Member Profile: Sheri Fitzgerald, 57

Sheri began training with Brian after years of competitive running. While she initially joined BC Endurance Trainings to improve her finish times, she is now exploring her health and wellbeing through a more holistic lens and enjoys the emphasis on “the whole person” that Brian promotes. She’s currently finishing a Master’s Program in Integrative Nutrition finding herself drawn to trail running over road running. Here’s Sheri in her own words:

I started running as an undergraduate in Eastern Washington, which is farmland country, so I would just take to the hills and run along the wheat fields. That time for myself was really meditative and I really enjoyed the stress relief that running provided. But I began running competitively in my late thirties and I was a crazy runner for a while, always feeling like I had to do so many miles, in such-and-such time. The kind of training I did back then was really aggressive, not really about understanding your body or your personal goals.

I started training with Brian about 10 years ago. Prior to Brian, I had trained with another group, but it wasn’t a very pleasant experience because it wasn’t very personalized at all. What I like about Brian’s program is that it’s not just about the running, but more about addressing the whole person: what your deeper goals are and how your training can help you find balance in life. I’ve learned a lot from his Hard-Easy-System about really about understanding your body, your breathing, tuning in to yourself. I’ve learned to listen to my body and that’s something I got from Brian.

During the pandemic, Brian shifted to a hybrid training format, which I really enjoyed because we could train virtually and then meet on the weekends. It was very convenient for me as I now live on the central side of the Island and getting to Town takes a lot of time. Now that Brian has switched back to the in-person workouts, I meet with a group in West O‘ahu and I’ve been able to really just enjoy running again. The group training is really motivating. 

“I had a lot of anxiety around the marathon prior to joining Brian’s group. His training really helped me reflect on why I was doing the marathon to begin with, and just finding the joy in running again.”


Anther change I noticed with Brian’s group after the pandemic is that there was more discussion about topics like eating sensibly and meditation. And that was a big shift for me, because I was also running around in my life and never feeling really grounded or centered. I started a more serious meditation practice last year, with Brian’s guidance, and I’m finding it very useful in my life in general. It helps me to focus in my work so I’m not that scattered.

I had a lot of anxiety around the marathon prior to joining Brian’s group. His training really helped me reflect on why I was doing the marathon to begin with, and just finding the joy in running again – finding that sweet spot, connecting this practice to the concept of mindful movement. I’ve had some heart issues, and did a procedure the year before last, so when I started training again my old routine just didn’t work anymore. Now I’m realizing that my limitations have changed, and that’s OK. I used to do the Kaua‘i Marathon but lately I’ve really started enjoying trail running and just being out in nature, and am thinking that I might not even want to do road running anymore. 

Brian’s program has really honed in on nutrition and eating habits as part of our training. My father had Type 2 diabetes, which really contributed to his health’s decline. Brian is really capturing that holistic mind-body connection, where it’s more than just the physical aspect of running. I’ve seen people drop out of Brian’s training, but those are often the people who are thinking primarily about their finish time. I think the emphasis here is on safety and sustainability, and finding that joy with running. For me personally that’s what I’ve noticed and what tends to differentiate the people who stick with Brian’s program. It’s usually someone who prefers more personalized group interactions, is not wanting to feel overwhelmed by a finish time, and is looking for a more well-rounded experience.