IAFC – Celebrating 25 Years
Memories Are Getting More Vivid 2003-2007
By Angie Proctor (edited by Mark Grevelding)
In 2012, the aquatic world will gather together for the 25th time at the International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC). AEA E-News has been taking a walk down memory lane. In the July 2011 E News, we highlighted the first six years of IAFC – 1988-1993. The story continued in September 2011 as we featured the next four years – 1994-1997. The November 2011 E-News highlighted the years from 1998-2002. Here comes the next five years!
IAFC 2003 - June 3-7 Sanibel Harbor Resort & Spa
Angie’s 2003 Memories
What a year! The first day started out with a bang thanks to …
The Fire - one of our international delegates wanted to cook in her room and didn’t realize that a coffee maker was just that…a coffee maker and not a stove. Unfortunately, she pushed it beyond its limits and started a major fire in her room, a fire that took out a few rooms on her floor and below her as well. The entire hotel had to be cleared and fire trucks were everywhere. Thankfully, no one was hurt!
The Prank Gone Awry – involved Troy and I hiding a vehicle I had lent to Pat and Kim so they would think it was stolen. Well, they did and they freaked. Kim was so pissed at me.
The Pay Back – Pat and Kim snuck into our room and cleared out everything, clothes, toiletries, food and my computer…AEA’s lifeline. Let’s just say it was Angie’s turn to be really pissed and the whole conference heard my roar.
The Proposal - this was the year that Greg Keyes proposed to Evelyn Trompert after meeting her in an elevator at IAFC 2001. He proposed to her right before her first time presenting at IAFC.
The Dinky Deep Condo Pool – better known as the tiny little pool being used for deep water and alternative/abdominal classes had been recently resurfaced prior to IAFC. Well, let’s just say I’d never hire the pool company! Every time someone walked into the pool the bottom broke up. It was another classic IAFC moment.
The Kick Boxers - kickboxing was still really popular on land and in water in 2003. Ian Levia’s Butterflies & Bees had the pools going crazy! Mark Grevelding taught a session called Box & Boogie. (Note from Mark: Yes Angie, it was my first time presenting at IAFC and I got crucified on evaluations. I was shocked you invited me back in 2004.)
The Alternative Way - hitting the ground and running this year was aquatic alternative fitness formats. Ruth Sova, Donna Adler, MaryBeth Marotto, Lawrence Biscontini, Carol Argo and a few others really set the stage for these formats to surge in the years to come.
The Last Class – IAFC 2003 was the last year Len Kravitz taught his annual abdominal/core master class. This was always a major sell out and he was a legend because of these classes.
Note to self: NEVER EVER EVER have another conference in June!
2004 - May 18-22 Wyndham Orlando Resort Orlando, Florida
Angie’s 2004 Memories
This was a fun year once we got the pools squared away. There was so much change and so many things were happening.
Stress - two weeks prior to IAFC, the hotel said we could only have so many square feet in each pool. Well, it was another major nightmare for me. I went back and forth with lawyers and was driving back and forth to Orlando trying to resolve the issues. After finally getting everything resolved as best as we could, I was filling up my gas tank in Orlando on my return ride home and what stupid thing did I do? I put diesel fuel in my gas tank! Yes, I was stuck in Orlando, the SUV had to be towed and well it was just one of the worse days of my life. Thousands of dollars later, everything got ironed out. Moral of the story: don’t fill your gas tank when you are pissed off and don’t force the nozzle in if it doesn’t fit. Maybe this is when my major stress problems started!
Alternative Aquatics - was a major hit this year. I approved a session called Balance Training and I thought to myself… “BORING!”…but color me stupid because balance training is still a popular format eight years later. The presenter was Mary Wykle and it was the only time I ever saw someone balancing dishes on their head in the pool.
Bike Classes - were rocking the pools and more sports specific type aquatic applications were being introduced. Hydrorider was very popular and presenters, Giorgia and Roxana are still at it.
Japanese Presenters – were fantastic in this year, delivering flawless performances that were enjoyed by everyone.
Choreography - another “Oh Lord will this ever end?” in Angie’s book, was super strong in 2004. I just couldn’t believe all the crazy combos that Julie, Mark, Carol Halprin and others were doing. And many of them are still doing it!
Terri Mitchell - I think this was the year she started coming up with her very cute anatomical class names, such as Agony of de Feet.
International Flavor – 2004 featured “Country/Continent” classes and they were a hit. The Brazilians and Europeans went head to head but the Asians and the Caribbeans definitely gave them all a run for the money. All classes were a huge success.
Carnival - this was the start of the really fun Friday night themes and Ronda Brodsky rigged the contest so that she could win Carnival Queen. Len Kravitz was the King!
Note to self: Never again allow staff to use golf carts for getting around the property – this THANKS to Ronda Brodsky and Greg Peterson who “just had to borrow” one for a late night romp.
IAFC 2005 - May 17-21 Town & Country Resort San Diego, CA
Angie’s 2005 Memories
My, my my, what a fun year this was……NOT!
Hello Shoes – shoes became a MUST in all pool sessions! New rule and it was a fun one to enforce - not! AEA got a lot of grief on this one and we still do but, whatever, it’s your feet!
Hello Best Friend - I’m pretty sure that this was the year that started the IAFC BFF (best friends forever) relationship between Brad Cole and Stephanie Spangler.
Hello from San Francisco - I am not 100% sure, but this was definitely the beginning of an annual trek for that wonderfully supportive and beautiful couple, Luis and Pauline Vargas. Thank you for sharing your bright smiles and positive energy with all of us at IAFC.
Hello IAFC Research Innovations - we made room for the science geeks in the exhibit hall and June Lindle along with other AEA Research Committee members and community launched some great information for our starved professionals “wanting to know” more and more!
Hello Equipment – equipment was hugely popular this year, with all the classes using lots of equipment…making the pool staff oh so happy. Rubberized resistance, noodles, drag equipment and fantastic deep water training by Craig, Margie and others were the hit of this conference. This was also the year that the new Speedo uppers and lowers were debuted
Goodbye California - this was the last year for IAFC to be in California and before West Coast people start firing off emails to AEA corporate, please hold up! I have searched high and low and there is currently NOT an affordable location that can handle IAFC in Southern California or Arizona. I’ve been there three times in 2011 searching and there just isn’t a fit for us. But, stay tuned as there may be plans for a regional in Desert Hot Springs in November or December 2012.
Goodbye Angie …almost! - I turned 40 in 2005 and it has been just been ‘grand’ ever since. In February that year, during major planning stages of IAFC 2005, I was rushed to the hospital with chest pains. They discovered heart murmurs, angina and blocked arteries, but not enough to repair at the time. I had to stay in the hospital for a few days and I begged Julie to buy me a pack of cigarettes. This is NOT something Julie would EVER EVER do for Angie, but I begged really really hard. Venice Hospital tells me I’m the only person who ever snuck outside while hooked up to heart monitoring equipment for a cigarette. Wasn’t one of my prouder moments…but, whatever. Needless to say, I was told to quit smoking and get rid of the stress in my life.
Goodbye Angie…almost! PART II – off to San Diego for IAFC a few months later, still smoking and still not dealing with stress very well. On Wednesday morning I went down with chest pains and an ambulance was called. Angie and Julie disappeared for most of the day, with only a few suspecting something was up. And now I can confess that while waiting for the ambulance someone handed me a smoke. Lord, was I crazy? Okay, stop judging, we all have our secrets and vices, mine happened to be Marlboro Light 100’s in the box. No, this did not get me to quit smoking but it did at least scare two other well known presenters to quit smoking.
The party at IAFC 2005 was really fun, no major theme…but everyone was having a great time, even sourpuss Mark Grevelding sitting in a corner, distant from the dance floor chugging his beers. Mark became an AEA Trainer at IAFC 2005. It was the real start of a very wonderful new blossoming friendship between Angie and Mark…he loves me…
IAFC 2006 - April 25-29 Wyndham Orlando Resort Orlando, Florida
Angie’s 2006 Memories
Back to the Wyndham - since 2006, this has been home to IAFC, with the main reason being the pools are perfect for our needs. Plus, the convention services department has done an outstanding job of accommodating AEA throughout the years.
Cover Models - it just dawned on me that this was the year we discovered five extremely photogenic women. Here’s a special thank you to Pauline Vargas, Lisa Abbott, Cristina Bredariol, Tinoca Senra and Vanina Delfino, because we’ve used your photos a lot in the past six years.
More Beautiful Women – “Who’s the hot mom with the hot daughter”…was a question asked in 2006. And they are even more beautiful today than 6 years ago! For those of you that don’t know, it’s the wonderful dynamic duo of Lori and Renee Elwood! Renee, your membership has expired……
Dinner & Dance on Saturday Night - NOT! This was the stupidest and biggest scheduling mistake I ever made. Talk about a deflated bubble, at least the Mexican Dinner Buffet was a hit with everyone except my family. The Dinner & Dance will stay on Friday nights!
Pink Bathrobes – and please, let me once again “thank” the AEA Trainers for giving Angie and Julie pink bathrobes in front of 700 people - much appreciated! Umm…yeah… what were you thinking? Like fuzzy stuff was going to drop our stress level - nice try.
Pink Flamingos - they so made mine, Julie and Kim’s year - yes, I’m being sarcastic. However, now I can look back and smile at the fun our staff and crew had. Linda Scott and Peggy Harr could always get everyone going. Add Pat Fosella into the mix and lookout gang - it’s going to be a heck of a week!
Expanding Schedule - the IAFC Schedule was getting huge because there were so many good presenters emerging, along with long time favorites, we had to just keep adding and adding.
Popular Programming - alternative aquatic sessions were really popular and so was equipment use. Deep water training was really gaining ground again with major innovations from Steph Toogood, Craig Stuart, Tinoca Senra, Susanne Paynovich, Marti Boutin and more. Combat training took on a new meaning with Silvia and Ian rocking the waves with amazing talent and skill.
Current trends - Baby Boomer and obesity topics were being tackled, as were pool space issues. In 2006, AEA introduced day-long Tracks to the IAFC Schedule. The Special Populations and Alternative Aquatics Tracks were sold out.
I’ve Got What it Takes Competition - now please, don’t get me wrong, the participants did a good job but it was just the overall structure and expectations that failed to ignite. What we have planned for 2012 is way, way cooler!
Early Christmas - we shot the December/January AKWA Happy Holidays photo. Delegates and presenters had a ball posing with Santa hats on.
Halloween - everyone was cordial this year except the one wicked witch who just had to trash every presenter on her overall evaluation. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you cannot please everyone. Xoxo…if you are still around…..
Speaking of bad evaluations…I think this was also the year Julie See got a bad evaluation because her earrings were too big. Now isn’t that corrective criticism?
IAFC 2007 - May 15-19 Wyndham Orlando Resort Orlando, Florida
Angie’s 2007 Memories
The 20th - this was our 20th Anniversary year for IAFC and yeah we got through it!
Benched - Yeah! I wasn’t going to teach this year. I was so happy that the selection committee didn’t accept any of my classes for the schedule. It was truly a blessing! Little snots……
Gina Mericle - what can I say? “GINA! YOU are running the expo hall because I cannot deal with it!” Gina, normally an outside pool manager didn’t say a word and jumped right in with both feet to assist. She did a great job and was a hit with exhibitors, very polite and attentive without the Kim/Angie attitude.
Donna Blackmon - welcome back Donna. Yes, the Angie/Donna cat fights picked up right where they left off in 2002. Someone had to entertain exhibitors. Donna Blackmon started back at AEA part time this year.
Presenters - wow, what a group of presenters. Where did these new IAFC presenters come from? The two Russians, Tatiana and Katrina, invaded IAFC. Triple Delight made a huge debut and all I can say is Go Girls. This was truly a global community of presenters representing over 25 countries!
Sessions - this conference had something for everyone! There was kid’s fitness, fibromyalgia, martial arts, lots of core and much more. Who could forget Burdenko and his water walkers or Julie and her balls (Core Creations). How about Seth Snider Copley’s STOMP Class? Too bad she didn’t bring trash can lids into the pool!
Staff and crew - we were way over-staffed but that gave those that liked to nap, like Pat and James a chance to without burdening anyone. Trainers were put on the working schedules as well this year.
Friday Fun - this was the year that the DJ really raised the bar for the IAFC Friday night gatherings. DJ Scott Messina rocked the house with his music and skills and had people near dancing on the ceiling!
SIDEBAR: Kim Huff, AEA’s Vice President and Marketing Director was diagnosed in June 2006 with ovarian cancer. She fought hard but unfortunately was not well enough to travel to IAFC for the 20th celebration. However, even with her cancer, her chemo, her ups and downs and her will to never give up, she did in fact help me plan this entire event through everything. No, things weren’t perfect but she never gave up and was always willing to help whenever she could to make sure the conference was a success and “her exhibit hall” and “her people” were okay. It was an amazingly tough road to IAFC 2007 but Kim never once stopped helping to make sure we would maintain our level in the fitness industry with an amazing water fitness conference. To be honest, up until about 45 days prior to IAFC, we honestly thought Kim was through her toughest hurdles and was going to make the show. I even quit smoking as a promise to her! Kim lost her battle to cancer in July 2007.
SIDEBAR II: And, if you are wondering, the smoking cessation didn’t last that year. I made it 8 months and then had a family crisis in the fall of 2007 that threw me over the edge.
Stay tuned for the February AEA E-News where the story picks up – IAFC 2008-2011.