Montreat health fair brings blog to life

Fred McCormick

As a blogger and exercise science major, Cassidy O’Brien is a strong believer in spreading the word about the benefits of healthy living. As a student of Montreat College, a Christ-centered institution, the junior is also passionate about sharing God’s word with anyone willing to listen.

Through her blog, “bodyGod,” O’Brien offers advice on nutrition and workouts. She provides devotionals to help readers “glorify God in your body.” With her free health fair Saturday, April 16, O’Brien will bring the real-world manifestation of her blog to Montreat.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., O’Brien will welcome runners in front of McGregor Hall on the campus of Montreat College for am 8:30 a.m. race that will take participants through the town.

“We will have a blessing and pray before the race starts,” O’Brien said. “The race will take Elizabeth’s Path down to the gate and the bike trail back up. It will start and finish in front of McGregor.”

The race is open to people of all ages, according to O’Brien. Free shirts will be given to those who finish.

Following the race, a health fair at Gaither Hall will feature fitness classes in the parking lot and yoga classes on the lawn. Those looking to participate in the free classes must pre-register by emailing

“Black Mountain Yoga will put on the yoga class,” at HEW Crossfit of Asheville will put on the 10 a.m. Crossfit class. Local businesses have been generous in their backing of the health fair, according to O’Brien.

“Everyone has been really helpful,” she said. “There have been a lot of people here at Montreat that have helped put me in touch with the various businesses and organizations that are participating. A lot of people have been very forthcoming with offering their support.”

Bounty & Soul will talk about the importance of nutrition and healthy living. It will also make participants aware to food insecurity, its executive director and founder, Ali Casparian, said.

“Our focus, other than providing access to food for people in need, is to teach them about the benefits of food, movement and exercise,” she said. “A comprehensive holistic approach to a healthy well-being is really what we teach and embody as an organization. Montreat has been a great partner to us. This event is centered around what we embody as an organization, so we were excited to be a part of this.”

The health fair will also include a raffle that will include prizes from many of the participating organizations.

O’Brien sees the event as an opportunity to “bring faith and fitness together in one event,” much like she does with her blog.

The event will run until noon. O’Brien encourages people who are not interested in participating in classes to show up as well.

“Everyone is welcome,” she said.