Name: Timothy Parrott
University / College: Cedarville University
Height / Weight: 5’5’’/170lb
Degree Sought: B.S. in Exercise Science
Faith&Fitness: Are you from a small town or big city?
Timothy Parrott: I’m from Derry, New Hampshire. It’s a small town, and was a really great place to grow up.
Faith&Fitness: So being from a small town such as Derry, how did you keep active where you grew up?
Timothy Parrott: My physical activity level has always been very high for as long as I can remember. My father and I used to go hiking a lot, and I was always outside playing as a kid. Capture the flag was a big part of my childhood and it pays to be a fast runner in that game.
Faith&Fitness: OOOOh Capture the Flag - bring back some memories there! So did you play any other sports, do outdoor adventure activities, do physical work or volunteering, group exercise or weight lifting, etc?
Timothy Parrott: Yes, all of the above. Currently, I play rugby for Cedarville’s club team. I wrestled in high school and was a captain my senior year at Pinkerton Academy. I work about 20 hours a week doing custodial and maintenance work which involves a lot of tearing up carpet and other physical tasks. I am an avid weight lifter, having competed in both bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Right now I only get to lift 3-4 times a week, but I try to get in the gym as much as I can!
Faith&Fitness: That's awesome, man. Right up my alley!
With as busy as you are, what do you do for fun? Tell us what makes it fun for you.
Timothy Parrott: I spend time with my friends for fun. My weekdays are packed pretty full and I don’t have much free time, but I really enjoy quality time with good friends. My friends are funny and we have a really great time. Also, I love to spend time in nature. Like I said earlier, I grew up spending most of my day outside, so I really appreciate the beauty around me. I love hiking, going to the beach, and camping.
Faith&Fitness: Now that we've gotten some background, tell us: what are your “life” goals and how are you working toward them?
Timothy Parrott: My biggest life goal is to be a leader. I believe that this is honoring to God, and that this will primarily manifest in my role as a husband and father. I have a natural drive within me to work hard and provide for my family. Obviously I can’t fulfil this goal without a wife or career, so I’m currently trying to set myself up for success. I’m dating an amazing woman who has similar goals, and things are really promising. Also, I’m working hard academically to learn as much as possible for my future career.
Faith&Fitness: That is really awesome man!
With those goals in view, why did you decide to go to this university? What were your expectations when you first started and how has the school and campus life measured up to them?
Timothy Parrott: I decided to attend Cedarville University because I had friends here who told me great things. After transferring from community college in New Hampshire, I became part of the Cedarville community. I sought to be part of a God-centered environment, and the university lived up to that expectation pretty well. The professors here really cared about my life in a unique way that I had not yet experienced. I also sought to further my education in exercise physiology, and Cedarville’s rigorous academic environment certainly lived up to the expectation.
Faith&Fitness: That's really great man. So how did you first get interested in exercise and living a fit lifestyle?
Timothy Parrott: My interest in exercise began originally in about 7th or 8th grade. My dad had weights in the basement that I occasionally did my best to lift. I noticed changes in my body that I liked, and I began to do it more and more. Lifting became serious for me when I started wrestling my sophomore year of high school. I learned how strength could be a great advantage, and eventually put on about 25 pounds of lean muscle over my three year wrestling career. Since then, I’ve been actively involved in weight lifting at various health clubs. I chose to study exercise science because I am passionate about health and fitness and I believe I can contribute greatly with the talents God has blessed me with.
Faith&Fitness: When your friends describe you or talk to you about fitness, how do they describe you?
Timothy Parrott: Well, I believe my friends can attest to the fact that I have some of the most physically aesthetic, symmetrical, and defined muscle mass on campus. I’ve dedicated extensive time and effort towards shaping my body into what it is today. I certainly don’t mean to brag, but the hours in the gym and intentional nutritional choices are not made up!
Faith&Fitness: Describe the fitness culture on your campus
Timothy Parrott: This campus is a generally healthy one. Exercise is very popular, and the fitness center is well used. Athletics are a huge part of campus life, and athletes are held in pretty high regard. The Health and Fitness Association, of which I am president, puts on events every year to get more students involved in fitness pursuits. All Cedarville students are required to take a course called Physical Activity and the Christian Life which seeks to get them started and invested in an exercise program of their own.
Faith&Fitness: What are your favorite exercises and why?
Timothy Parrott: My favorite exercises are the bench press and weighted lunges. I have done really well in bench press competitions, which really fueled my love for the event. A couple years ago when I was competing, I did a competition-style raw bench press of 2.2 times my bodyweight. This is not a common feat for 18 year olds, and I was happy to have success in that endeavor. I love doing weighted lunges because I find they target my quads and glutes particularly well. Some people neglect these muscles but I try to maintain a balanced workout routine.
Faith&Fitness: Do you work out with friends? If so, tell us about that and how it is different from when you work out alone.
Timothy Parrott: I love working out with my friends. A good workout partner can make a huge difference in your motivation level and intensity. When I have a buddy pushing me and encouraging me to work harder, I do just that. I do alright working out on my own, but I find I sell myself short sometimes. Unfortunately, schedules are hard to align sometimes and I have to go for a solo workout. I still get a good sweat going and work hard, but I miss the motivation of a workout partner.
Faith&Fitness: Yeah man and many guys who are intense often have trouble finding a good workout partner. That is really great you have some friends to motivate you and push you forward. With that in mind, how about telling us about your workout routine?
Timothy Parrott: My current workout routine, excluding weekly rugby practice, is designed for increasing muscle strength, size, and aesthetics. In a week that I’m able to squeeze four workouts in, I stick with a classic bodybuilding style. Different days involve working legs, arms and shoulders, chest, and back. My workouts are about an hour long and I use that time well. I usually do about 6 exercises, 3-4 sets each. Really, it’s not about the numbers to me. My goal is to push my body towards growth. This involves making sure I have good, solid muscle contractions and mind-body connection. I know the level of intensity I need to be at in order to see progress, and that is what I strive towards.
Faith&Fitness: Can you tell us about your nutrition plan?
Timothy Parrott: My nutrition is something I take seriously, and have for about five years now. When I started wrestling, I learned a lot about food and how my body responds to it. Currently, I’m on a budgeted loose diet. My primary source of protein is boneless chicken breast, which I consume about 5 pounds of each week. I eat intentionally, with my carbohydrates coming mostly from quinoa, whole grain breads, and rich vegetables like carrots. I take in a lot of healthy fats from whole eggs and peanut butter. Eating 3-4 meals of these foods keeps me at a consistent 7-10% body fat, which I am able to have tested whenever I want.
Faith&Fitness: You mentioned above about your past competitions, any plans to compete in athletics or in fitness or bodybuilding competitions? If so, tell us about it.
Timothy Parrott: I think I’m "retired" for now. However, I do play rugby and we have a game coming up soon! Our team is fantastic, and even though we’re not the biggest team out there, we have a blast and hold our own.
Faith&Fitness: So as we've seen pretty clearly your motivation and leadership desires, can you describe briefly how you came to know Christ as your personal savior …
Timothy Parrott: I accepted Christ as my Savior as a child, but my understanding of his work and sacrifice grows deeper every year. I grew up in a good Christian home that prepared me for the difficulties in life. I was taught from a very young age that no matter how increasingly difficult life is, I am not alone and have the most powerful ally on my team.
Faith&Fitness: That's really cool man. Not everyone has an environment like that growing up. In view of that upbringing, how do you feel your college has helped you mature physically, academically and spiritually?
Timothy Parrott: My college experience at Cedarville has helped me mature in a lot of ways. The gym is only a short walk away from most academic buildings, so a workout can be conveniently placed between classes. My professors have encouraged me to keep pursuing fitness and some have recognized my talents. Every day, I learn more and apply it to my physical training as best I can. Academically, Cedarville has challenged me to become a better student. The amount of time I spend studying now is almost double that which I spent when I entered college. The course work is pretty relevant to my future career and I’m excited to apply it. Spiritually, Cedarville University has introduced me to some great examples of Christ’s leadership and love. I learn from these people. They have influenced my life so that I have a better understanding of Jesus Christ and how I can emulate him.
Faith&Fitness: What are some of the spiritual discoveries you have made while at college? How is that shaping the way you live and interact with others?
Timothy Parrott: I have made the spiritual discovery that God loves me no matter what. I sometimes have the bad habit of misunderstanding God’s anger, and this can make him seem very distant. However, I have great friends with me that remind me I am loved, and God’s wrath is satisfied. This encourages me to be a man who loves. I try not to be callous, but instead be open to loving those who do not love me.
Faith&Fitness: That will certainly help you in your leadership goals. So speaking wholistically, how do you feel living a healthy life and being active impacts both your academic success and your relationship with God?
Timothy Parrott: I think that my pursuit of healthy living is honoring to God and aids in my academic success. Here’s why:
God intended for our bodies to serve us well. Although they are now cursed, we can still optimize the performance we get out of them. I believe that by keeping my body in near prime condition, I am better able to serve God. One way that this manifests is in my education. By eating healthy, exercising regularly, and trying to get adequate sleep, I am more mentally focused and goal oriented. I believe that my efforts toward healthy living positively affect my academic performance and relationship with God.
Faith&Fitness: So in addition to your academic life, what are the most visible characteristics of your personal faith in God? In other words, how do you live out your Christian faith?
Timothy Parrott: The most visible manifestation of my faith is in my prayer life and service on campus. I try to pray as much as I can through the day, and that just wouldn’t happen without my faith. Nobody prays to God if they don’t believe in him, you know? I also think that my faith is greatly lived out in my work. The tasks and projects I tackle greatly benefit the campus. Maintenance isn’t glamorous, but I know that it’s a service the university needs and I’m glad to do it because it honors the Lord.
Faith&Fitness: Sure man, there are many ways we honor God and our bodies being His temple and good nutrition and exercise is one way; taking care of the provision He has given - such as buidings and grounds - for His purposes is another. I'm sure you are appreciated for all you do on campus!
What are the biggest spiritual challenges you face OR in what ways do you feel you still need to grow spiritually?
Timothy Parrott: The biggest spiritual challenge I face is that I’m just a naturally skeptical person. This doesn’t mean that I’m doubtful, but it makes things harder to accept without evidence to back it up. This has actually served me well in establishing the foundations of my faith, but it can be frustrating at times.
Faith&Fitness: Sounds like "Apologetics" might be in your future! Okay so with that in mind, what are some of your favorite methods that help you to experience God?
Timothy Parrott: Nature! Every day I try to soak in the beauty around me. My favorite way to enjoy God’s creative nature is hiking. Climbing mountains is a fantastic way to explore and relish in creation. By doing this, I better appreciate creativity and God’s ability to make beautiful things. Creation truly does reveal certain aspects of God, as he intends.
Faith&Fitness: So you have told us about your prayer life, how is your “church” life (tell us about any campus faith-based organization[s] you attend or church you attend)
Timothy Parrott: I attend Grace Baptist Church, close to campus. It is a great church, and even though I’m not currently a member, people there are very friendly and accepting. The Pastor is going through the book of Romans right now, and I’m learning a lot.
Faith&Fitness: What is on the horizon for your career? Is everything coming together well for it?
Timothy Parrott: The horizon for my career is bright! I finish my degree in December 2016, but before that I’ve got a great internship lined up at a local hospital back home in New Hampshire. I’ll be assisting with cardiac rehabilitation, something that I’m hoping to pursue as a career after graduation. My education at Cedarville has prepared me for work in this kind of profession, and I’m really looking forward to some hands-on experience. I don’t have a job lined up for after graduation, but I’m scoping out some really great options. Cardiac rehab seems like it will be a great opportunity to help people navigate through and recover from difficult health problems. I’m excited to get out into the real world and start contributing a bit more to society!
Faith&Fitness: How do you feel you will balance your career and your commitment to fitness in the future?
Timothy Parrott: I think that my career will make my commitment to fitness stronger. Even though it’ll be tough to get to the gym after work, I’ll be sure to make it a priority. As a health professional, it will be a responsibility to display healthy habits for my patients or clients. I think that I’ll be more motivated to set a good example for them when I’m diligently working in fitness or rehabilitation focused environments.
Faith&Fitness: Will it be more difficult, do you think, to maintain your fitness regimen, do you think, after you graduate and begin working?
Timothy Parrott: Things get bumpy in transition periods when it comes to working out. However, I am highly adaptable and have always gotten back into the habit of healthy living once I’m settled. I don’t see it being more difficult, because I already spend 8-10 hours a day on work and education. Health and fitness are a priority for me, and I plan to work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Faith&Fitness: Tim, man, thank you so much for answering these questions and giving our readers a better understanding of how they can fit all these things together in their college life. It is tough, but with eyes fixed on some goals and trusting in the Lord you, I can tell, inspire those you come into contact with. I'm sure you've given someone something to chew on and, man, I really appreciate you brother!
This Top Bods On Campus story featuring Cedarville University's Timothy Parrott appears in the June/July 2016 issue of Faith & Fitness Magazine.