Forty-five seconds of sustained exertion was new to Brady Lee, who found the experience of pulling an 18,000-pound Freightliner truck 30 feet on level ground to be at once exhausting and exhilarating.
“I lift, I work out almost five days a week. But after I did that, I got lightheaded,” said the 16-year-old Old Rochester Regional High School junior, who had gone to Hanson on September 11 with some friends to watch his personal trainer, Liz Pothel-Pereira, pull a Hummer H2 weighing approximately 6,600 pounds, then the Freightliner.
Lee has a dog and felt a connection to the event, so he ended up donating to support Pothel-Pereira’s effort to raise money for the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts (APCSM). Getting others to give the truck pull a try wasn’t on his radar, but it was on Pothel-Pereira’s.
“I kind of had it planned. All my athletes and clients, when I bring them to places, I tend to make them do things that they don’t think they’re capable of doing,” she said. “Brady came with two other kids. My original plan was to ask two of the other kids, but they were like, ‘Nah, Liz, we’re good.'”
Event organizer Alex Oman then asked who was next. “Brady turns around and looks at me, puts his sunglasses down,” recalled Pothel-Pereira, who instructed Lee to listen to Oman’s instructions.
“I did not think I was going to do it,” said Lee. “I just got up there and gave it my best shot. There was a whole crowd, once I got it moving … “
Pothel-Pereira uniquely shared the excitement, having just accomplished the feat herself in a minute’s time. “Once he started moving, [I said] ‘Brady it’s moving,’ and he just kicked into second gear. I’ve never seen him smile this much.”
Lee estimates it took him 30 seconds to a minute just to reset physically. As a 6-foot-1, 175-pound, year-round lacrosse midfielder who plays at ORR and with the Wrentham-based Piatelli Club, Lee keeps fit.
“I’m just trying to keep up. My goal is to play in college,” he said. “Any time I’m going for something big, I warm up, I stretch. I was feeling alright but, before any big thing, you get good sleep and have a big meal before it.”
Lee says he’ll try again at the fundraiser next year. “I’m interested to keep going bigger,” he said.
Pothel-Pereira, whose 22 years of training experience dates back to work with the Canadian Football League Montreal Alouettes, was happy to see Sharon Carabba, her student from Carver, also pull the Hummer H2.
The APCSM is a 501(c)(3) education and outreach animal shelter serving Plymouth, Norfolk, and Bristol counties. Since 2009, the APCSM has placed over 7,000 animals into homes. For more information, visit apcsm.org.
By Mick Colageo