Friday, October 27, 2006

Interview - with Dr Carla Sottovia

Factfile:
name- Carla Botelho Sottovia
age- 43
location- Dallas, TX, USA
job- Senior Personal Trainer/ Exercise Physiologist
employer- The Cooper Fitness Center
fave food- Italian Pizza from Venice, Rome, Torino
fave film- When Harry Met Sally
sporting hero- Fernanda Keller ( Pro Brasilian Triathlete)
fave type of exercise- Swim, Bike, Run, Hike
hobbies- Traveling to far way lands...
pets- Dog: mixed lab/chow/ huskie - Safi, 8.5 years.

Hi Carla, great to talk to you, how have things been since you won the IDEA 2005 World Personal Trainer of the Year Award?
Things have been busier than ever. I am involved in several different projects including publishing my first book; major research project in Brasil involving children and physical fitness/ activity; teaching workshops.

Q - Can you tell us about what you do at the Cooper Clinic? (and what the cooper clinic is renowned for)
The main campus is actually named the " The Cooper Aerobic Center" which host 5 different departments: a) a preventive medicine clinic- The Cooper Clinic;b) a research center : The Cooper Institute; c) Wellness Program ; d) Spa; e) Hotel; and f) a fitness center- The Cooper Fitness Center.
I spend about 80% of my time at the Cooper Fitness Center as the Director of Personal Training. We have a team of 25 full time trainers ( including myself) who trained an average of 30 hours per week. I personally average about 30 hours of week...I also am in charge of our continuing education program; staff training/hiring; and other special projects.
I am also part of the Cooper Institute Faculty - continuing education department where I teach several certification types courses for Fitness Professionals. And finally, representing the Cooper Aerobic Center as a international presenter/ researcher.

Q - How did you originally get into fitness?
I originally wanted to go to medical school ( having been denied several times in Brasil). From there I decided to focus on the prevention side of medicine. My first degree was in Physical Education and I fell in love with my first Exercise Physiology class. At the moment I knew I had found my path....I decided that I was going to apply for my masters in Exercise Physiology in the US ....I actually was able to transfer as a Junior in College and from there on proceeded with my other degrees.
Along the way, I started to work as a Fitness Specialist ( since personal training did not exist in the late 80's early 90's) and gradully moved towards personal training in the early 90's. My first official client was in 1991.
I have always been an active person having danced for many years, semi competitive swimmer and during college marathon running/ Ironman triathlon up to this day...

Q - What was the last book you read?
The Bridge Across Forever- Richard Bach

Q - What is your biggest passion in fitness
Making a difference in people's life: the way they feel; their health; their overall outlook in life.

Q - what is your training ethos?
To give your best at all times!

Q - what does the next few years hold in store?
To continue to expand my educational services to other professionals ( workshops; books; research projects) specially in the overseas market ( where the level of information and service is at a times below to what it should be)

Q - what was the last workout you did?
A couple of hours ago: brasilian dance class - Pagode-; then cycling for 60 min.

Q - what was your PHd in and what research are you currently working on?
I have a PhD in Exercise Physiology. I am currently involved in a children's research project in Brasil . We are at the moment ( as we speak) collecting data on 200 kids ( pilot) on fitness/ Activitiy level. WE are using a software developed by the Cooper Institute- FitnessGram- for children.
The participants will then undergo an activity program ( 3 times per week/ 6 months) led by professionals with the purpose to enhance, educate, and hopefully plant the seed of the benefits of being active. They will be retested at the endof the study. The study will also include a nutrition component. The participants are young children from 1st to 4 th grade.
Eventually, the project will expand to a larger school ( 1000 children) and hopefully state and nation wide.

Q - any plans to visit London?
Possibly this fall but for sure next spring during the Fitness Conference in BlackPool:)

Q - And finally how was it working with Graeme for three days in Colorado? bearable :-))
Graeme is such a sweet "boy" ....really, awesome! I am so glad we met!! Looking forward to visiting your studio in London in the near future:)

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