MEET TRACIE MORSE! She is passionate about family, community and connecting people.Publisher of North Atlanta FitLife, a local lifestyle, health and wellness magazine, Tracie’s mission is to provide encouragement and inspiration to people in our community to live a healthy, fit life. A fierce “Mama bear” for her 3 sons, she is their biggest fan off, and on the field, court or mat.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: North Atlanta Fit Life is a local lifestyle, health and fitness wellness magazine that is distributed in Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Duluth, Suwanee and Peachtree Corners. My background is in sales and marketing. Couple that with my own health and wellness journey and the experiences of my family and friends, and FitLife was a natural fit! Health, wellness and fitness means different things to different people. I try to connect people in our community wherever they are on their health, wellness, fitness and/or beauty journey with businesses, individuals and practices that can encourage them and inspire them to take the next step. That’s what North Atlanta FitLife is all about.
Q: How long ago did you start this?
A: Our first issue came out last November, so we are almost a year old. Our 6th issue for September/October is out now. We are excited to see what’s in store in year two…growing, and connecting with our community.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Johns Creek, and what do you love there?
A: There are so many choices, especially now as Johns Creek continues to grow; but two of my favorite places where I’ve enjoyed delicious food and great times are Sugo and One.41 Of course, there’s The Patio for lunch…their quiche is my go-to every time. They also have great pre-made dinner casseroles, and cookies to take to a new neighbor or a sick friend; and they are one of the only places I know that still makes petit fours!
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Johns Creek?
A: My parents have lived here for about 30 years. I’ve been in Johns Creek on and off until about 17 years ago when my home in Vinings caught fire. I’ve lived in Johns Creek and loved it ever since.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Johns Creek?
A: That’s so hard because I’ve met so many people that have had such a big impact on our community, and my own life. I don’t think I can narrow it down to one person. From a broader sense, we have an amazing group of residents that are contributing to our community in so many ways… and I’ve been able to meet several through the years who have touched my life when I needed his or her particular connection or perspective. There are inspirational people everywhere you look.I feel like this is a great community of givers; people who really look for a way to give back through non-profit organizations, through their own celebrity, or through the passion they have for their careers. The student volunteers in our city have a tremendous impact as well. I have 3 boys and we are involved in the “Young Men’s Service League”. The boys and their moms do a great job of volunteeringin Johns Creek and metro Atlanta. One of my favorite features in North Atlanta FitLife is the “Giving Back” page, which tells the story of someone in our area that is a difference maker in our area.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: Can a pick a few? I’m really not picky as there are so many tremendous places to see. I’ve traveled some and even though I’ve been to Italy, I’d like to go back to the southern part of that country, and Spain. But if I could leave tomorrow, the place I most want to go is the Holy Land. What an incredible history and faith connection. I think that would be amazing.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: Ha! I can never answer with just one answer! Southern favorites are Gone with the Wind and Steel Magnolias. A friend of mine was in Steel Magnolias and it was filmed in Louisiana, which is where I’m from originally, so I love that movie, of course. I have a renewed interest in old movies because they’re so well done, and I love the actors and actresses of old Hollywood. And, I can watch My Cousin Vinny, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, When Harry Met Sally, and the Notebook (noticing a theme here?) over and over and over. My most memorable movie experience would have to be Star Wars. When that movie came out, I went with my parents. The special effects for that movie were incredible at that time and my Dad and I were amazed and glued to the screen.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: First and foremost, know where the exits are if you are in a crowd. You need to know how to get out. I think being a mother and always concerned about my children’s safety, it’s one of the things that has become important. Also, now that Social Media is a part of our lives, know that what you put out there is out there immediately and forever. Be kind. Stop blaming and shaming; be authentic and true to yourself, and stop worrying about other people. Find the blessings in your life and don’t let other people steal your joy.
Q: Aside from travel, what is something on your bucket list?
A: I have no idea if I have could actually to do this, but I would love to play the drums! I would love to learn how to just play 1 song on the drums. I don’t know if I could keep the beat since I always get caught up in the melody, but I’d like to try.
Q: What is your favorite music/band that you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: I like all different kinds of music so am open to seeing almost anyone. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a concert. I think the last two were Alan Jackson and Imagine Dragons. Growing up Louisiana, jazz, and the all the great musicians from New Orleans, had such an impact to the culture there. But, I never saw Harry Connick, Jr. I’d love to see him. He’s an incredible talent.
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Johns Creek?
A: I’ve been here for a long time and some of the green space is gone, but in the name of progress, I think Johns Creek has done a nice job of is staying true to the beauty of our city while trying to attract development and changes from an economic standpoint. I think we need to appreciate the growth and prosperity where we are, while preserving the history and all the reasons that brought us to where we are. I hope Johns Creek doesn’t lose sight of that.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Johns Creek would you have lunch?
A: I’d want to make it a party; I think it would be fun to have a cross section of people with different life and professional experiences. There are so many people I would say, “Oh, yes, definitely him or her”, but off the top of my head I would say, Bill Gates, George Bush, Oprahand Jeff Foxworthy, (a Johns Creek resident), Melissa McCarthy along with Andy Stanley, and Harry Connick, Jr for musical entertainment. I’d invite my family and fun friends and have a really fun party. It would beat the former Dean Gardens Estate.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Johns Creek?
A: I think one of our best features is what Johns Creek offers to foster togetherness and community. We have great parks like Autrey Mill Nature Center and Ocee Park, where my boys played baseball. And, I love all there is to do at Newtown Park. My kids have played rec sports there, had parties there, we’ve been to concerts there and now they have so many ways to engage with our community like runs, free exercise classes, the Dog Park, and programs for all ages.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: Hmm, hard to think about my boys all being grown and out of the house! I see myself traveling, and I’d love for the family to go on some fun trips and some mission trips. I’d like to contribute more to the community and church. Gosh, in 10 years my oldest will be 27, so grand-kids are totally feasible then. That will be fun! I also see a thriving North Atlanta FitLife magazine!
Q: What is something interesting that most people (including family and friends) don’t know about you?
A: I am a fierce Mama Bear. You do learn to be that way when you are a parent, but in reality, I don’t love confrontation. I just want everybody to be kind and respectful to each other and to get along.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Unconditional love, acceptance and warmth. When all my people are together, it just doesn’t get any better than that. My mother used to say, “I’m the happiest time when we’re all together”.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: So obvious choices are George Clooney or Brad Pitt. But, I’m going to veer off a little and choose Jason Bateman, John Krasiniski and Robert Downey, Jr. because I think they would be fun to work with and hang out with off camera. Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett and Melissa (or Jenny) McCarthy would be a blast, too.
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: Chef. Hands down.