Meet Brennan, he is one of those people that are totally unassuming yet he packs a big punch. He is a MIT graduate and believe it or not, he is doing his part to bring peace to the Middle East by being an instructor at MEET: which is an innovative educational initiative aimed at creating a common professional language between Israeli and Palestinian young leaders. He also is active in the big brothers and big sisters and an awesome example of a dedicated client. You probably have seen him lifting ridiculous amounts of weight at the gym. He has experienced an incredible transformation since training with us, now let’s get to know more about the man himself.
San Carlos CrossFit: The SCCF pride is comprised of people living in many different locales. Where did you grow up and what are you doing here now in the bay area?
Brennan Sherry: I originally grew up in Connecticut and Boston and then went to college in Boston as well. After school I came out here to be a software engineer and have been here ever since. About 8 months ago, around the same time I joined SCCF, I quit my job to start a software company.
SCCF: You have a history in athletics. Tell us your most memorable moment?
BS: In college I played football, and in one game I blocked an extra point with about a minute and a half left to win a game, 14-13. That was fun.
SCCF: Tell us some of your other athletic history.
BS: I played football and lacrosse for 13 and 9 years respectively, and I was captain of both in college. I played basketball for about 10 years, through high school.
SCCF: With all the CrossFit and niche training facilities cropping up in the area, why us? And what got you started?
BS: I had lifted and worked out before, but I hadn’t been able to lose the weight that I had put on for football. My playing days were long over, so I knew I needed to make a change. In addition, I was starting a company, so I knew I’d be working long hours and that if I didn’t find a way to do quick workouts and do it on a set schedule that I could make part of my life, that my health might really take a hit. Also, my cousin is a CrossFit trainer in Scottsdale, and some other friends had done CrossFit as well, and from talking to them it really seemed like crossfit really fit my needs. My company’s first office was in San Carlos, so I did a google search for “CrossFit San Carlos, CA”, and, you’re not gonna believe this, San Carlos CrossFit was one of the first results, so I went to try it out.
SCCF: Tell the community one your biggest achievements since training with us, and where you want to be a year from now.
BS: I arrived wanting to lose weight, and in about 6 months I was able to lose 40+ pounds, so that felt good and made the workouts a whole lot easier! I’m actually at a crossroads right now as to what my next ~1 year goal should be. I’m considering trying to pursue more olympic weightlifting, or powerlifting, or perhaps losing additional weight, but right now I’m not sure.
SCCF: If a workout came up tomorrow that you dreaded the most, what would it be?
BS: Fight Gone Bad is miserable. I mean, just look at the name. They didn’t even try to pretty it up with a girl’s name, they just called it “Fight Gone Bad”.
SCCF: We started this column to highlight members of our community and any hidden talents they may have. What ninja type skills would the community least likely guess you possessed?
BS: I should have computer hacking ninja skillz cause it’s my job, but I don’t. I couldn’t even fix the internet for Bre. I can do that saltine challenge where you try to eat 6 saltines in 60 seconds without water. I know. Amazing.
SCCF: If paleo allowed all the beer and ice cream you could imagine, what flavors would they come in?
BS: Newcastle and cookie dough. Although “all of it and all of it” was a potential answer I considered.
SCCF: Many say it’s the bond of suffering together, which brings this community close to one another. Have you found this to be true? Any other new found friendships worth mentioning?
BS: It’s definitely true. It’s been a great help talking with different members about tips and tricks for doing different workouts. In the past my workout discussions have been only with a small circle of friends, so it’s great to get other opinions and motivate each other. I didn’t know anyone at SCCF before joining, so I guess every friendship was a newfound friendship.
SCCF: Through pain and hard work comes clarity and results. What inspires you to keep coming back for more?
BS: I’ve gotten great results, and I want to achieve more. Also, the competition is great for pushing myself.
SCCF: Unknown and unknowable is a training principle we align ourselves with but you will often hear us nagging you to train with proper equipment. If you could recommend something to a new client looking to improve his dress code, what would it be?
BS: After about 4 months with my old (like 4 years old) running shoes, I bought some new ones, and it’s been fantastic.
SCCF: Top 5 songs you would sync to our iPod for your next training session
BS: I actually don’t really care to much about what music gets played during a workout. In high school it was all death metal and System of a Down at our gym. Here it’s more hip hop and dance music. Anything is fine with me.
SCCF: We constantly preach the virtues of good sleep habits and ancestral type eating. Have you taken that step? What have you noticed most?
BS: I’ve always slept well, so that hasn’t changed. I like to say I don’t do paleo — that way no one can hassle me about what I eat. I am on a diet that is pretty close to paleo and has worked for me. It includes beans, whole grain wraps, and protein shakes (heresy, I know). On the weekends….let’s just say “mistakes are made”. Doing this diet has been great for me. I’ve been able to cut a lot of weight without losing much energy or strength. It took some sacrifices but wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
SCCF: If we found you kicking your feet up anywhere in the world, where would it be? And what book would you be reading?
BS: I’d be in Costa Rica. I’d probably be reading 1984.
SCCF: When you’re not down at our shop taming wolverines, what types of kinesthetic mischief would we find you celebrating in?
BS: I like playing basketball in my free time, although there hasn’t been much of that of late.
SCCF: Is SCCF a family affair or are you the only exercise assassin of the bunch?
BS: I’m the only one in my family living in California, so it’s just me at SCCF, although I’ve recommended crossfit to other family members, and my cousin is a crossfit trainer in Arizona.
SCCF: Training in so many different modalities almost certainly exposes weaknesses is a person’s skillsets. Since training with us, what has been the most surprising exposure for you? And have there been any elated moments of newfound acquisition?
BS: Double unders were a surprising exposure, and we do them a lot here so they can really kill your times on a lot of workouts. Pullups were an unsurprising exposure — I knew I sucked at those. I’ve worked on both a lot, and they’re beginning to become strengths, which has felt great.
SCCF: I don’t know about you but I am always thinking about my next meal. What’s for dinner tonight?
BS: Should it be the meal I’m thinking about, or the meal I’m going to have? Because those are two very different things. I’ll be eating a big salad, baby spinach, broc, cucumbers, peppers, lots of chicken, maybe some bacon bits, and dressing.
SCCF: If we started taking up a collection fund at the box for you to be surgically modified with any superpower, would we find you banging out iron crosses for reps or cooking one of Amy’s paleo recipes with your eyes?
BS: Cooking with my eyes would be pretty great and would save a lot of time. Could I also fold socks with my eyes? I hate folding socks. It’s the worst. Seriously. I know it’s not athletic, but if I could cook with my eyes, I see no reason why I couldn’t fold too.
SCCF: We’ve been putting together a new equipment list. Any special requests?
BS: A few more 45 pound bars and 45 pound weights. Things have been getting busy at 5:30 and sometimes we run out, and everyone knows a 25 and 2 10s aren’t as cool looking as a 45.
SCCF: If we want to know more what class would we most likely find you at?
BS: 5:30, MWF.
SCCF: Leave us with 3 words.
BS: Anything is possible.