By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
On the cusp of 30 and newly single, ARXer Scott Sparks is hitting the gym hard. "Summer's coming. Working on my beach body," he says with a sly grin. With fair skin and strawberry blonde hair it's a good bet that Scott doesn't spend all that much time at the beach. Still, staying in shape is vital to both his personal and professional interests.
"I co-own Sparks Construction in Norwood with my dad Gary," he said. "Lugging bags of shingles up ladders, moving and mixing 80-pound bags of concrete, and walking around on staging 20-feet in the air is a tough day. I wouldn't be able to handle it without staying fit. That's why I try to make it to ARX class three times a week and I've completely overhauled my diet since joining back in October."
The combination of ARX and his construction job - as well as a lifelong background in sports - keep Scott in shape for whatever life throws his way. "I grew up playing hockey and baseball. I played AAA travel hockey and then in high school suited up for Kimball Union Academy in Meridan, NH, which is part of the Division 1 Private Prep conference," he said. "Also in high school I played four years of varsity baseball, two years of varsity hockey, and four years of JV soccer."
While at Lake Forest College, where Scott earned a bachelor's in studio art and communications, he was the assistant hockey coach for three-to-13-year-olds at the private Winter Club located nearby. He's also been skiing since he was three. "I've climbed and skied Tuckerman's Ravine and spent time practicing with the racing team," he said. "These days I ski when I can but mostly play men's league hockey, as well as kayak, play tennis and run a few 5ks."
He's also finished the Tough Mudder. Twice.
With all that going on why does Scott bother with the gym? "I enjoy the challenge of the ARX classes. They're tough," he said. "And I really like the feeling of being a part of a team. Everyone at ARX is there to accomplish similar goals. The trainers are friendly and driven to help each member accomplish their individual goals without being overly pushy. When I worked out alone, I never felt like I was able to push myself and I became lazy. ARX keeps me going and forces me to give far more than I would solo."
Why else does he work out at ARX? "My day job and my sports activities keep me moving and in decent shape," he said. "But," with eyes twinkling he confessed, "I joined ARX to give me that little bit extra, you know, for the ladies."
That little bit extra is what makes Scott, Scott. "I am someone who rarely says no to a new adventure," he said. "Life has so many options and I try to experience as much as I can. For example, I play multiple instruments, including cello, drums/percussion, guitar and some piano."
What other adventures has Scott been a part of? The list is long and varied. On the more serious side, he purchased his first home at the tender age of 23 and spent the next six years completely rebuilding it, from the studs up. On the more outrageous side, he participated in a pair of dating auctions (taking 1st and 2nd), and was a contestant in a Male Casanova competition for a sorority charity. His talent: stripping. "I only went down to a questionably tight pair of shorts," he said. "To reiterate, I don't often say no to many things."
And that's why, when Scott's friend Ryan told him about the ARX Groupon last fall, Scott said yes.