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ACE-certified Success Stories

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, NSCA-CPT
ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Health Improvement Program
Palo Alto, California

2nd Runner-up, 2005 ACE Group Fitness Instructor of the Year

My professional career began as an attorney. I've always been a hard worker, graduating from Stanford University with Honors, receiving my Master's Degree from Harvard, and earning my law degree from Georgetown University. Practicing on Wall Street, my work weeks were stressful, lasting 100 hours or more. My health suffered from bouts of walking pneumonia and severe asthma. The eventual diagnosis was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I was sick for over one year. Half of my hair fell out. I spent weeks in bed and traveled back and forth from the hospital. My health and life needed rebuilding. Like someone new to exercise, I restored my health, one step and one day at a time, through walking, strength training, meditation, nutrition and bodywork. I progressed slowly. Each time I overdid it, I relapsed into sickness.

Through these trials, I learned patience, compassion, and most of all, respect for the needs of my body and spirit. My illness showed me the powerful connection between lifestyle choices and well-being. During this personal crisis, I searched my soul to find my true calling.

I realized that my experience could help others and I dedicated my life to learning and teaching people about the power of wellness. Showing people how to create health through fitness gave me meaning and supported my newly found appreciation for health as a life priority. This passion fueled my new career in fitness and wellness. My journey as a professional fitness leader had begun. I became ACE Certified in 1990, earned numerous certifications and eventually became a continuing education provider.

I worked with ACE and IDEA to learn everything I could about our fitness industry and to contribute what I could. I've always loved writing and journalism. I studied at journalism school and did graduate course work in the Health Psychology Education Program at Stanford. I then began working at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

In addition to teaching and training, I began writing magazine articles for fitness trade publications for which I won awards and was honored as Fitness Author of the Year by the Australian Fitness Network. I co-authored YMCA Water Fitness for Health (Human Kinetics) and wrote The Everything® Weight Training Book, The Everything® Low Cholesterol Book (both Adams Media), The Pilates Deck, The Strength & Toning Deck, The Walking Deck, Pilates Fusion: Well-Being for Body, Mind, and Spirit, and Office Fitness (all Chronicle Books), and Pilates Mat Training: A Guide for Fitness Professionals (ACE).

I keep following my dream of spreading the word of the power of fitness. My books are sold worldwide and some have been translated into French and German. I'm dedicated to presenting proactive programs that make fitness an achievable reality for every body. The goals are: healthy bodies in all shapes and sizes; and, people living longer, happier, more productive lives as the result of self-empowerment. My mission is to empower people of all shapes, sizes, and levels of ability to reach for their personal best and to live fully in body, mind, and spirit.

I spread my all-inclusive message of fitness for health worldwide through public speaking, presenting at resorts and wellness retreats, appearing on radio and TV, and educating the public and fitness professionals. I teach several classes per week and provide personal training. Helping people, especially those who need it most, transform their lives through fitness motivates me. No greater professional joy exists for me than using my talents to empower people to improve their lives and the health of the planet. I intend to keep going as long as I have breath in my body and energy to move.

INSPIRE,MOTIVATE,EDUCATE...become ACE-certifed today!