April Male Athlete of the Month

Already near and dear to my 6:30am coaching heart, Brian's George Sheehan coda brought him to another level (although I admit I originally thought he was referencing a quote by Ed Sheeran):

Without further adieu, Brian…


1.  How did you get started with CrossFit, and then with CFNH?

I started CrossFit and CFNH two years ago after a few friends were doing it. I'm a joiner, so it was only a matter of time. Shout out to my fellow on-ramper Nadia Abascal and to Coach Amanda who led the way!

2.  Humble-brag time.  What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?

I was excited to get strict pull-ups this winter — thanks to Back to Basics and Coach Dags! Aaron also helped me string together some toes to bar with a kip a few weeks ago, and that felt really awesome.

3.  You are one of the stalwarts of the 6:30am class.  What motivates you to get t here day in/ day out?  What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for 2016?

The post-wod feeling that stays with you all day — the feeling that you can do anything — is what motivates me to get here. I also heard that Ronda Rousey uses the label feature on the iPhone alarm clock, which displays text when your alarm goes off, and hers says something complimentary about her appearance so that she sees a positive message first thing in the morning. After hearing that, I changed my alarm text to say “Good morning, sexy,” which I thought was pretty fun until one morning it went off during Back to Basics, and Katie Dana saw it! I was mortified. So, now my alarm clock says, “Wake Up, You Need to Make Money,” from the twenty one pilots song “Stressed Out.” That's to answer the question how I get myself out of bed.

My short-term goal (eternally!) is more double unders. My long-term goals this year are more weight in my snatch and stringing together some more pull-ups.

4.  Do you follow any specific diet or regimen to fuel your Athlete of the Month-level CrossFit performance?  What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?

I have a cutting scheme from Eat More Be Fit (thanks, Frank and Virginia!) that I'm using now. I started tracking macros in November 2015, and it's changed my workout. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to find a nutrition plan that works for you and your body.

I love flexible dieting, but there are days I want more fats! My dream day would include donuts from Whitney Donut in Hamden (and maybe also a chocolate glazed from Orangeside here in New Haven!) for breakfast, carnitas for lunch (pork + Mexican = heaven), charcuterie in the afternoon, draft beer, smoked chicken wings, and pulled pork for dinner, and chewy chocolate chip cookies for dessert. And could we work a burger in there?

5. Design 2 WODs:  1 that is your bread & butter, filled with your movement strengths; 1 that is all goats (movement weaknesses you feel you need to improve).

Back Squat {editor's note: although Brian didn't enter a weight here, I'll go ahead and presume the back squat weight is ~205#)
Toes to Bar
Calorie Row
(yes, please)

400m Run
30 DUs
20 Pull Ups
10 Clean and Jerk

6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?

I like to spend time with friends and family — which mostly involves eating! I also like to camp and kayak. And I like to mountain bike, but it terrifies me! Doing more of that is an out-of-gym goal. But if I have unscheduled time, you'll usually find me holding down the couch and catching up on tv.

7. What is one fun fact people may not know about you?

In a cruel twist of fate, despite my deep and enduring love for pork, in 2009 I got N1H1 — the swine flu.  {editor's note: we plan to return to Brian to request a full blog post on this topic as this answer seems dramatically brief, considering}

8.  Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?

Enjoy every sweaty minute of it. Minding your physical fitness is the best thing you can do for your emotional health and overall wellbeing. Last summer I came across this quote from the cardiologist and “philosopher of running” George Sheehan: “Heed the inner calling to your own play. Listen if you can to the person you were and are and can be. Then do what you do best and feel best at. Something you would do for nothing. Something that gives you security and self-acceptance and a feeling of completion: even moments when you are fused with your universe and your Creator. When you find it, build your life around it” (Running and Being: The Total Experience, 1978). Sheehan also writes that when he found the right fitness program for him, “ found my body and the soul that went with it.” Not to get too far out there, but CFNH did all of the above for me. If it does the same for you, you're in the right place. Welcome!

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