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ACE-certified Success Stories

Suzanne Nottingham
ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor
Double Eagle Resort & Spa
June Lake, California

It was 1978 and I was 30 pounds overweight. As a straight A student in college, my idea of a workout was a bag of Cheetos and a text book. My roommate used to jump around our dorm room to this funky cassette tape that had verbal instructions set to music. This was my first introduction to choreographed exercise.

Before long I was jumping around with her. Toward the end of college, walking became my typical activity. I did start to lose weight, but still ate Cheetos. After graduating college in 1980, I moved to Mammoth Lakes where I still currently reside. Immediately I found the local aerobics class and started attending.

Within a year, the director of the program Body by Design...I still remember that...asked me if I'd like to teach. Still overweight, I agreed. It was 1981 and she offered to train me personally. Back then there wasn't a lot of information for group exercise instructors. I kicked high, went into extreme pelvic tilts to complete the 500 plies squats per class, arched my back doing a million donkey kicks and wore some disastrous leg warmers (holes everywhere from use), striped leotards and headbands. My nickname at the Mammoth Ski School became Suz Fonda. It was literally printed on the name badge I wore to teach ski lessons.

And then there was ACE...which was the IDEA Foundation back then. I became involved immediately because I knew I needed education. The benefits of becoming involved with ACE are numerous. First, I had a place to go for good information. Second, there was an actual certification for people like me who really cared that we impacted other people’s lives. Third, there were continuing education opportunities like taking Candice Brook's Moves choreography workshops (she set the stage for the entire industry to learn how to teach choreography!). I took so many educational workshops throughout the years that ACE became the resource for me and my staff.

All that said, in the 1980s, it was a simple time for group fitness instructors. Either you taught aerobics (choreographed group fitness), muscle toning or stretching. ACE has been there for me the entire way; following and leading fitness trends to provide appropriate movement education for us all.

Today I rely on ACE more than ever to help me and my staff sort through the myriad of programming, products and instructor/trainer training options. As fitness director at the five-star Double Eagle Resort & Spa in June Lake, California, my staff and I continually consult the ACE website to be sure our practices are up to date and safe. I refer all of my students and clients to when they need to learn about which treadmill to buy or how to find a personal trainer on their vacation.

ACE was my resource at the start of my career in 1979 and ACE is still my resource today. ACE's reliability on consistent information has proved priceless for me personally and professionally. And the Cheetos? I still enjoy them, just not the whole bag like I used to!

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