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Carver Rullow Renaissance Man
Carver Rullow is a true Trini Renaissance Man, the kind of guy you’d normally only find in the unrealistic imagination of a romance writer. His life has taken a meandering journey from writing to television to photography to hospitality to its current stop at health and fitness, where he offers personal training services at the Long Circular Club. This mountain of a man knocks the dumb-jock stereotype flat on its butt; he’s eloquent and expressive, not just in person, but on paper. Rullow writes health and fitness columns for local publications and the Guardian’s own Metro. He maintains his own health and fitness Web site, called Bodycarvers.com, where registered users can receive a free weekly newsletter, which he produces to support his clientele, not just the ones he has here in Trinidad, but those he left behind at Bally Total Fitness in Miami. Pageant fans can expect our representative to Miss Universe to be as lithe as a panther by the time she jets off to Brazil. Rullow is not only responsible for knocking the candidates into shape, but he’s helped winnow down the hopefuls based on how they look now, as well as how they could look after a few months of punishment, Carver-style.
Rullow doesn’t send anyone down a path he won’t tread himself; the man lives the gospel he preaches. His well-defined body doesn’t have the over-puffed look you get from a few frantic months of bench-presses, supplements, and black-market potions. He’s followed The Way of the Cross-Trainer since he was a teenager working out in the gym at St Anthony’s. “It’s been a life-long process,” he explains. Although fitness was his first love, it wasn’t his first career. He was a sports writer for AVM Channel 4, then left to pursue a BA in mass media, arts and television production at the University of DC in Washington. He soon wound up in New York City behind the scenes at the scandalous Forgive or Forget talk show. While in Manhattan he got into restaurant management, working at two popular fine dining hotspots; B Smith and the Shark Bar. Through these people-centred jobs, he honed other skills that still stand him in good stead; listening to and talking to women with empathy. “It helped my ability to reach out and motivate people I didn’t even know.”
Realising that more and more friends and acquaintances were depending on him for advice at the gym, he decided he just might have the knack for it. He certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and also attended Bally’s own training facility for its employees. Back in Trinidad once again, he’s embraced his calling—and his clients, 95 per cent of whom are women, have embraced him. According to Rullow, women take direction more easily than men, who like to think they know what they’re doing. The flipside of that coin is that results are slower with women, because of their biological tendency to retain fat and water and put on muscle more slowly. But they’re comfortable enough with him to frankly express the changes they want to see in their bodies. “It’s almost like plastic surgery,” he says. “Make this smaller, make that bigger….” Though his manner is open, even flirty, he’s never been backed into a corner by a leotard-clad client who doesn’t know where to draw the line. “I don’t think anybody gets hooked on me. I have a number of clients, and the opportunity to spend a large amount of time with any one woman is rare.”
Anyone who develops a crush on Rullow better have eyes at the back of her head; his wife of 12 years, Vanessa, is as fit as he is. And anyway, angling for a little gym romance would be a lost case. “I’m in a real love relationship with my wife, and I’m not easily distracted. I have a nine-year-old son and I have responsibilities. I consider myself a professional.” Together, the Rullows have just opened up a smoothie bar called Bodycarvers Signature Smoothies at the Long Circular Club, where they serve up Vanessa’s healthy concoctions. “She’s the brains behind the bar. I’m just the guinea pig.” The two see themselves as crusaders of sorts, spreading the word of good health and nutrition. “Fitness is for everyone. It’s not an option; it should be a primary objective, as important as religion. People only respond to it when they’re overweight or faced with ailments. It’s better to get into the habit now.” Taking the spiritual motif even further, he goes on, “Fitness can replace the kind of salvation people look for in other things. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to God or the Universe to take care of our bodies, which are the only things we actually own. It’s a way to show gratitude. That’s where my religion is.” Folks seeking Carver’s brand of salvation can call him on 682-0051.
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