 - Use IHRSA Resources to Show that Clubs are Safe
  • 1:01 - Fitness Industry Canada Study is Further Proof that Clubs are Not a Risk
  • 1:30 - Leverage Your Relationships to Keep Your Business Open
  • 2:29 - New European Tariffs Imposed on Exercise Equipment
  • 2:52 - Thanks & Gratitude

Full Transcript

Welcome to this week's IHRSA Take 5.

Use IHRSA Resources to Show that Clubs are Safe

It goes without saying it's been a pretty tough week for many of the U.S. clubs and suppliers, as well as all those around the world. There's been an increase in the number of shutdowns, further restrictions imposed, and even for those remaining open, trepidation about what might be looming ahead.

There's no clear path to ensure that clubs are deemed essential or allowed to remain open. Not just here in the U.S., but also in other countries, it's been extremely difficult to navigate the political landscape to achieve the outcomes all of us want so badly. Quite simply, what may work in one country or state or county may not work at all in the next. Providing supportive research proving that clubs are safe and vital should be a given. And there's plenty of resources available to you at IHRSA.org if you need them to plead your case.

Fitness Industry Canada Study is Further Proof that Clubs are Not a Risk

Yet another study just came out just this last week from the Fitness Industry Canada, and in their study, they found that across Canada, out of the 20+ million workouts since fitness facilities reopened in April, there's been a 0.001% rate of transmission of COVID from Fitness Industry [Canada] member clubs. Another great study that's showing clubs are just not at risk of transferring COVID.

Leverage Your Relationships to Keep Your Business Open

In addition to citing research, enlisting the support of your local medical community, and perhaps having some of your staff attain the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health contact tracing certification may also help, as may sharing the financial and community impact that shutdowns are having on your business and industry. [It’s] not just your members missing out on their clubs, but also the employees that have lost a job and the impact to the dollars that you're providing in your local area.

In the end, we're finding it often comes down to relationships, as so many things do in other areas of our lives. We encourage you to identify and leverage any relationships you may currently have or can cultivate with governors, elected officials, local health departments, civil servants, physicians, lobbyists, and any others that might influence the decisions being made related to business restrictions and closures. So there really is no one answer. We certainly wish there was.

New European Tariffs Imposed on Exercise Equipment

As if our industry hasn't suffered enough, many of the member suppliers based here in the U.S. learned earlier this week that the European Union has imposed sweeping tariffs on around $4 billion worth of American products. These European tariffs include a 25% tax on exercise equipment going into the European Union from the U.S.

Thanks & Gratitude

Now I'd like to change gears a little bit as we enter the holiday season and take a moment to remember the “why” of why we're here. The fitness industry has always been about helping individuals live happier and healthier lives, about helping people look better, move better, and feel better, not just physically, but also emotionally.

In the midst of disappointment for all of us, and for some even desperation, we have to remind ourselves that we have so much to be thankful for. So, from all of us here at IHRSA, we wanted to take a minute and share a few things that we're grateful for and hopefully bring a little perspective and happiness to your outlook.

  • First of all, our Board of Directors, who are working tirelessly really to support and guide our industry and the association, through these really difficult and trying times. They're putting in a lot of hours on your behalf.
  • Also to the industry leaders who selflessly volunteer their time and expertise to lend a hand as far as the mini headlight teams, again, working on your association's behalf.
  • The tremendous support and unmatched collaboration we're seeing and feeling actually from our member clubs, member suppliers and industry partners all around the world.
  • The reassurance that our collective life's work as part of this service industry is meaningful, purposeful, and worthy.
  • The grit that seems to be such a distinguishing characteristic of so many in our industry, including of course many of you that hopefully are watching this video today.
  • And finally the opportunity that we know is present right now for some that are still open, and for those that are closed, that lies ahead in the not too distant future, to once again be this third place; a source of comfort and community of support for members as they pursue well-being and a healthy lifestyle.

We hope you will help us spread a little positivity in the world. And we invite you to share something you're grateful for on social media and tag IHRSA, or simply just send us a short video if you prefer to do that.

In closing, despite all that has challenged us here in 2020, we hope you'll join us in choosing during the holiday season, with a sense of appreciation balanced with an attitude of resilience. Thank you again to Precor for sponsoring this message. For those of you in the U.S., have a great Thanksgiving with your families.

Thank you IHRSA Board of Directors:

Stephen Capezzone, Luke Carlson, Chris Craytor, Carrie Kepple, Frank Lawrence, Alan Leach, Monica Marques, Michele Melkerson-Granryd, Aaron Moore, Bryan O'Rourke, Chris Smith, Chris Stevenson, Jose Teixeira, Greta Wagner, Loni Wang, Brad Wilkins, Jim Worthington, Anastasia Yusina

Thank You IHRSA Headlight Team Members:

John Aglialoro, Frank Ancharski, Adrian Antigua, Annie Appel, Gigliola Aycardi, Kari Bedgood, Mike Benton, Rey Bolivar, Sue Boreskie, Dan Burns, Steve Capezzone, Luke Carlson, Rick Caro, Cesar Carvalho, Chris Clawson, Larry Conner, Chris Craytor, Art Curtis, Bill Davis, Tony de Leede, Greg Dowd, Mike Downing, Sandra Dunne, Ed Eickhoff, Allison Flatley, Simon Flint, Brent Gallagher, Scott Gillespie, Henrik Gockel, Ori Gorfine, McCall Gosselin, Colin Grant, Priscilla Hagstrom, David Hardy, Mark Harrington, Sr., Morten Hellevang, Anna Henwood, Tiffany Hoeye, Hilde Holck, Doug Johns, Kevin Jost, Randy Karr, Carrie Kepple, Harry Konstantinou, Sara Kooperman, Gale Landers, Frank Lawrence, Alan Leach, Erik Lindseth, Walter MacDonald, Monica Marques, Bill McBride, Jake McCabe, Blair McHaney, Kevin McHugh, Scott McIester, Michele Melkerson-Granryd, Ty Menzies, Linda Mitchell, Aaron Moore, Brian Morris, Justin Musgrove, Carol Nalevanko, Jon Nasta, Al Noshirvani, Bryan O'Rourke, Mike Olander, Greg Oliver, Kent Orrgren, Bonnie Patrick-Mattalian, Karen Raisch, Ken Reinig, Matt Remick, Johanna Riihijarvi, Petra Robinson, Toshikazu Saito, Jeff Sanders, Tsuyoshi Sasaki, Steve Schwartz, Martin Sieibold, Vidmantas Siugzdinis, Laurie Smith, Robert Stedman, Rodney Steven, Chris Stevenson, Ross Stewart, Justin Tamsett, Sean Tan, Jose Teixeira, Steve Tharrett, Leila Timergaleeva, Eddie Tock, Dan Toigo, Jeff VanDixhorn, Nelson Vargas, Chad Waetzig, Barry Walsh, Alastair Watson, Scott Wildeman, Brad Wilkins, Emmett Williams, Mark Williamson, Anastasia Yusina, Marco Zambianchi

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Katie Willis

Katie Willis is the Senior Marketing Operations Manager at IHRSA, where she helps to create and execute marketing campaigns to grow IHRSA and its events. When she isn't working, you can find her spending time with her family, at a barre class, or keeping up with her favorite Bravo TV shows.