One on One: Fitness Advocate Gary Carleton’s Summer Teen-Fitness Initiative
Gary Carleton weighs roughly the same now as he did at age 13, though the passing of 36 years has seen a dramatic fat-to-fit transformation of his 190-pound frame. Early exposure to health clubs was the key. Having helped pitch his Virginia high school to a state baseball championship in 1976, Carleton spent the months between his prep freshman and sophomore seasons working out in a hardcore gym and shedding nearly 50 pounds. Before graduating, he began working off a health club membership as a Nautilus instructor, an experience he says "started a love affair with health clubs." The one-time producer of the wildly successful "Cory Everson's Step Training Video" and publisher of Women's Fitness International magazine currently publishes Teen Fitness, a niche annual that hits newsstands in June. In addition, Carleton's Teen Fitness Network, a nonprofit cause-marketing initiative, identifies health clubs willing to provide teens with free summer access during otherwise dormant daytime hours. With more than 1,000 clubs in North America registered this year, some 100,000 kids ages 13 to 19 could potentially realize the benefits of fitness. Paul Steinbach asked Carleton, a competitive racquetball player, to describe his own evolution as fitness facilitator.
Q: What was your experience as an overweight teen?
Q: Have teenagers been overlooked in the obesity discussion?
Q: What's in it for participating clubs?
Q: Do you think the initiative has staying power?
Teen Fitness Network
Facility of the Week
Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center