Behind the scenes with our BootCamp Athlete of the Year, Arin Sullivan.
Outside of BootCamp, what do you with yourself?
Outside of BootCamp I’m the deputy director of SMU DataArts – we work with arts and cultural organizations, foundations, and researchers to collect and analyze arts data. I’m also an adjunct in the theatre program at Drexel. Mostly though, I spend time laughing with my wife and our fantastic group of friends, and snuggling our three rescue Chihuahuas. Honestly, I spend 90% of my time thinking about the dogs.
When were you first introduced to Novem BootCamp and when did you decide to join?
I saw you folks running around the old BootCamp garage and I though I could never handle that kind of workout (I was on my way to yoga). Then I turned 40 and realized if I was going to try it, I’d better do it soon, so I did the onramp in January 2016 thinking that if my body couldn’t figure it out (and if people weren’t welcoming) I could just walk away. Of course, Lesha and Joe were kind, and welcoming, and funny and I’ve been here ever since.
When did you decide that Novem Bootcamp was the right choice for you and your fitness goals?
I chose BootCamp right after onramp. I like the euphoria after a really hard amrap, I like the fast pace, and – as Jessi knows – I really like that someone else is in charge for an hour or so. In terms of fitness goals? I want to feel strong. I want my body to last me for a long time, and I want to do pull ups like a boss! Although my weight is staying right where it’s been for the last few years, I can feel my body changing. My muscles are amazing!
How frequently do you train?
I’m at BootCamp four or five times a week. Outside of that, other than taking the dogs for a stroll, there’s not much training happening.
What was the hardest part of getting started with BootCamp?
The hardest part was being afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, I wouldn’t be accepted as this kind of athlete (from the outside this looks like a pretty competitive, intimidating club when it’s nearly the exact opposite), and I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to.
What is the best part of BootCamp that gets you to the gym? What do you look forward to?
The best part about BootCamp is seeing who’s working out with me that night and feeling a sense of belonging to a community. I look forward to an hour where I am not responsible for anything other than myself and my body.
What is the happiest moment/greatest self accomplishment?
A few months ago I did a single solitary unassisted pullup and I have bragged about that moment to just about anyone who will listen. Literally anyone. I just told my new boss and she was like, “congratulations?”
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out to and how to stick with it?
You have to be okay with feeling a little silly sometimes, especially at first. Everyone feels a little twisted up in their own two feet when they first start. The space, the movements, the counting – it can be overwhelming. As you get used to it and your body builds muscle memory you can stop thinking so much and just do the work. Also, no one is watching you and everyone is breathing heavy, the music is loud, and no one can hear you.
What are your fitness expectations this year?
I have to recover from this asinine shoulder injury. Then I’m going to do another pull up or two and brag about those for the next year.