I’ll freely admit I run spurious Google searches whenever the mood takes me. Sometimes it unusual terms or combinations of words, other times its names of folks I know. I ran my mom’s and found the following article about health & fitness of all things (and yes, its really her).

Preface: SmartBodies Fitness & Wellness Center, part of the School of Health Sciences at Clayton College & State University was established in the Fall of 1995 to provide a valuable service to the Southern Crescent community. SmartBodies members enjoy our comfortable atmosphere and look forward to visiting a facility where they are known by name. The SmartBodies Fitness & Wellness Center is structured to meet health-related needs of the community, students, and employees of Clayton College & State University (CCSU).

(from the Vol. 4 Issue 2 of Smart News)


Meet Paola Fortier

By Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

I first met Paola Fortier in February of 2001 when she joined SmartBodies and I performed her initial fitness assessment. She was eager to get started and her high energy and delightful accent were captivating. Paola took to the routine here at SmartBodies right away and has been a regular here ever since. She comes in for a vigorous 60-90 minute workout 5 to 6 days a week, incorporating a bit of “cardio” on the elliptical trainer or treadmill and a bit of strength training on the Universal machines. She reports that this whole body workout has had a remarkable effect on her, both physically and mentally.

Paola was born in Castelfranco Veneto Italy and makes regular journeys back there to see family. She told me that she and her brother stay in close contact and he still can’t believe that I go to a gym. She noted that many people in Italy maintain a good level of fitness simply through their daily activities like shopping and getting to and from work. She’s right on that one – the latest information I could find put the combined rate of obesity and overweight in Italy around 35% for women and around 45% for men. Unfortunately many other European countries, like Germany, Greece, the UK, Spain and Finland are showing combined rates as high as those in the US (over 60% of the US population is either overweight or obese).

When she’s not in SmartBodies, Paola has a passion for gardening and tending her flowers. She is also the proud mother of three grown children. Her oldest, Geoffrey, 33 is here in Atlanta working for Worldcom. Jennifer, 29, is in her second year of medical school in Augusta and Astrid, 21 is in college in Savannah.

When asked if she had noticed a change since she started working out at SmartBodies, she was quick to reply, “I have much more energy and I’m able to work in my yard without getting tired; it really helps my frame of mind!” She shared a bit of advice for those who might be new to exercise or tentative about starting: “You have to try. Don’t quit; give it a chance. If I can do it anybody can.”

Next time you are in SmartBodies in the morning, stop by and introduce yourself to Paola; her effervescent nature will surely give your workout a boost!