Age: 22 University: Notre Dame
Graduation Year: 2009
Degrees he is pursuing: History & Education
Height: 6’2” Weight: 215 lbs.
Faith & Fitness Magazine: What physical qualities do you think your friends feel best qualify you as a top bod?
Evan Sharpley: Hah! ... In all honesty, I get the most complements on my butt. God blessed me with a great behind.
F&F: How did you first get interested in exercise and living a fit lifestyle?
ES: It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing baseball, soccer, basketball, and football and it has just continued throughout my entire life. It wasn’t really until late in high school that I started to really take it serious and then it became something I really enjoyed.
F&F: Tell us about your workout routine. What are your goals and how are you working toward them? What are your favorite exercises and why?
ES: My workout routine varies depending on what sport I am getting ready to play. The two times that I make the most gains in the weight room is in the summer before football starts and then immediately after the season ends leading up to baseball. At this time I try to cut any excess weight I have gained and work on turning it into lean muscle. In the off-season I lift four times per week doing some sort of cardio on each of those days, some type of core/balance exercise, as well as a workout that is specific to the sport I am getting ready to compete in (i.e. hitting baseballs or throwing the football around). Each workout is designed to work the major muscle groups with heavier weights and then fine tone the smaller ones with lighter weights. On top of my actual workout, I do 200 pushups a day and a few extra abs just to make sure I maintain the gains I have made. I love setting up different workouts and trying new exercises and just being in the weight room in general. When I workout it serves as a release for me and can be very relaxing.
F&F: Describe the fitness culture on your campus.
ES: Notre Dame is a very competitive school from an academic standpoint and this carries over into the fitness culture as well. I think most of the students use fitness as a time to get away from the stresses of such a rigorous academic schedule and focus on their bodies and health.
F&F: How do you feel living a healthy life and being active impacts both your academic success and your relationship with God?
ES: I think that the best thing that comes from living a healthy life is the balance that it adds to my daily life. My workouts are very structured and this carries over into pretty much all aspects of my life. It helps me manage my time wisely when it comes to academics and to know when I need to get work done when I don’t have much time. Also, I make sure to dedicate time to my relationship with God. It may sound bad to make time with God structured, but with being so busy sometimes He can get lost in the shuffle of practice, classes and more. So, I think that giving Him due time is very important. I actually have my mom text me scriptures everyday and it is a great way to stay close to her and also keeps us accountable in terms of our relationships with Christ.
F&F: Tell us about your career? Is everything coming together well for it? How do you feel you will balance your career and your commitment to fitness in the future? Will it be more difficult to maintain your fitness regimen?
ES: This spring is very important when it comes to my career. My goal is to get drafted by a Major League Baseball team and start playing professionally in the summer. I have put myself in a great position for this to happen. My fitness regime won’t be too affected by this career because it will allow me to continue making strides in the weight room. It will transfer into success on the baseball diamond. Further down the road after baseball, I want to coach football at some level. I will continue to maintain my workout regime, which will help underscore the importance of physical fitness with the kids I coach.
F&F: Do you workout with friends? If so, tell us about that and how it is different from when you workout alone.
ES: Being on two different teams in college has giving me the opportunity to workout with a lot of people, but even then I tend to structure my own workout and somewhat go on my own path. I feel that I can focus the best when I motivate myself and limit the distractions that other people can sometimes create. If I do workout with someone, I try to pick someone with the same type of drive and determination that will push me to my limit like my younger brother Ryan, who also is a student athlete at Notre Dame.
F&F: Tell us more about how playing sports shapes your physical well-being.
ES: Playing baseball and football at the University of Notre Dame has been both challenging and rewarding for me. I love doing these things because of the competitive nature. I have to be on top of my game everyday and continue to push myself to be better and better. This attitude also translates to when I workout as well. Strides made in the weight room can help me on both the football field and baseball diamond. And even if I never play, I have built a solid foundation of hard work and dedication that will go with me for a long time, it is a part of who I am.
A COMMITMENT TO ABOVE AND BEYOND
Bar-Raiser, that is Evan Sharpley. It's a rare person who stays focused, won't back down and excels in all he puts his hand to, Evan does. He consistently reaches for and raises the high bar; spirit, soul and body. With Evan, it's always been about whole life commitment as he embodies the scripture 'Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.' That kind of living pleases God and produces life's true champions.
Pastor Scott Loughrige, Crossroads Church and Ministries Marshall, MI

F&F: How do you feel your college has helped you mature physically, academically and spiritually?
ES: Physically, I have developed such a great work ethic and it has really transferred into me getting myself in great shape. I am comfortable with who I am and confident in what I can do. The way I looked as a freshman and the way I look today are completely night and day. From an academic standpoint, Notre Dame has taught me how to manage my time. Because I play two sports, the time that gets cut into the most are my studies. I really have to set out a specific game plan of what I want to get done on a daily basis or I can get behind in my classes. I am a history major and have developed a real passion for it, additionally I also carry a minor in secondary education and hope to teach young people some day impacting their lives in a Godly way as a positive role model. Spiritually, Notre Dame has given me plenty of opportunities to grow. I am very involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and actually started a prayer group with my brother called the 212th Degree. With the 212th Degree we meet monthly and walk around campus praying. It has given me a great opportunity to have a positive effect on a lot of people in my four years here.
F&F: 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?
ES: Coming to Notre Dame gave me the best opportunity to be successful in two sports as well as compete in a great academic environment with a spiritually centered background. It has been both a challenging and rewarding experience. I didn’t get to play as much football as I wanted and that was very tough on me until I decided to control what I could control. So I built a great work ethic and gained the respect of a lot of people on my team. I have had a positive influence on many people and it has been great to have my brother come here as well. We have become very close. I’ve learned that thou you may have an idea of what should happen in life, God sometimes has a different plan in the grand scheme of things. I know that during my time here at Notre Dame both the hard work I have invested and the sacrifices I have made will be rewarded. My college experience at Notre Dame has certainly prepared me for the plan and the purpose God has for my life.
F&F: 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?
ES: College sports can be a tough and can hinder anyone’s walk with Christ. Being a college athlete at a very visible university, there are many distractions and temptations that can have a detrimental effect on you if you don’t stay strong in your faith. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve made mistakes in my life. I think what is important is how you bounce back from those and make a change. No one is perfect, but we can always take actions to try and be perfect. Also, being on such a grand stage at Notre Dame has given me a great platform to talk to many people. Hopefully I have had a life changing effect on someone while I have been here.
F&F: What are the most visible characteristics of your personal faith in God? How do you live out your Christian faith? What is the biggest spiritual challenges you face OR in what ways do you feel you still need to grow spiritually?
ES: I think that actions speak louder than words. We all make mistakes and fall but we have to keep going and fight the temptations. The most visible things in my life that I use to help keep me accountable and working to be more like Christ are things like going to church, reading scriptures daily, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 212th Degree, reading the Bible before my games, trying to be around people of high character ,and small things like praying before I eat. The biggest challenges are the temptations that arise from being an athlete on a team that has maximum exposure and is loved by a lot of people. You have to be careful to be humble, keep God first, and as I said before be balanced.
F&F: What do you do for fun? Tell us what makes it fun for you.
ES: Fun. Hmm. Just living life is fun. I am pretty relaxed and laid back, but I think spending time with family and friends is what makes life great. The relationships I’ve built and the memories that I have made make life fun for me. And food, eating good food is definitely fun. I also enjoy hanging out with friends and watching movies.
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