By Denise Williams, News &Views
AACVRP is proud to present an impressive slate of professionals who will share their knowledge and insights with people gathering at the Annual Meeting this October. The closing keynote address, for example, will treat attendees to an appearance from a speaker whose face is well-known within the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation community but who also has cultivated something of a fan following outside of the industry.
He is trained as an exercise physiologist. He is a department chair and assistant professor. He is the sports performance, health and fitness bachelor’s degree program coordinator at North Carolina’s St. Andrews University, where he teaches. He sits on the board of directors at AACVPR and serves as treasurer. He’s well-regarded for his dynamic and entertaining stage presence. And he has shown up for some of his past engagements without a shirt…well, kind of.
That’s because Dr. Ash Walker, DHSc, MA, ACSM-RCEP, FAACVPR also used to perform as the ‘Genuine Article,’ a professional wrestler! Although he’s now retired from being a weekend warrior, Walker weaves those experiences into his presentations, offering audiences a new perspective on issues. In his talk, “Wrestling with Change,” he’ll walk attendees through key strategies for success and sustainability that are sometimes underutilized by cardiopulmonary rehab programs.
With the event just a few months away, Walker provided a sneak peek at how he’ll spend his time in San Antonio:
Q: Can you provide a little more detail about what meeting-goers can expect from your address?
A: This keynote presentation is designed to be fun and challenges attendees to think about their programs differently. I believe implementing these strategies can help solidify how essential these services are to our audience.
Q: Are there really parallels between wrestling and CR?
A: I’ve learned so much about life and business from the world of professional wrestling. In my opinion, there are many parallels between professional wrestling and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. For example, both have characters that contribute to delivery and consumption of their respective products. I don’t want to spoil it here, but I promise to elaborate and provide more examples at the Annual Meeting.
Q: Which attendees will benefit most from your talk?
A: The unique thing about this presentation is that it’s designed to speak to all multidisciplinary healthcare professionals who work in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation field. Everyone, regardless of their role on the team, can help implement the strategies that will be presented.
Q: Whose session/speech/panel discussion are YOU most looking forward to, personally?
A: Oh my! This is like asking me to choose my favorite flavor of ice cream. The program looks absolutely wonderful and is a testament to all the hard work of the program planning committee. However, and in what some ways has become a tradition, I’ve always looked forward to Dr. Murray Low’s Physical Activity, Fitness, and Cardiac Rehabilitation: The Year in Research session.
Q: What other aspects of the Annual Meeting are you looking forward to?
A: I am looking forward to seeing so many friends and colleagues at the meeting in-person! I have really missed seeing these interactions and look forward to making up for lost time.
Walker will offer his parting words of wisdom as the event wraps up on Saturday, October 9. While he promises an entertaining and informative session, don’t expect much in the way of chair-throwing or trash-talking. He’s no longer the “Genuine Article” in the wrestling ring, but he will be on stage at the Annual Meeting. This is a presentation you won’t want to miss.