Vol 5 No 3
March, 2001
ISSN 1097-9743

The ASEPNewsletter is devoted to informative articles and news itmes 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 or respond directly online via the ASEP Public Forum.

April, 2001
A Matter of Importance

A Letter from the Editor

We Have Met The Enemy!
We may not want to admit it, but “we have met the enemy”.  By now, the limitations we are experiencing are directly a function of own fallibility.  Overall, we are less committed than we need to be.  The biggest challenge before ASEP members is managing the speed at which important initiatives need completion.  ASEP needs people who bring passion, energy, and expertise to the organization.  The partnership opportunities for all members are different than when we were in a different place.  Being intimately aware of the differences is invaluable in leading the transformation from a discipline to a profession.  We feel the best way to get where we want to be is to embrace our professional activities and thus reinvent ourselves.  And, of course, there is the crucial advantage of knowing we have each other and our online documents that highlight our achievements.  We are therefore in an enviable position by comparison to a just a few years ago.  Many observers believe that ASEP has made (and is continuing to make) a difference.  All we need to continue to do at the end of the day is to be sure we put our best foot forward for integrating all exercise physiologists into the public sector. 

Just Thinking...

  • Overcoming Resistance to Your ASEP Views
  • Overcoming the Fear in Starting a State Association
  • Computers and Cyberspace: Separating Facts from non-Facts
  • Critical Thinking: A Critical View by the Editor
    My impression after some time in this business is that we are turning out copycats.  The next PhD is almost an exact copy of the mentor.  This is evident by the lack of new ideas in the field.  There is also the problem that no one questions anything.  It isn’t that the professors don’t think well and fairmindedly.  They do!  The problem is that they are only fair-minded about their work and, yes, the work taught by their mentors.  What they don’t do so good is think well and fairmindedly about beliefs and research conclusions that are diametrically opposed to their own.  They are locked into yesterday without an understanding that potentially threatening viewpoints and beliefs are important to learning how to think.

    The point is that critical thinkers suspend judgment (1).  When is the last time you talked to an exercise physiologist who didn’t know everything.  Forget about humility, it is an unfortunate byproduct of the head-in-the-air teaching that is non-practical and seldom down-to earth.  Students are taught to think like the professor who seldom teaches students the skills to analyze accurately the problem at issue.  It is easier for the professor to teach students not to question and to accept the reality of the professor.  After all, the professor is the teacher.  Who else is prepared to analyze complex and ambiguous issues?  Most, including students, would say, “the teacher is the teacher”.  Who can argue or would want to argue with the teacher?  Anyway, it takes a certain amount of knowledge to take over the teacher! 

    Critical thinking is absolutely essential to professionalism.  If we don’t adapt our minds to thinking critically and straight, then we are predisposed to uncritical and crooked thinking.  The latter simply won’t work when the purpose of an education is to learn how to re-think systems and ideas.  Failing to learn how to think is a major problem.  When we fail to cultivate minds that understand the lack of permanence in research, we enable ideas if not put into motion individuals with the inclination to continue the notion of what was believed to be right versus what might actually be right.  Not knowing what is right insulates the person from the reality of what is right and, thus not knowing what is right sets the stage for fads and delusion.

    Do professors want to unwittingly master the past traditions or do they want to teach students how to think?  After careful reflection, I have concluded that professors are always focused to do their very best.  The question of course is, “Are professors dodging new ideas, equivocating over possibilities, or side-stepping the obvious?”  The answer is easy to come by, especially given the disciplined nature of the PhD tradition.  Who in their right mind would go against or question the well-meaning education at the doctorate level?  Today, few if anyone would stand up and say, “Hello, Dr. so-and-so, are you really sharing with your students the complete and unbiased version of the information under discussion?   No one is going to put the knife at his neck and ask such a question. 

    However, the issue is not whether a student will question the professor, but whether the professor will question him- or herself as a critical thinker.  Self-improvement begins with the professor, and without changes in teaching, students have little opportunity to articulate the hope of learning how to think.  It is also not just about the inability of professors to think straight, but whether they are willing to check up on themselves.  For example, are they willing to evaluate their thinking skills in accordance with certain intellectual standards, including but not limited to relevance, accuracy, and precision?  Are they willing to develop their thinking skills to help students improve their own thinking?

    1. Paul, R.W. (1993).  Critical Thinking. Santa Rosa, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. 

    Can You Believe ASEP’s Web Presence?  Some 333 million people had Web access last year!  That number is up 94% from 1999.  Internet access grew more quickly around the world than in the United States and Canada.  Hello world, it’s no secret the World Wide Web has opened the door around the world.  In just slightly more than three years, the access to ASEP views and online keyboard articles and a variety of organizational documents have grown much more than we might have realized.

    ASEP Certification Sites and Dates
    On Saturday, May 5, 2001 - the College of St. Scholastica, Department of Exercise Physiology in Duluth, MN will be an official site for the Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) exam.   Part I of the exam will start at 8:00 am, and Part II of the exam will start at 1:00 pm.  Please consult the EPC site for additional information.  For an application, click here.  The Board will hold a review of all complete files by April 1, 2001 for the May 5th EPC exam at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN and August 31st for the September 27nd EPC exam at the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.  Candidates will be notified in writing of the Boards' determination.

    Guidelines for the Accreditation of Undergraduate Programs in Exercise Physiology

    In response to an ASEP member who wrote in an asked "What is Electronic Publishing?" -- The following was written:

    Electronic Publishing: The National Office Perspective

    What is it?  Electronic publishing!  How does it compare with print-copy publications?  These are just three questions.  There are literally hundreds of unanswered questions about electronic publishing.  Some of the questions arise from the tension between authors, publishers, and copyright material.  Who owns the electronic manuscript?  Other questions have to do with concerns by professors.  They want to know if the electronic publications will help them get promotion and tenure. 

    There are answers to these questions, and all the questions yet to be asked will be answered.  The mystery of the electronic era isn’t any more complicated than the times spent decades ago working through the development of hard-copy journals.  After all, publishing is publishing and both forms require an author (or authors).  The only thing that is different is the medium.  What is the big deal?  Electronic publishing is not an experiment.  It is reality, and like all real jobs, it requires some work to see it through.   Perhaps, it would be of some interest to know a few of the steps to publish an article in the PEPonline journal.  The article is:

    1. Written and saved in Microsoft Word.
    2. Attached to an email sent to the National Office.
    3. Distributed to reviewers.
    4. Either accepted or rejected for publication
    5. Edited for dissemination on a web page.
    6. Posted in a new webformat.
    7. May also be posted in a pdf format.
    8. Linked to the PEPonline contact web page. 
    9. Archived for storage with the PEPonline database.
    10. Linked to the ASEP contact page, as a monthly item.
    The transition from paper to electronic publishing presents several challenges for ASEP, as the publisher, and the Editor of PEPonline.  The most significant challenge is the time involved creating the web page and linking the article to other online pages.  Pagination is only possible with conversion of the Microsoft Word document to the pdf format.  Is it worth it?  You bet.  Is it having an impact on the exercise physiology community?  We hope so.  It is one of the goals of the Board of Directors to publish articles for all exercise physiologists who need to make use of the information. 
    Response to an eMail at the ASEP National Office

    January issue: Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline

    An Exercise Physiologist's “Contemporary” Interpretations Of The “Ugly and Creaking Edifices” Of the VO2 max Concept

    Carbohydrate-Protein Drink Improves Time to Exhaustion after Recovery from Endurance Exercise

    Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline
    [The October issue is full of research articles.]

    The months for JEPonline are now Feb, May, August, Nov.  The next issue is 
    May 1.  There will be about 6-8 manuscripts in the issue.

    Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline

    Marketing Exercise Physiology is Every Exercise Physiologist's Responsibility!
    Online Journals
    Online Journals: Sports/Exercise
    Free Full-Text Online Journals
    HighWire Press: Free Online Full-Text Articles

    The ASEP Board of Directors is happy to annouce an "Agreement" between the American Society of Exercise Physiologists and Michaela Conley, President and founder of HPCAREER.NET, IIc.  This Agreement outlines the terms under which HPCAREER.NET will share revenues generated through jointly advertised career opportunities.  On-site conference services provided by HPCAREER. NET and collaborative marketing and promotional activities will incur no additional cost.  As of March 1, 2001 all ASEP advertisements will be handled by HPCAREER.NET, IIc.  The ASEP advertisement web page will be updated to reflect the change in policy, and to establish direct contact with HPCAREER.NET. Take a look at the FLIER.


    A Matter of Importance
    Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, FASEP, EPC
    Professor and Chair
    Director, Exercise Physiology Laboratories
    Department of Exercise Physiology
    College of St. Scholastica
    Duluth, MN

    A student stopped me in the laboratory and asked, “How do I write something about professionalism if I don’t get it?”  My first thought was that she was joking with me.  Then, I realized that she was serious.  It was all there in front of me.  An excellent student without a notion of what I’ve been writing about.  Talk about caught with your pants down! 

    Following a brief discussion, as if to put closure on the problem, we walked to class reflecting on the power of knowing or, if you will, the lack of power due to the lack of knowing.  I had failed to understand that the act of writing about professionalism isn’t enough.  I should have known this all along, but such is life. 

    It dawned on me just how much I needed to learn about writing and the power of words.  By a twist of events I now understand that I have little knowledge of what is important and, perhaps, convincing in published work.  As I look back I have more questions than answers.  Talk about stopping in your tracks.  Confused and suddenly filled with emotions, “How could this happen?” left me wondering if we strive too hard at times.

    I guess I had the impression that if you write the articles, they will read them (and, yes, understand them).  Talk about what horse I rode in on!  My wife, I think, knew all along.  She has asked me more than one occasion, “Tommy, are you the only one reading the articles?”  Generally, I smile and laugh a little and say, “Of course not Brenda, look, see the counter on the page.  What does it say?  Nearly a1000 hits on the PEPonline articles since October."  Not bad, right?  Now, I realize that even if there are hits (and possibly readers), still, remarkably, no one may understand the purpose of the articles. 

    Behind the things we think are obvious to the reader, there is another reality.  When finally realizing it, I remembered the awesome power in face-to-face conversations.  We didn’t have the computer back when, and feelings were associated with on-the-spot facial and physical expressions of a passionate speaker.  Talk about talking then and in getting an idea across to your audience.  Today, it is different.  On the one hand, the computer has opened the door of words to an international stage.  There are web sites with the power to cause a person to think, and yet the written word without a body is a bit like a language without words.  Even writing straight, that is, saying it like it is, and even writing with “passion” are but rough comparisons to the real thing. 

    Whether we like it or not, if we are going to close the gap between what is written and what we believe should be practiced, we need more physical reality, more body language, and more of each of us face-to-face, talking and sharing our ideas about professionalism.  It is not enough to live for the few moments that allow for the questions about exercise physiology certification, licensure, and accreditation and, yes, all the other generally non-discussed issues that relate to the professionalism of exercise physiology.  Clearly the coming together face-to-face is a matter of importance 

    Until then, and until we have workshops on professionalism, and for the moment anyway, I will continue writing an endless number of articles with the hope of speeding up the reflection process.  Once our eyes are open, the possibilities are inexhaustible.

    Response to an eMail at the ASEP National Office

    After reading several of the articles on PEPonline, a student from a well-known university wrote in and asked, “Why should I go to a college or a university to get an academic degree in exercise physiology?”  I wrote back suggesting that her answers to the following questions (1) might help her consider whether a college degree in a field is better than a concentration.

    Question 1:  What are the pros and cons of pursuing the academic degree in exercise physiology?
    Question 2:  Is this the right time for this decision?
    Question 3:  Are the risks of pursuing this goal worth the rewards?
    Question 4:  Is this an impulsive decision?
    Question 5:  How will I benefit from my time and investment?
    Question 6:  How will pursuing this goal affect my day-to-day living?
    Answer: The upside is the knowledge that students go to college to earn an academic degree in their chosen field of study.  Why should a career in exercise physiology be exempt from the same thinking?  The answer to this question might tell you something about the field.  Also, the sooner students knows about the differences in program offerings, the sooner the students can enroll in the right program so they will be able to sit for national certification as an exercise physiologist.  Should the student enroll in a sound-alike program that isn’t exercise physiology and will not allow the student to pursue exercise physiology certification and title, then the student will not be ready at graduation to access professional opportunities when they arise.  Therefore, thinking through the right decision should begin as early as possible. 

    One way to determine the differences among difference academic programs is to pull each department up on the Internet and compare the courses, faculty, hands-on experiences, and, for certain, the title of the academic degree.  In the end, after careful study and after graduation with the “right” academic degree, the student will have the certificate and recognition with which to earn both respect and a good living.  While in college, however, the student will very likely want to help other students in other colleges and universities come to the same understanding. 

    Think about this way:  “Even if a student could take all the physical therapy courses he/she wanted to in the Department of Kinesiology, could the student sit for the physical therapy licensure exam?  The obvious answer is NO!  The courses must be taught in an officially recognized Physical Therapy Department (which is recognized by the national physical therapy association), just as the exercise physiologist is educated in the Department of Exercise Physiology.  It really is that simple, although there exists a multitude of possibilities that distract from what should be. 

    “It’s time to listen to your instincts.  If your gut tells you it’s the right decision, then make a commitment to pursue your dream and give it everything you’re got.”  -- Don Gabor 

    1. Gabor D. (1998).  Big Things Happen When You Do the Little Things Right. New York, NY:  MJF Books. 

    -Letter From The Students of St.Scholastica-

    We Value Sharing Ideas

    As the editor pointed out, for 40 months, the ASEPNewsletter has been sharing ideas and issues, both in editorials and short articles, on the Internet for the world to understand our concerns, hopes, and dreams.  Now, as a student majoring in exercise physiology, we invite you to be an active participant in the ASEP venture to develop and extent the discussion of exercise physiology as an emerging profession.

    We are just a few among many students at the College of St. Scholastica who believe in the importance of ASEP.  All of us are members of the ASEP Student Chapter.  Our aim is to bring attention to exercise physiology.  Together, with the help of our professors, we can chart a new course for all graduates; one with increased job opportunities.

    We started the ASEP Student Chapter to reach out to new friends in exercise physiology.  The results have been excellent.  There has been some incredible sharing, mostly by email with other students.  Think about how you can help, and don’t be afraid to do so.  We need everyone involved to share “our” vision and to make the ASEP view of the new exercise physiology possible.

    As we continue to read the ASEPNewsletter, we look forward to increased participation by other exercise physiologists.  We are interested in what professors think about ASEP and the ideas of professionalism.  Whatever your thoughts may be, the editor will publish them.  We need your best thinking.  For all of you who understand our plea for ideas and editorials, thanks for helping us believe in the future.

    A Letter from the Editor

    Dear ASEPNewsletter Reader:

    Welcome to the month of March.  I’ve been anxiously waiting this moment and, now, the only electronic monthly newsletter written expressly for exercise physiologists has made yet another commitment to service our readers expect.  And at the same time, we are constantly making an effort to transcend the boundaries of traditional views to bring innovations that improve the way exercise physiologists work and live.

    As Editor of the ASEPNewsletter, I’ve reached out to a greater audience of possible contributions to further market exercise physiology and builder the infrastructure of the new exercise physiologist.  By “reaching out” I mean that I have mailed letters to several hundred ASEP members.  My strategy is to offer an expanded range of services by inviting ASEP members to submit ideas, articles, and points of view about “anything” of interest to our readers.

    We’re proud to cerebrate the beginning of this effort and announce that this months edition is its “40th” issue.  As the sole editor of these issues, I want you to know that I am interested in your thoughts and ideas.  I want to be helpful however possible in recognizing your importance to the profession.  The readers want to know what you do and the future of exercise physiology from your perspective.  The Internet has provided us increased leverage in committing ourselves to increased opportunities, but it also requires input from the readers.

    There is a lot of energy and excitement in exercise physiology.  Consider sharing both with others around the world in looking forward to a new exercise physiology and a new professional adventure for all of us.

    Tommy Boone
    Editor, ASEPNewsletter


    Just Thinking...
    Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH

    Overcoming Resistance to Your ASEP Views

    All of us have heard the statement, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t persuade all of the people all of the time.”  No exercise physiologist can convince every one of his/her beliefs.  Professors, counselors, doctors…they all stumble and fail to persuade, regardless of their passion.  Such is life.  There is probably nothing more difficult than trying to make sense of something.  ASEP is no exception, especially since it is the new kid on the block. 

    We are all fallible and, really, all we can do is give it our best.  Do not expect all of your professors or colleagues to agree with your views about what should be done to professionalize exercise physiology.  It’s not going to happen.  You will just end up frustrated.  Instead, celebrate the successes.  Be thankful of the positive conversation with a student in your class or with your professor.  It is okay to share your thinking and feelings.  Sharing is likely to be a better approach than the idea of “winning” is everything.

    Remember, most people don’t like to be convinced their thinking is wrong.  Their identity is linked to their own ideas.  Leave room for compromise and further discussion.  Don’t “talk down” to your friends.  Avoid overgeneralizations, labels, and showing resistance to an objection.  In short, focus on the other person’s feelings.  At the end of the day, you will feel good about your beliefs and having shared them with others.

    Overcoming the Fear in Starting a State Association

    Just when you think a month of emails with different individuals is about to turn into something big, it doesn’t happen.  The change of events goes something like this: First, the decision to start an ASEP state association of exercise physiologists is made between me and someone else. Second, several phone calls and a dozen emails later, the discussion is dropped, and you don’t hear from the well-meaning friends.  While there are all kinds of reasons for going through with the decision, doubt sets in and orders us to stop.  Remember the quote by Shakespeare, it equally true today:

    “Our doubts are our traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”  -- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    Our nameless fears can make us or break us.  Frequently, they stop us from doing by undermining our confidence and energy to try and to make a difference.  Our doubts are influenced by what others say, what we read or fail to read, and thus we find ourselves saying, “Could they be right?”  or  “What am I doing?”   So, in the end, what needs to be done doesn't get done. Personally, I handle my fears and doubts by repeating the statement:
     “Never overestimate the intelligence of others and never underestimate your intelligence.” 
    Repeating the statement during the critical moments has helped me to stay the course.  I have also substituted words into the statement and repeated the strategy many times to acknowledge and face my fears. 
    “Never overestimate the desire of others to do whatever is necessary to insure that I will fail and never underestimate my desire to win regardless of the negative comments and hard work.”
    We all have fears and doubts.  It is just that some of us persist regardless of the negativity.  But, when we fear that we are biting off too much, when we fear that our colleagues will not speak to us, when we fear losing everything, or when we fear looking ridiculous, we turn the other way. 

    On the other hand, what some of us fear the most is “not doing the right thing”.   Whether we like it or not, fear is part of everything.  So, how does a person check his/her fear at the door?  How does a person keep at what ought to be done even should every single person closest to him/her disagrees? 

    The answer is as simple as my high school coach use to say, “Tommy, you can either do it or not.  If you want to do it, then do it.  No one is holding you back but yourself.”  I learned years ago that overcoming fear is a personal thing.  Either a person jumps, when necessary to save his/her life, or doesn’t jump and suffers the consequences.  Overcoming fear can be the only logical decision to continue living, or otherwise life may not be worth living. 

    Call it whatever you will, but when people tell you “it’s a stupid idea” or “you will end up by yourself” – make the fear work for you.  Take a deep breath and, if you are doing the right thing for the right reason, then do it.  Just do it.  And, remember, even while you doing it, while you are demonstrating tenacity, and while you are clearly courageous in steps you have taken, remembers always Jack Lemmon’s line:

    “I work on fear.  I have not overcome a certain insecurity, and God help me, I hope I never lose it, or I’ll be lousy.”  -- Jack Lemmon 
    As important as it is for each of us to want the support of our colleagues, it may be necessary to embrace our fears of rejection, criticism, and failure and do what we believe we should do anyway.   In short, stand tall and act on your feelings.  Senator Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) said it this way: 
    “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.  Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” 
    A tiny ripple of hope is all that is necessary to do the impossible.  As an example that everyone has heard of in track and field, no one had broken the “four-minute mile” before Roger Bannister.  But, in 1954, at a meet in Oxford, England, on May 6th, he ran a mile in under four minutes (3:59.4 to be exact).  He did the impossible, and it opened the door of opportunity.  Six weeks later, John Landy of Australia ran a mile in 3:58.0 and, hence what was believed to be impossible was possible.

    Part of the courage to deal with rejection is to believe that you know you can do it.  Take a few seconds to picture it clearly in your mind.  Knowing yourself starts with an awareness of the PsychoCybernetics author, Dr. Maltz, understood as a “guidance system” within us.  Call it what you will, but if you believe you can start an ASEP state organization, then you can.  So, how about deciding on a specific time period to complete it, say one month or even two months, and then work with ASEP to get it done. 

    “It’s not the size of the army but the power within the army.”  -- Napoleon Bonaparte


    Computers and Cyberspace
    Separating Facts from non-Facts

    The world of exercise physiology is becoming increasingly interesting.  It is changing at a rate parallel with today’s technology.  The Internet has become the expert in fitness and health.  Young and old computer users are embracing the rapid rise in new players, new products, new perspectives, and continuously new online bits of stimulating information.  Students, parents, teachers, and athletics  search the Internt for advanced techniques to run faster, to jump higher, or to lose extra pounds.  Whatever is the issue, the Internet has taken the place of real experts breathing oxygen and pumping blood through their arteries. 

    With the ever-increasing use of computers and reliance on increasingly competitive perspectives and a growing complexity of information, the need for credible facts, opinions, and ideas is imperative.  Too few users are unable to separate facts from mindless contributions to the Internet.  The modern-day users, the students, look to the Internet for solutions to every conceivable class project.  The computer is therefore the new library.  The door is the keyboard, and the books are the websites.  They can drink and eat while clicking on new pages.  Food doesn’t have to be left at the door, and you can talk as loud as you like!  The new library is almost irresistible. 

    Eventually, of course, despite the easy and facilitated access to Internet information, there is the inevitable question: “Who is responsible for making sense of the information?”   One answer is that it all depends.  Where can we turn for an answer to this question?  Who would want to second-guess the computer cyber-library?  Obviously, the unquestioned academic attraction of the Internet has transformed how students think and study, and what they believe. 

    Copyright ©1997-2000 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved. 
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