Atlanta Coworkers Get Fit Together

- If you’re working, or parenting, or both, you know it’s hard to find time to get in a workout. So, one Atlanta employer is trying to make exercise easier.  And, it’s working wonders for three coworkers.

For Pat Clemons, Monica Stump and Kathy Johnson, the workday begins at 6:30 am,  with a workout, together. 

"You know a lot of times you make excuses of why you can't, or why you shouldn't,” says Kathy Johnson.  “Or, it's Monday. There's no excuses, because even on Mondays we still are here."

We caught up with the three co-workers on day 100 days of their participation in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's “Strong4Life” 90-day fitness challenge.   Meaning they were 10 days beyond the challenge.

"Yes, we're still doing it,” Pat Clemons says. “ Don't plan to stop it."

Because working out is working.

"Maybe I’ve lost, maybe, 5 pounds,”  says Monica Stump. “But have lost inches in waist, legs, and thighs."

For the last 9 years, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has offered free wellness testing, coaching, classes and workout equipment to all of its 9,800 employees.  Last fall, the three coworkers in the craniofacial surgery department were each thinking they should be doing more to get healthier. 

"So, we just thought we'd band together and encourage each other with the exercise and the eating," says Clemons.

"They're my go-to now, pretty much in every aspect,” says Stump.  “Not just work, not just physical activity, but in life as well."

Monica Stump, a surgery scheduler, admits she was not exactly a fruit and veggies kind of eater.

"(I was) very much on-the-go, eating processed, microwave sort of stuff," she says.

About to turn 50, Monica started thinking about her fellow scheduler, Pat, a decade older.

"I looked at her,” she says.  “Saw that she was turning 60 this year and thought, ‘She's turning 60. I'm 10 years younger than her and want to be like her in 10 years."

But, Pat knew she needed to tweak her routine, too.   She’s learned how to eat for energy, drink more water, make this new leaf last.

"Because for me it's a lifestyle,” says Clemons.  “It's not just a 90-day challenge, it's a lifestyle. I want to be healthy, I want to live as long as I can.  So, I'll keep doing it."

At 51, nurse Kathy Johnson, was already active, but she wanted someone to push her, and keep her honest.

"It's so important,” Johnson says. “Because working out by yourself is one thing, but when you have someone else, they hold you accountable."

So, here they are.  Walking loops around Children's at Scottish Rite each morning.

"Even old cold days, we put our gloves on, we put our scarves on, and we walk,” says Johnson.

They’re three friends, now stronger.  Together. 

"You must do it,” Kathy Johnson says.  “You must do it to be around for your children and your grandchildren.  And not just that, for yourself.  You just want to be healthy."


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