We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our March 2016 Member of the Month to Brett Frank. Brett is known for being extremely friendly and encouraging to everyone at Solace. He is also a beast of an athlete, crushing WODs, weights, and always eager to learn and get better. You can find Brett dominating and entertaining the evening crew with Coach Dariel. Not only is he a tremendous athlete but no matter if it’s your first class or 60th Brett will always make sure you have a great time at Solace. We love having Brett as a part of our community!  Without further ado we present March’s Member of the Month, Brett Frank:

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Name: Brett Michael Frank (yes 3 first names)
Hometown: Livingston, NJ
Age: 26-27ish right guys? That’s what you all think anyways.  Probably because I look young and I act like a man-child. But #realtalk, I’m 34 yrs old, I swear.
Occupation: Talent Acquisition Manager.  I’m a people person, people like me!  Name that movie.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Well this isn’t fair.  How the hell am I supposed to complete this after the one and only Ginger Princess, aka Red Dragon, Sara Hovsepian, was Member of the Month in February.  My worst nightmare. Alas, I’ll try:  grew up in NJ, attended Gettysburg College in PA, lived in San Diego from 2004-2009, and been in NYC since.  I’ve got an awesome blend of East Coast and West Coast vibes, ya’ know – tasty waves and a cool buzz.  Sports fanatic (Let’s Go Mets, right Chauncey?), and love all kinds of fitness (duh – see below).  I can eat like a horse (some of you have witnessed it; it’s quite impressive), I don’t act my age because life is too short to be old, and I think humor can remedy almost any situation. I’m really, really good at enjoying the hell out of an adult beverage although my hangovers aren’t as kind to me anymore. I have 2 tattoos and want to get more. Finally, I’m a very passionate person and I think, a pretty likable guy, but don’t cross me; that aforementioned passion will not be kind to you.What is your fitness background? What were you doing before CrossFit?  
I grew up playing all kinds of sports (baseball, basketball, soccer). I played baseball and ran indoor track in high school on the Varsity squads and I was an Intramural Superstar in college. Before CrossFit I always leisurely lifted weights on my own. Fun fact: I was an endurance athlete prior to starting CrossFit. The 10 years between 2005 and 2015, I ran 12 full marathons and 14 half marathons, completed 6 triathlons, and also a Half-Ironman. I’ve also ran multiple Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, and Ragnar Relays (24+ hour 200+ mile relay race). Apparently I really enjoy pushing my physical and mental limits and seeing what I’m capable of.


What were your thoughts after your first CF workout
I’ll start earlier. I initially took a free, “Intro to CrossFit” class, which consisted of burpees, air squats, mountain climbers, abmat sit-ups, etc. When I was done, I thought “Wow, THAT SUCKED.  I can’t breathe. At all.” …immediately followed by, “Holy shit, look at all the hot booties in here. MUST SIGN UP NOW.”  That was 2+ years ago.  I’ve been hooked ever since!
What were your goals when joining CrossFit
To be honest, my goal was to become a more well-rounded athlete.  I always “lifted” in the “globo gyms” of the world. You know, the old chest/tri’s on Monday, back/bi’s on Tuesday, shoulders on Wednesday type of lifting coupled with my racing.  But the long distance running was taking its toll on my knees and a lower back injury from 1999 was always bothersome. I heard CrossFit required solid core strength, which could support my problematic lower back & washboard abs (I wish).  Win win.  I fell in love with CrossFit!  Yet I’m still freakin’ working at that damn core strength.  All of you gymnasts, help me!

Favorite WOD and Why?
Any WOD with my crew in Dariel’s PM class!  Grab the bar outside the smoove!  Holla holla!  But for reals, I’d say Isabel or Grace. I am very fond of overhead lifts. My favorite type of WOD is an AMRAP. I think due to the endurance races, my mental strength is built to handle the lengthier WODs rather than Rounds for Time.  No me gusta – need to work on NOT redlining in the first 60 seconds.
Least favorite WOD and why?
I used to hate Karen because she was really mean to my legs.  But I dislike her less now.  15.5 last year in the Open was an absolute nightmare – one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  That jibroni Dave Castro best not bring that back this year.  Or I’ll be verrrrrrrrrrry bitter.
Favorite Lift and Why?
Once again, anything overhead is really a strength of mine.  But if I had to choose, clean and jerk.  I love how much effort it takes to clean the bar, but oh you’re not done once you stand that bad boy up.  You then get to throw it up over your head. I love lifting heavy shit and split jerk allows me to do that.
Least Favorite Lift?
Thruster. I hate you thruster. You are the Joker to my Batman, you are the fire to my ice, you are the winter to my summer…You are literally THE WORST.  I think it’s the most exhausting movement I’ve ever done in my life. And I always wish I was 2 feet shorter when I’m doing them, kind of like Carla or Cecilia or Amara or Tess height, you get the point.  Alas, I can’t change that so once I get that stronger core, aka abs, I won’t hate you……as much.
Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym?
CrossFit has definitely changed my life outside the gym.  I’ve finally been able to start and maintain a nutrition plan that has helped me lose 12+ lbs and counting since January 4th.  *Shameless plug here – HUGE thank you to Danielle aka DG aka Macros and Metcons, for your nutrition knowledge and working to make me a better athlete!*  I’ve become mentally stronger in all aspects of life and more focused, which has bled into my professional career. The things I have learned about myself as a person, both physically and mentally, are things that I would’ve never understood or comprehended without being part of this community.  It’s really amazing what happens when you surround yourself with great coaches, unparalleled encouragement, and an amazing group of friends.  Thank you Solace community for embracing my madness.
What advice do you have for people just getting started?
CrossFit is exhausting; it’s exciting; it’s humbling; it’s every emotion you can think of.  But each day you will be rewarded beyond anything you could ever think of.  I’ve heard all the jokes, all the critical comments, etc. People really don’t understand it until they do it.  For people getting started out, I would say embed yourself in the community. The CrossFit community is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been a part of in my life.  Not only have I grown from a physical standpoint, but I’ve grown as a person.  People see you when you’re in your darkest place; people see you at your highest point of elation.  The encouragement you receive is incomparable.  Listen to everyone, especially your coaches; learn from your fellow athletes AND more importantly your mistakes – that’s what makes you grow; and help others – we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  Never feel embarrassed; never feel ashamed; never give up.  The beauty of this sport is we are all at different levels of fitness and we are all ALWAYS learning.  We can all accomplish things that we never thought was possible.  Keep at it and you will surprise yourself.
When you wake up what is the first thought that goes through your head?
When I wake up the first time or after I hit snooze for an hour?  Either way, I think about getting through the day so I can get to Solace, unwind, horse around (despite most of the coaches hating us for causing ruckus and rolling their eyes) AND lift heavy shit.  Solace and CrossFit is my vice and I need it every day. #addict
Rapid Fire Questions
If you had a theme song what would it be?
I was going to say Steve Winwood – Back in the High Life Again but it’s I Can’t Stop by Flux Pavilion.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
Survivorman or Dual Survivor or Man vs Wild.  I love that outdoor survival crap.  I think I’ve taken that knowledge and believe I’m prepared to survive a zombie apocalypse too.
What is your spirit animal?
I would say a Lion (because I’m a Leo) but as previous member of the month Sara once told me, “You’re like a drugged tiger from Thailand.  You’re very masculine but also super snuggly.”  *drops the mic*
Who’s your role model?
I’m going to get sappy:  100% my mother.  Wouldn’t be who I am today without her sacrifices growing up and her encouragement for me to be me.
Calories don’t count. Describe your most epic cheat meal.
Caesar salad DROWNING in salad dressing with an obscene amount of croutons and parmesan.  Buffalo wings and/or Nachos Grande as an appetizer.  Chicken Parm sub and a whole Baked Ziti Pizza, coupled with 2 bottles of red wine. Then NY Cheesecake.  Umm, I just drooled on my keyboard.
Drink of choice?
Give me a glass of bourbon on the rocks and I’ll make love to it like Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec.
What was the last picture you took on your phone?
A screen shot of the Alton Lane website, a custom suit store.  I like to get dapper from time to time.  And I look damn good when I do.
If you could only work out in one solid color for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Easy question.  Blue – it brings out my eyes for all of you to get lost in.  Drink it in Solace, always goes down smoove.
Doughnuts or Cookies
Summer or Winter
Definitely summer – me gusta, me gusta mucho.  I was born in August so I was a summer baby.  Sun, adult beverages, minimal clothing.  Man tanks all day err day!  Shout out to Sully for crushing bro tanks all year round – fresh to death and #onfleek.