Article About Hope, Dreams, and Faith
Physiology, Dreams, and Mustard Seeds -- A Personal 2004 Reflection
Licensure Effort - 2004
A Legislative Proposal Presented by
the Minnesota Association of Exercise Physiologists and the National Board
of Licensure for Exercise Physiologists:
Matt Wattles, Chair, Idaho
Tommy Boone, Minnesota
Clinton Brawner, Michigan
Jeffrey Janot, South Dakota
Steve Jungbauer, Indiana
Matt Lehn, Indiana
Ron Mendell, Ohio
Rob Robergs, New Mexico
Aliisa Seppala, Nebraska
Jason Young, Wisconsin
Vol 7 No 1 January 2004 -
is Possible: Ask the ASEP President – Steve Jungbauer
A collection of "articles" for
exercise physiologists can found in the January 2004 PEPonline
“If you refuse to accept anything less than a credible professional
organization of exercise physiologists, you can expect to get it.”
-- William T. Boone
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Steve Jungbauer, ASEP President...
Over the past several decades,
the unregulated use of the Exercise Physiologist’s Scope
of Practice has encouraged the proliferation of worthless credentialing
for economic gain. These credentials, most without academic preparation,
place the public at great risk when seeking fitness advice and exercise
training from ill prepared “exercise specialists and fitness professionals”
who hold themselves out to be Exercise Physiologists. The Minnesota
Association of Exercise Physiologists supported by the American
Society of Exercise Physiologists is committed to quality improvements
in the practice of Exercise Physiology.
Exercise Physiologists should be licensed because it regulates what services
the professional provides and the standard of treatment the public will
receive from the professional. To meet this end, practicing Exercise Physiologists
across the country have cooperated and diligently worked to prepare for
regulation through licensure.
The scope of practice of the Exercise Physiology is distinguishable
from other licensed and unlicensed professions and requires a high degree
of skill, knowledge, and training. The Exercise Physiologist practices
independently and is required to demonstrate sound professional judge and
responsibility. The public requires assurances through regulation and licensure
of initial professional skills and continuing competence of the exercise
The rise in injury and litigation demonstrates that the unregulated
practice of Exercise Physiology will harm or endanger the health, safety,
and welfare of the public. The economic impact of regulating Exercise Physiologists
through licensure is justified because the cost to the public is very low
and there are no adequate alternatives to regulation that will protect
Regulation through licensure would serve as the single most substantial
step to protect public safety in a multi-billion dollar industry plagued
by a rapid increase in litigation. Legislation mandating regulation through
professional licensure of the Exercise Physiologist will provide for the
safety of the public.
Exercise Physiology, Dreams, and Mustard
Seeds -- A Personal 2004 Reflection
Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, MA, FASEP, EPC
Professor and Chair
Director, Exercise Physiology Laboratories
The College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN 55811
“…if you have faith the
size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here
to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
– Matthew 17:20
Okay, what does this verse from the Bible
have to do with the American Society of Exercise Physiologists? I
think that it has everything to do with our professional society, our professionalism,
and our future. Almost everyday I’m asked, “Why isn’t ASEP a larger
organization?” Or, “Why aren’t more professors supporting ASEP?”
Not wanting to offend anyone, I usually respond with a brief answer:
“The size of ASEP is directly related to how long it has been in existence.
If you believe it should be as big as an organization that has been around
for 50 years, then check back in 50 years! Regarding the second question,
it takes time for people, including professors, to support new ideas and
believe that change is possible.” And, almost without thinking, I
close the email with: “Have faith. Believe in your dreams. In time,
ASEP will be everything you think it should be. Nothing is impossible
if you have faith and give your very best effort.”
In other words, I believe that our destiny
as healthcare professionals is defined by our dreams. It all starts
with our thinking as exercise physiology professionals. And, unless
we assume our right to independence under our own professional vision and
goals, we will remain defined by our past. The idea of continuing
as we have done for decades is meaningless. The purpose of exercise
physiology, what it has to offer to the public, and what it is yet to become
is far greater than its relationship with sports medicine. Hence,
if you want to know something about exercise physiology, its meaning and
purpose in society, you must begin with ASEP. Even if you are struggling
with which organization should I belong, why not join the collective struggle
of others who have found their purpose in ASEP. ASEP offers hope,
imagination, and purpose for all exercise physiologists; it was created
by exercise physiologists for exercise physiologists.
William J. Bryan said, “Destiny is not
a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited
for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Sometimes when I think about
ASEP, I feel the members’ frustration is linked to their “matter of chance”
way of thinking. Instead, the search for our identity, as healthcare
professionals, begins as a “matter of choice”. What do we want to
become? What are our goals and objectives? What are our dreams?
Here, the choosing what we want for our future is revealed in focusing
on all exercise physiologists. Focusing just on those who are in
the position to write grants, engage in research, and attend professional
meetings paid for by non-personal sources will never reveal our life’s
Every other path has led to a dead end
road. Physical education is not exercise physiology. Exercise
science is not exercise physiology. Sports medicine is not exercise
physiology. We must begin with ourselves, who we are, and why we
exist if a professional life is to make sense. It is only within
ourselves that we will discover our meaning, our purpose, and our value
within the healthcare community. We must dream the impossible, put
our minds to it, and knock on every door possible to make the dream the
ASEP reality for all exercise physiologists. That’s why I’ve written
this article. I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of our dreams.
“Jesus could have said, if you
have a dream the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible
for you.” -- Reverend Ralph W. Beiting 
ASEP has come a long way since it’s founding
in 1997. It still has a long way to go before the leadership can
say that every exercise physiologist has the opportunity to reach his or
her full God-given potential and look at the world at graduation with promise.
My dream is that ASEP will continue to provide the dreams that break down
despair. That ASEP will continue to provide the hope that gives life
to energy and determination and will, therefore, foster the development
of a whole new force for “choice and growth”. The possibilities for
this dream are limited only by our faith. Nothing is impossible if
we dream, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed. Why not develop
the habit of writing down exactly what you want exercise physiology to
be? This step should be personal (involving you), practical (something
you can do), and professional (with a deadline to get involved with ASEP).
Every application will involve either your relationship with exercise physiology,
your relationship to other exercise physiologists, or your personal dream
for serving the healthcare needs of the public.
What is the driving force in your life?
That is, what guides or controls your thinking about exercise physiology?
Right now you may be control by memories of what exercise physiology was
a decade ago. I’m convinced that hanging on to those memories will
keep you from connecting with ASEP. Without ASEP and a purpose for
exercise physiology, your research efforts will grow tiresome. There
is the possibility that ASEP member, in his or her zeal to capture your
may have offended you. If so, the past is past! Perhaps, it
is fear that is holding you back from joining ASEP. Maybe, a colleague
has said that membership in ASEP will not be looked upon favorably during
the promotion or tenure process. I believe this describes some of
the fear that continues to hold some academic exercise physiologists back.
If so, status quo is not the answer? Fear-driven thinking is always
a guide to missed opportunities .
We are not just products of our directed
thinking, but are products of missed directed thinking. By this I
mean that some sports medicine exercise physiologists are defined by their
missed directed desire to fulfill their goals or seek approval outside
of their own professional organization. They believe that they will
be happier and more secure in some other organization than in the society
of exercise physiologists. This kind of thinking can’t be true.
Eventually, even if they rise to the top with Fellowship and a host of
rewards, they will learn that professionalism in another organization is
not the same professionalism within exercise physiology. It is a
myth that being congratulated for a job well done by physical therapists
or medical doctors is not the same as support and recognition from within
your own organization. It just isn’t the same, regardless of its
assumed value and, unfortunately, some usually get lost in thinking otherwise.
If you are subject to feeling confused
about which organization to join, if you have had feelings of hopelessness
in finding a job and respect in exercise physiology, and if you want a
purpose and a foundation on which to evolve as a professional healthcare
practitioner, then you can find trust within ASEP. Don’t live
your life carelessly by joining just any organization. Make sure
you understand what the organization is about, particularly the degree
to which it is focused to carry out its vision. Think about what
it means to focus your energy on just exercise physiology or to concentrate
on all your energy on just one organization. You can’t do everything.
You can’t be everything to everybody. Such an effort only dilutes
your impact and influence. Forget what exercise physiology was and
look forward to what exercise physiology is becoming!
With purpose comes passion. Being
part of ASEP can then become a true joy since you become part of the total
force for change. What you do today and what we do collectively as
members of ASEP will help make the Society of Exercise Physiologist last
forever. What on earth could be more exciting? Only after you
completely comprehend that your contribution helps the circumstances of
other exercise physiologists does it become clear that postponing membership
only slows the steps for professional changes and new career opportunities.
You could indulge yourself in further self-centeredness, but why?
Every act of our lives can have purpose that we know nothing about if we
choose to stay the same. Yet, if we were to begin with a new step,
break from traditional thinking, and stop the shallow thinking that we
aren’t special, we could see beyond today, next year, or ten years from
now. Measure what is possible against staying the same raises the
question, “Why would anyone want to keep looking backwards?”
I suppose the answer is found in how you
choose to define your life. If you think exercise physiology as jumping
higher, running faster, and getting stronger, then you would probably belong
to some kind of a strength development or activity organization.
If you see exercise physiology as personal training, you will value an
organization of personal trainers. If you see exercise physiology
as a healthcare profession, you will value ASEP. What is your view
of exercise physiology? I suppose that is the question before the
21st century exercise physiologist. If so, have you considered what
influences have shaped your thinking? Are the influences correct
or appropriate to realize your personal goals? Answers to this question
would likely help you to find the right path and foundation for a focused
professional life. Think about it. Even the smallest incident
as a student or, perhaps, during the first months of a job after graduation,
or even years later, something made a significant impact on you.
What was it?
What can you learn from your past experiences?
It seems to me that past experiences are important, and that we are stewards
of whatever profession we find ourselves. This concept of stewardship
begins with the recognition that each of us is responsible for his or her
part. This is true regardless of the challenges, failures, and accomplishments
that associate with living life. What is obvious is that success
beings with trying. Failing to try is already a failure .
All coaches, parents, and teachers understand this point all too well.
So, why is it so difficult for the professors of exercise physiology to
understand this particular point? It seems to me that by refusing
to face up to the risks of staying the same, the professors have already
failed their students and the profession. The central concern here
is that change requires risks, and that is problem for some people.
Now is the time to come together and acknowledge
that the exercise physiologist is an important member of the healthcare
community . Now is the time to “get involved”. Why not wake
up to a new day with, “I am doing it today” or the imperative “Do it today.”
Rather than waiting or hearing all kinds of excuses or reasons not to change
or not to dream of something different, look for ways to embrace change
and to ensure that change is the ASEP reality. Imagine the power
in this kind of thinking. You can do it. Set goals, and you
will move towards the ASEP dream and the kind of thinking that is deliberately
aligned with behaviors of other professionals. Remember, if you have
faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to others, “Move from where
you are to ASEP” and it will be so. Nothing is impossible.
This, I believe, is true for exercise physiology. We can reach our
dream, and we can go even further, defying our past and soaring well beyond
what we previously considered possible. The reward is finding out
who we are and what we collectively believe. Bon voyage.
1. Beiting R.W. (1992). Dreams of
Faith. Lancaster, KY: Christian Appalachian Project.
2. Warren, R. (2002). The Purpose Driven
Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
3. Christian, K.W. (2002). Your Own Worst
Enemy. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
4. Boone, T. (2001). Professional Development
of Exercise Physiology. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.