POTTSTOWN — If you're a fan of NBC's newest hit show "Titan Games," you may be surprised to see a familiar face among the contestants.
Brad Schaeffer, 35, formerly of Pottstown, will be a contestant in an upcoming episode of the new show.
"With the Titan Games I saw the commercial during the Super Bowl last year. I didn’t think I’d apply and from what I was told, you get a lot of people that apply and after that they head hunt and find people that would match what they’re looking for," said Schaeffer. "I have an account that promotes health, wellness and fitness. They found me there and asked if I wanted to try out and said they could fly me out. They flew me out and I competed in the Titan Combine in Los Angeles and ended up doing pretty well."
Schaeffer ended up being one of 32 people selected to compete in the show.
The series, which is hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, offers everyday people the opportunity to compete in head-to-head challenges designed to test the mind, body and heart, according to NBC. In fact, the large scale of the show is what Schaeffer said surprised him the most about the whole experience.
"I thought I would go out there and it would be mini competitions but one of them was if you move on from the first round, there’s 'Mount Olympus.' You run up this huge obstacle course pushing, breaking and rolling over things. That being said, that was probably the craziest thing about it," said Schaeffer.
And training is no easy feat for such an obstacle course, especially one where none of the contestants are quite sure what to expect.
"Nobody knew what the competition was going to be. The only thing I could think to do was to do Crossfit and I’ve never done it before. I worked out on my own and tried to do high intensity interval training," explained Schaeffer. "I’m not the biggest but I’m fast and wanted to make sure my endurance was at its peak. A lot of other people trained differently. Every competition was so different. Some had speed and agility and others were climbing, lifting. It was all encompassing."
Even among all the excitement of the competition, it's still hard to overlook the opportunity to meet a celebrity. Schaeffer says meeting Dwayne Johnson was definitely a highlight of participating in the show.
"Dwayne Johnson was awesome. I met him in a green room before I competed. It was really cool. He came in, met everyone, told everyone to try their best. He was humble, down to earth and nice as could be," he said.
Schaeffer is currently living in Weehawken, NJ and working as a podiatrist at Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Schaeffer graduated from Pottsgrove High School in 2002, where he participated in a variety of sports including basketball, soccer and baseball. He continued his sports career in baseball at Palm Beach Atlantic University before hanging up the cleats to pursue a medical career at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.
"My message and motto has always been about perseverance throughout my journey in athletics and into medicine. The worlds are very different. Merging those in school was very challenging for me. I had a lot of setbacks so I learned a lot about myself through perseverance. They chose me because I had a lot of setbacks," said Schaeffer.
"It’s not just a bunch of strong people lifting things and running around it's something where each individual has inspiring stories. It was so humbling to hear their journeys. A lot were sad, inspiring but seeing they made something out of themselves was cool to witness. And a lot of them are still my friends."
The episode featuring Schaeffer's competition is scheduled to air on Feb. 14 on NBC.