|Copyright ©1997-2002 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved.|
Vol 6 No 7 July 2002
Board of Directors
Code of Ethics
Conditions of Service
Conflict of Interest
Goals and Objectives
Job Search Strategies
What is ASEP?
is devoted to informative articles and news items about exercise physiology.
It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals,
and events that shape exercise physiology. We welcome interested
practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail the Publisher their
thoughts and ideas.
In this issue...
Its a Game,
Three more national meetings have rapidly come and gone and the first meeting is now significant for the entire field of exercise physiology. In fact, in a few quick years, many ideas presented during the Duluth meeting are gradually becoming true. To date, three university academic programs have been accredited by ASEP, and the Board Certified exercise physiologist exam has been given several times at varying sites. Although this may not sound like a great deal of advancement, those involved know how much inertia has been overcome to transpose those initial ideas into reality. ASEP and its vision have progressed from the conceptual to the concrete, but with this establishment in reality has come responsibility.
It reminds me of a television commercial where the creators of a young online business are shown huddled around a computer while their product goes up for sale for the first time on the Internet. When the company sells its first product, the entrepreneurs applaud and celebrate with glee. But within several seconds, countless orders to purchase the product begin to appear on the monitor. The commercial ends with the members of the group staring at the computer screen with their jaws dropped, realizing what they had gotten themselves into. They were no longer just following a dream but were now also providing a service.
ASEP is no longer an organization hoping to implement its theoretical foundation. It is now responsible to those individuals and institutions that have placed faith in its services. ASEP is no longer just offering an exam, but now must monitor continuing education credits, future test sites, and train new test administrators. In regards to accreditation, individuals must travel to evaluate programs and monitor if the recommended changes have been completed to maintain accredited status? Many new tasks have and are soon to surface that will require a different type of commitment from the members of ASEP.
The Lost ASEP Document
No one wants to send the “Sorry gang, we didn’t do anything this month” letter to the members of ASEP. To avoid this, chairs of committees would hopefully begin to actively appoint responsibility to its members. For example, the chair of the Board of Accreditation could ask three of its members to find a school that could be lobbied to pursue the Accreditation process. Members of the Licensure committee could be asked to find three states that could be assisted in forming a state organization by identifying key exercise physiologists in those states. As tasks, such as these examples, are completed the information can be included in the next update letter.
Finally, how do we make this all happen? In a dream world, each chair would diligently write an update letter every sixty days telling the members of the list-serve what had been accomplished. We all know things rarely work out this way. Also, no one wants to be the “bad guy” by pushing others to complete tasks. This is where the President and the Board of Directors must step forward to make sure the objectives of a committee are being met and that the members of ASEP are informed of it. This requires that those individuals be firm and specific about their requirements and understand that the assertiveness is for the good of the organization.
Its a Game, Right?
Professor and Chair
Department of Exercise Physiology
The College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN 55811
SEVERAL DAYS AGO a colleague said “Well, its all a game.” He was referring to our conversation about professional organizations. What is it about different professions that get under the skin of people? You could say it is the arrogance of the organization itself. But, of course, organizations don’t exist. They don’t have emotions or even rights. People do have emotions and rights. Organizations are made up of people and, therefore, organizations can be said to have emotions and rights. It is just a matter of interpretation by allowing your mind to move a step ahead of rational thought.
It is only natural for people to want to think right. We work at it. We practice it, and appreciate the value in critical thinking . At times, though, we get caught up in someone’s intentions to think differently or to act differently. It is these times that create confusion and disorder. It is also a time when power becomes the trigger that controls who master’s what and when. Power controls, guides, and even deceives. It is a strategy with intentions and actions that is said to define the game. Power is also an art, especially in knowing what to do and not to do . Some challenges require a frontal attack and others required a less obvious approach. The value of knowing which one to use at the right time is playing the game with power.
Organizations are complex and immensely important. Any one person who tries to accomplish what an organization can do is making a big mistake. That person will learn the meaning of the game and its power. Seldom ever can a single person outshine the masterful integration demonstrated by the members of an organization. Entire books have been written on this point. The key to the game is in understanding the power of an organization. It can be an untapped gold mine of potential to change how people think. It isn’t always. Part of the reason for its unpredictability lies in the commitment of its members. The key to the power lies in the hearts of the members.
Okay, so what does this have to do with the professionalization of exercise physiology? Although it can be said that creating a profession is like a game, the truth about games and emerging professions is that both get interesting when they attract attention. Just as it is a common mistake for one person to go against an organization, it is equally foolish to entertain building a legitimate profession without opening people’s eyes. It is in the work of not allowing others to ignore the members of the organization. This is exactly why I write everyday and play the game, apart from other responsibilities in the ASEP organization. No one can completely ignore the work of the ASEP members as long as I’m writing on their behalf. This point I’m making is not about me, however. No, it is about mystery of hard working members; the difficulty in explaining or grasping why they do. No one, not even my wife, understands the passion and motivation behind ASEP as do those who live it.
If you find yourself thinking about joining the Society, I understand how it may have cornered your feelings. I understand your desire to do the right things, even unsettling things to both yourself and your friends, to help with the emerging profession. I understand that it is not about greed or attention, but rather your concern for exercise physiology. There are times when it is right to do something; working for others is especially a good feeling. The only thing I can say to you personally is to act on behalf of your emotions. Your friends will come to understand eventually. In the long run, the ability to move yourself and to help others is an issue of character far more important than any link to the past.
All of us have only so much to give, and there is a time and place when it comes together. Once the feeling is understood, step up to the plate and let others know of the reason that drives you to exhaust yourself. The point of “having a purpose” is to live it. Demand it of yourself and do the repair that is necessary along with your own change of thinking. The most powerful persuasion lies with the power of your words backed by your unbroken loyalty to the emerging profession. At times, you may feel helpless, if not, actually a sense of drowning in your own passion. But, you are among others who have witnessed the promise of a new exercise physiology. There is only one thing you can do: Stand tall, keep your ground, be yourself, and reach out to the members of ASEP.
Do not give in just because your association with a non-member thinks another way is the only way. Ignore this feeling and work to teach yourself about nothing less than absolute equal opportunity, financial stability, and respect that other healthcare practitioners have enjoyed for years. Be the person who creates change in your work environment. Do not just sit back and take it. You do not have to swallow your pride. It is a game, but it is more. It is all about the “game” and the power that other organizations can and do exert to influence others. The best you can do is, at least, be aware of the power position from those who don’t want you to do what you think is right.
Do not think that you are without support. Anyone in the ASEP organization is willing to create a friendship with you. Any ASEP member can be but not always wrapped up in the Society as you may wish to be. This feeling of wanting to serve is critical to the purpose and success of exercise physiology. It is also the essence of professionalism and giving back to those who got us to where we are today. Their application of exercise physiology concepts and ideas set the stage for a new way to think about the work of exercise physiologists. So, if you need to turn to an ally for help or for comfort, do not hesitate, regardless of whatever it might be. Even should you run upon a strong personality with the reputation of something different from the ASEP perspective, hold your ground. Don’t turn back. Don’t stop moving towards the ASEP vision :
To be recognized as the leading professional organization of American scholars and practitioners in the study and application of exercise physiology to fitness, health promotion, rehabilitation, and sports training.
The Society is dedicated to unifying all exercise physiologists in the United States and worldwide to promote and support the study, practice, teaching, research, and development of the exercise physiology profession.
Through proactive and creative leadership, the Society empowers its members to serve the public good by making an academically sound difference in the application of exercise physiology concepts and insights.
Remember: It is a game, but a very
important game. Your actions and all the work and practice that go
into the game should be in accordance with the ASEP vision. To be
recognized as “the” professional organization of exercise physiologists
is something to be proud of. To help avoid the loss of exercise physiologists
to other professions, your work is part of the total effort to “unify”
all exercise physiologists. Your work and your tricks of the trade
are extremely important. Work to find the thumbscrew you can use
to get others to commit to the game. In this sense, it is true, as
in all games, there is the need to find the weakness in others. The
way you go about it determines the correctness of doing so. It is
up to you be a nice person in asking for their assistance in a dignified
way, but understand this:
In my own position as Chair, I plan to reduce the credits for a spring course from 3 to 2 and add a 2-credit “professional development in exercise physiology” course. Without the course, it is virtually impossible for the students to appreciate the broader intellectual components of professionalism and professional development. In other words, I’m acknowledging that the students’ course work must be upgraded to require the study of professional development, knowledge, methods, and skills in addition to the exercise physiology and/or stress testing/ECG courses. The game dictates a new reflection on what the curriculum ought to be in the 21st century.
On one level, the members of the
ASEP organization knew this was coming. On another level, they have
been appreciative of the work that has already been done. It is time
to start thinking like other professionals, and much of this new way to
view exercise physiology can take place through the eyes and minds of others.
They, too, understand the “game”. For more information about professionalism,
refer to the following articles on the Internet:
The Path of Professionalism
Toward a Normative Definition of Medical Professionalism
Exercise Physiology Professionalism
What is the Definition of a Profession
of Directors Meeting
1. Introduction of New Members of the Board of Directors
b. Increasing membership/interest
c. Increasing member involvement
d. Increasing student chapters
e. New state associations
b. Membership process at the ASEP National Office
c. Secretarial help
6. National Meeting Update
b. Suggestions for speakers
c. Finalize presentation submission deadline
b. Application under review
c. Suggested changes to the original document
b. Locations for 2002-2003 exams
c. Suggested changes to the original document
b. Indexing status
c. Publications (number/type/where)
d. Suggested changes
e. Associate editors/editors: who are they?
11. Licensure Update
b. Moving forward
c. Licensure bill: discussion/work with Steve J.
b. Student Development Research Grants
14. International Affair Report
b. Federation of Sports Science and Exercise Physiology (FSSEP)
16. Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
17. Organizational Structure and Responsibilities
18. Other Business
c. EPC grandfathering procedures
d. ASEP bylaws and constitution
e. ASEP job postings