Brandon “Ninja” Arakaki

I want to congratulate NSCF member and icon Brandon “Ninja” Arakaki on his new business endeavor.  He along with 4 other partners have been working hard for the past year to open a gym.  They are in their final stretch.  I am looking forward to bringing NSCF over to his new space in force for a breaking in workout.  I asked him to write NSCF a letter to announce the big news.  Congratulations My Ninja!

Hello NSCF family!

July 11, 2009 began a journey here I could never have imagined. I took one “hit” of the intro WOD at 8 AM that Saturday and I was hooked! The challenge, the variety, the community – it was everything I never knew I was looking for in my fitness pursuit. At that time, I was in the best shape of my life having been through two solo cycles of P90X and was just looking for “the next thing” to stay engaged and facilitate the wellness lifestyle I had just begun to learn about. I never expected that by the summer of 2010, I would find myself heavier (I had been working hard at gaining), leaner (I’ve always been thin but there wasn’t ever much muscle on these bones), stronger (I won’t disclose what I thought was heavy back then), faster, mentally a whole lot tougher (yes, I once thought of myself as a wimp), and part of a “fit community” that was absolutely awesome. The few years since then have been even more of an adventure of discovering what other cool things this skinny Japanese kid can do!

In December of 2012, I received an invitation from friends that has turned the past year into another huge growing season for me. As you may have heard here and there already (don’t worry if you haven’t, you’re not missing anything world-shaking), I have been working with a few partners, Greg and Maggie (Edmonds) Hood, and Chris and Sarah (Tymann) Welch, for several months now on preparations to open a new affiliate. Last Friday, Nov 1, 2013, we received notification that the affiliation process with CrossFit, Inc. is now complete and our new box, CrossFit Five Plus (you may not “get it”, but you’ll certainly remember it!) is ready to be introduced to the world.

As one of the founding owners working with three others who have at some point been part of this community, I plan to represent our NSCF heritage proudly and wanted to share a more intimate introduction with you before we go to social media and conventional outlets. You’ll see our name around and hear a buzz shortly but please don’t let it distract you from your pursuit here. Love this place like it’s home, because it really, really is – you can’t imagine (or maybe you can) the countless times I’ve been away and just couldn’t wait to get back – most times just to see my friends and get back to working hard alongside you.

NSCF, you as a community will never know how much you’ve helped me grow and how much opportunity and enjoyment you’ve introduced into my life.

Dave and Tara, I can’t thank you enough for the years of coaching, exceptional support, and comedy – oh the comedy in and out of the gym! Working out under your coaching has always been a favorite time for me, and working out side-by-side with you is even more of a treat.

To our other coaches, I’m loving what I’m seeing in your development both as athletes and as coaches, and I really appreciate the friendship, encouragement, and even the occasional ridiculous push to higher output.

I hope that in the last few years as an “everyday athlete” around here I’ve been able to inspire some to reach farther, push harder, and achieve more, both in the gym and in life in general, than you ever thought you could. I would never have jumped out of a perfectly working plane or bungeed off a bridge over a rushing river half way around the world, or had the confidence in a corporate setting that I do now were it not for this experience.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before the doors of CrossFit Five Plus are open with a soft launch scheduled for mid-December and a larger more publicized opening in mid-January. We’ll keep everyone posted as things progress and we’ll send more specific invitations to come play as we line things up.

In the meantime, look for me as I’ll still be getting my workouts in at various class times throughout November, enjoying with as many different friends as possible, even more so now that I know my energies will soon be directed elsewhere.

In the midst of the excitement, there’s definitely some sadness, but thankfully I won’t be far away (100 building of the Cummings Center in Beverly) and I plan not to be a stranger… Not to mention my USAW membership remains with Club 233: North Shore CrossFit WLC and to my recollection, I have yet to give Coach Dave a 6-for-6 double PR in a meet…

Keep on rocking it NSCF family! Love you guys! You’re awesome!

See you in the trenches.

Brandon Arakaki (“Ninja”)

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