Get To Know Personal Trainer Paul K. Smith
In addition to being one of BodyBusiness’s newest fitness instructors, Paul K. Smith is also an Adjunct Professor in Exercise Science and Student Development at Austin Community College. Paul offers personal training sessions for BodyBusiness members as well as teaching several classes. Get to know more about Paul in this month’s Staff Q&A, then meet him for yourself during one of his classes!
Yoga and Mobility | Sundays, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
This class incorporates hatha yoga, yin yoga, foam roller, somatic muscle release, and/or Pilates exercises for overall strengthening and stretching.
Gentle Yoga | Tuesdays, 10:15-11:15 a.m.
This class incorporates yoga and stretching exercises for strength and flexibility, with an emphasis on balance exercises, to reduce risk of falls. All levels are welcome, chairs will be available for assistance as needed.
Chair Strength & Stretch | Thursdays, 9:15-10:00 a.m.
Enjoy slow, conscious movement while working on light strength training, stretching, balance, and mindfulness. Explore the natural movements of your body while practicing a more focused and skilled approach ending with an emphasis on relaxation and meditation.
What do you do at BodyBusiness Fitness Club?
Personal Training, Functional Movement Screenings, Yoga, Chair Stretch/Strengh, and Pilates Mat Classes, subbing for TRX classes
What made you choose to pursue a career in fitness?
My first career plan to be a geologist failed when the economy was bad when I got my college degree and there were no jobs. A few years later I went back and got a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology. I was interested in fitness because I had the experience of one set of grandparents who were active and lived in good physical health until their 90s. My other grandparents were not active and did not live as long and as healthily. My grandfather on that side of the family died of a heart attack before I was born, and my grandmother was crippled by arthritis and strokes. I thought it would be a rewarding career to help people live healthier lives like my active grandparents were able to.
You have a lot of certifications! Which one are you most proud of?
The certifications that I had to work the hardest to attain were ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist and IATY Certified Yoga Therapist. The certification I’ve been making the most use of recently is FMS Functional Movement Screen Provider.
What can members expect in one of your classes?
The four classes I’m teaching right now are somewhat varied, but they all include an emphasis of starting movements from a position of good posture and alignment, and developing strength and mobility in ways that carry over to everyday life and other exercise activities.
What is the most challenging part of your job? And what part do you love the most?
I don’t like being bored, so I tend to include some variety in my classes and training sessions, so they’re not boring for me or for the participants (although there are clients who want or need a certain amount of consistency, so I have to find the happy medium). I love seeing people getting or staying healthy and mobile.
Where were you born? Grew up? Went to school?
I was born in Midland, grew up mostly in Houston (with one year in Trinidad, West Indies), and went to U.T. Austin.
What did you want to be when you were young?
I can’t remember anything in particular. I was more the type who never knew what he wanted to do, which I how I ended up with three college degrees in very different fields (Geology, English, Kinesiology).
Do you have any hobbies? What do you do during your free time?
I enjoy reading classic novels (I have a Bachelor’s degree in English). They’re called classics for a reason! During my free time I enjoy spending time on Austin’s great hiking trails, watching movies, and going to music concerts (mostly rock and classical).
What is a perfect day for you?
Sleep a little late, get vegetarian breakfast tacos at Tacos Veracruz, then go for a long walk at Lady Bird Lake or Barton Creek Greenbelt. Visit a museum in the afternoon, have an early dinner at a Thai or Mexican restaurant, and teach a yoga class in the evening. Read books or watch a movie before bed.
Do you have any pets?
I have three cats named after literary characters: Queequeg (from Moby Dick), Levin (from Anna Karenina), and Oriane (from In Search of Lost Time). Also I have two aquariums with a number of (unnamed) fish.
What are some of your favorite quintessential Austin spots?
Even through I first moved to Austin in 1980, none of there places were here back then: Epoch, Summer Moon, and Monkeynest Coffeehouses, Austin Film Society cinema, the Long Center for performing arts, ACL Live Moody Theatre for concerts.
Do you have any hidden talents?
If so, what are they? I do Tarot Card readings on occasion (not sure if that’s a talent or an interest). Animals relate well to me.
What is your favorite cheat meal?
Chocolate ice cream!