Brandon Arakaki

Brandon Arakaki

Co-Founder/Coach

Birthplace:

Honolulu HI

Why did you start CrossFit?

I was just about to complete my second time through Beachbody’s P90X in a year, in the best shape of my life, when I heard about CrossFit twice in the same week. One Wednesday I was (completely uneducatedly) browsing protein supplements at the mall when in casual conversation with the cashier, I mentioned that I was completing P90X a second time. He recommended I check out “CrossFit” but didn’t provide any concrete references. On Friday of the same week, I was handed a free trial card to North Shore CrossFit by my then new friend Alexis Girvan at the front desk of Franson Family Chiropractic (in front of the very building we find CrossFit Five Plus in today). I had no defined plan as to what my next fitness move would be after completing P90X but after hearing about it twice in the same week, I decided I had to check out this “CrossFit” thing. I booked my introductory session (by email three weeks in advance, who does that?) and at 8 AM ET on Saturday July 11, 2009, in a team workout, I took my first hit. There was no looking back.

Certifications/ Accomplishments/Experience:

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1); CrossFit Coaches Prep Course; Inaugural Lionheart Award – Living Light Christian Karate

Athletic Background:

Second highest scorer on my third grade Boys & Girls Club basketball team…with a whopping TWO points on the season. (We clearly didn’t win anything except our parents’ and coaches’ cheers.)

One year competitive martial arts training with Sensei Shawn Hammond with Living Light Christian Karate (now World Wide Martial Arts, Conroe TX).

How did you get here?

I received a rather unexpected call to join the founding team of CrossFit Five Plus in December 2012, just a month and a half after having accepted my third corporate IT position in downtown Boston in 11 years (“gainfully severed” from the prior two as a result of multi-billion dollar corporate acquisitions). Two years prior, I had begun contemplating leaving corporate IT altogether for something more personal and fulfilling for me, having reached a point where the salary increases had slowed and opportunity was limited, so a departure from the IT function was not a foreign concept by any means.

However, I didn’t think it fair to the company that had just hired me to take off for this new opportunity immediately upon receiving the call. After a few months of talking with the other founders and really determining that this would become a reality, I decided to make the commitment. At nine months out, I gave my VP a heads-up that something big was coming. At six months out, I let him know that it was real, and, having decided that a 100% effort for a year would provide sufficient return to the company, at four months out from my completion of that year, I gave my notice and set the date for my last day in corporate IT. It’s been a huge adventure since!

What is your favorite movement:

Gymnastic: The wall handstand push-up was something I had to work on for quite some time just to develop strength in the movement. Now that I can do it well, it is one of my favorites (free-standing handstands and walks are progressing quite nicely as well).

Olympic: I love the feel of a well-executed two-hand snatch at max weight. It’s similar to a sweet spot golf shot with a long iron, one second you’re initiating the movement and the next second you’re wondering how in the world you made that happen without feeling anything.

What is your Goat (least favorite):

Sleep. I love sleep itself and understand its importance in recovery and restoration, but I’ve been on a schedule since moving to Boston in 2002 that averages me about 5.5 hours of sleep per night. A combination of online school on top of full time work, and two jobs at one point created the need to steal sleep hours. I haven’t been able to break that for years.

What is your PLUS?

Resident IT guy: 11 years of corporate IT in South Boston and Boston’s Back Bay and Financial Districts gave me plenty of big business and data analysis experience that has and will certainly continue to come in handy going forward. A lot of the detail work in setting up our business was easy for me to take on since I’d been doing a lot of it for someone else for so many years.

LIFE Leadership information resources in a lending library designed to give folks a mental edge to get their lives further ahead quicker, with a very positive, healthy, and results-proven approach.

…and perhaps someday, a slide trombone serenade now that we have a great space to practice…

Why are you excited to be a part of this?

I’ve experienced such positive growth in my own life since 2009 when I was first introduced to the CrossFit community, that it gets me really excited to help others achieve the same type of unexpected improvement that I have over the years. I’m no world-class athlete, nor have I ever wanted to be one, but I love who I’ve become, what I’m now capable of doing, and the confidence (in all areas of life) that I can wear because of my fitness achievements in CrossFit. I also find a lot of reward and fulfillment in helping people move forward in their personal lives (physically, intellectually, and otherwise), much more than I ever did protecting shareholders’ interests for corporations.

Favorite Sports Team:

The Kansas City Chiefs (professional American football) #ChiefsKingdom

The Ohio State Buckeyes (collegiate American football) – GO BUCKS!!!

What do you sing in the shower:

Depends on what I’m listening to in the shower – if it’s spoken audio (which is most often the case), I don’t sing much at all. However, if there’s silence in the room, I’ve been known to sing whatever happens to pop in my head at that moment. My life is a mix of all kinds of great music…that I probably only know all the words to about 15% of…but I can hum and sing vague syllables with the best of ’em!

Favorite Quote:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Free. Free to do as much good as I can for as many as I can whenever I can; and the rest of the time, traveling the world living, loving, and giving (lots!).

My mom tells me that the first thing I ever said I wanted to be when asked the question, and I was quite little at the time (so little that I don’t remember), my answer was “a daddy”. I may still want to be that when I grow up…but since I just got married in November 2015, I’m not in a huge hurry to determine that…

Something that surprises people about you:

I always have fun watching people guess my age – there are very few who have ever been within two years on their first guess. [That and I’m one of the most finicky and verbose writers I know – it takes me forever to write anything important (such as this bio that has taken an inordinately long undisclosed amount of time)…but it’s often pretty near perfect once I’m actually finished…right?…]

Favorite Cartoon:

Transformers (THE Transformers – Generation 1 – of the 80’s, of course)

Favorite Movie:

The Last Samurai or maybe The Matrix Reloaded, or perhaps another that I’m not remembering at the moment…

Favorite Book:

The Alchemist (Coelho), The Dream Giver (Wilkinson), The Slight Edge (Olson) – clearly, I’m not very good at choosing a favorite anything…except…

Favorite Color(s):

Primary: Red

Secondary: Purple

Favorite Beer:

Root beer (I don’t like alcohol…and there are suspicions that I’m mildly allergic to it…)

When you stub your toe, what comes out of your mouth:

Not usually words, just “pain suppression” sounds…and some very deliberate breathing…

Other things about me you wouldn’t necessarily ever need to know:

My nickname in elementary school was “Nice Hair”…children can be quite sarcastic.

Another nickname I had in my adolescent years was “Candy Man” because I was never without some form of chocolate or candy (Skittles and M&M’s were my favorites).

I’ve only ever had one cup of coffee in my life (2006-ish)…and that will never happen again. My employer lost a whole day of productivity from me due to…bad chemistry.

I bungee jumped the third highest jump in the world in 2011…and I wasn’t forced…

I had a decent collection of real Transformers toys (made of metal) back in the day and they were all thrown away purposefully in a home cleaning – I do know about forgiving and forgetting and I’m certain I have yet to do one or both on that…

I could very well be older than you think…

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