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Everson's ventures keep her pumped

Cory Everson, fitness author, exercise guru (ESPN's BodyShaping) and six-time Ms. Olympia, is opening a workout center at the Clearwater Beach Hilton _ Cory Everson's Olympus Gym. The 6,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to be completed Feb. 26. Everson talked about her career and her future recently with Times staff writer Tony Green.

Q: Being a former bodybuilding champion, what's the most annoying question you get asked?

A: Probably "Can I see your biceps." I can't tell you how many times I have had people ask me that _ or "How much can you lift?" I mean, what does that mean _ how much can I bench press, how much can I squat or deadlift? I hate that question, just hate it.

Q: Why do people ask that?

A: Maybe they're intimidated and are so nervous they don't know what else to say. I've just heard it so many times, I'm sick of it.

Q: Do you still compete or plan to compete?

A: No. I'm so far removed from bodybuilding, I don't even know what's going on in the sport right now. It's not deliberate, but I don't have the time to do everything.

Q: Do you miss it at all?

A: I don't have time to miss it.

Q: What takes up most of your time now?

A: Well, I've been busy. I've got some business ventures, and movies, and an art gallery opening in Los Angeles. When I'm at home, I paint a lot.

Q: What style of painting?

A: I do mainly realism. But I've been getting more into abstract art and some Renaissance-style painting.

Q: What else do you have going?

A: I have 10 exercise videos out and this gym here in Clearwater. And a couple of movie projects. I just recently had a part in Double Impact with Jean-Claude Van Damme. I like movies because you never get stale. You play a psychotic robot in one and a housewife in another. The possibilities are endless.

Q: Do you have trouble fitting all of this in?

A: I don't really have a regular work schedule. Sometimes I work from 7 in the morning till midnight, like I've done the last two weeks.

Q: But you still work out?

A: I still work out. Three days a week on the weights and aerobics five days a week.

Q: Sounds like you have a lot of energy.

A: I'm real motivated and real excited about life in general. I like to be involved in a lot of different things; I'm an eclectic type of person. I think a lot of that is because I'm not competing anymore. (I) have a lot of time on my hands, and when I sit down, my mind starts going 100 miles per hour. I get excited about helping people.

Q: How?

A: I would really like to get into helping people and educating them about training. Especially kids, because they have so many problems.

Q: What kind of problems?

A: (Kids) don't know anything these days. When I was a kid we used to go outside and play all these games like kick the can and tag and things. Nowadays, kids are just into television and video games. They don't know anything about staying healthy. Part of that is due to the parents. They aren't doing anything with themselves. They say the way you are when you are a kid is the way you are as an adult, and it's tough to change patterns. So it's important to get them on the right track early.