The Wellness Society is rooted in the mutual interest in fitness wellness, psychological wellness and familial wellness of two siblings: Sharon Elayne Fair and Michael James Fair. At the start (1981), neither had heard of the concept of the physical, mental and social triad of health - which had been defined in 1947 by the World Health Organization (WHO), nor the term wellness - which had been coined in 1961 by Halbert Dunn, MD, PhD.
Nonetheless, the siblings began to appreciate that exercise should be pursued because of the positive effects it promotes - rather than to "win" a competition; happiness should be in the here and now (a concept known as FLOW); spending time with family should be a priority; and humans, as the enlightened species, are responsible for the good in this world.
While in their late teens, the siblings moved to Orlando, FL- a city quite different from their hometown of Havre de Grace, MD. Sharon pursued a traditional collegiate education (including Western philosophies such as Plato and Nietzsche) and Michael self-studied Zen philosophy, including the concept of yin and yang.
After graduating with a Bachelor's degree "with distinction" from the University of South Florida, Sharon opted to forgo her plan of entering law school and instead embarked upon a journey of self-exploration. Her first solo adventure: Europe! During the same time frame, Michael set out to become a Green Beret and was one of the "3 of the 100" men who succeeded !
Upon her return to St Petersburg in late 1981, Sharon registered "Florida Fitness" as an entity in the state of Florida. The goal of the siblings was to progress the scope of the organization upon Michael's discharge from the military and incorporate his knowledge and practice of Zen Buddhism.
Sadly, their joint journey ended when, in 1983, Michael was tragically killed in Morocco while serving the USA in their early efforts to train and assist the Moroccan military to eradicate middle eastern terrorist groups. According to some sources, these early middle eastern groups are linked to the terrorists responsible for the 911 attack. Upon the death of her brother, Sharon turned her full focus on fitness wellness as a means to cope with her grief.
In 1984, Sharon obtained certification as a Health and Fitness Instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and began to offer personal fitness training and small group fitness seminars. Upon gaining additional experience and credentials (including college degrees in nutrition and exercise science and physical therapy), she transitioned Florida Fitness into the nonprofit organization Wellness Society.
Profits of the Wellness Society are contributed to CARE.