Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Visiting Lahaina CrossFit

After three days of lazily snorkeling, sitting by the pool, and stuffing my face, I was glad to get back into a CrossFit gym.

Lahaina CrossFit sits on a hill just east of the little shopping area around the Cannery Mall on Honoapiilani Highway. It's smack-dab in the middle of a number of spots that we regularly hit when we visit Maui: Star Noodle, Mala Ocean Tavern, Aloha Mixed Plate, the big grocery store that used to be called Lahaina Farms -- West Maui's version of Whole Foods -- but was later sold and is now just a gussied-up Foodland. Hence, getting to the box from our place in Ka'anapali is no sweat.

Anthony Bianucci founded Lahaina CrossFit about a year-and-a-half-ago, and for me, the timing couldn't have been better. I had started doing CrossFit at roughly the same time, so when we made our annual trip to Maui, I was on the hunt for the closest affiliate. I found Anthony's place -- at the time, the box was so brand-spankin' new that it didn't even have bars and bumper plates yet -- and threw myself into a number of WODs during my vacation:
In four workouts, we got the kitchen sink. It was fun and challenging, and Anthony's positive energy helped get me through the humid weather and ass-kicking WODs. When I finished my final workout at Lahaina CrossFit last November, I knew I'd be coming back.

More after the jump...

Unfortunately, I'm a little more dinged up this year. Coming off an ankle sprain and a muscle tear in my back, I was looking forward to a little more R&R and a little less blood, sweat and tears. Daily metcons in the hot Hawaiian sun? Not in the cards this year. In fact, for the first few days of our vacation, I've done nothing more strenuous than lifting a fork to my mouth and wading in the pool with the kids.

I had another excuse, too. Last year, M wasn't yet CrossFitting, so she could look after the boys while I got my WOD on; this year, she's been drinking the Kool-Aid, too. So until my cousin and his family arrived on the island yesterday afternoon, we knew we couldn't dump our kids off and steal away to work out on our own like we did when we visited Kauai a few months back.

But of course: (1) all play and no workout makes me a very dull and cranky boy, (2) our boys were more than happy to hang out with their cousins and push their mom and dad out the door, and (3) I wanted to check out Lahaina CrossFit's new, larger space. So M and I threw on our gym gear, drove down to the box in time for the 9 a.m. class, and got reacquainted with Anthony.

As soon as we arrived, it became clear that the box had grown a lot in a year. The gym is outfitted with plates, kettlebells, ergs, dumbbells, jump-ropes, a Rogue pull-up bar system -- the works. I was particularly wowed by Anthony's wall-mounted storage rack for barbells:

I also saw that our "we didn't have a babysitter" excuse didn't hold any water. Lahaina CrossFit has a little fenced-in keiki play area:

Noon was still hours away, but it was already developing into a scorcher of a day. After a few minutes of warm-up, it was time to kick off the day's WOD:

In other words, the metcon consisted of running 4 laps. During each 0.6-mile-long lap, we had to stop at four stations along the way to perform 10 push-ups, 5 burpees, 10 air squats, and 10 pull-ups.

Sounded simple enough. "It's just some running and calisthenics," said Anthony reassuringly. "When I planned it, I figured it'd take people 45 minutes to do this one, but some have been finishing in, like, 25 minutes."

But the WOD was harder than it looked.

It started just fine. The first lap went pretty smoothly; we ran uphill a short distance to Star Noodle, where we cranked out some push-ups, before turning and running downhill. At the bottom of the hill, we did some burpees, and then started the long run back up, stopping halfway for some squats. I was the first back in the gym, where we ripped out our pull-ups and started another lap.

Halfway through the second lap, as I turned to run uphill, the heat suddenly hit me. The skin on my face and arms were on fire despite being doused with copious amounts of sweat pouring off my head. I was panting like crazy. One of the other guys in the class passed me as we finished the squats. Still, I was in second place at the end of the second lap -- not terrible, I thought.

My running continued to slow as I struggled through the final two laps. It's been quite a while since I last did any running on hills -- and it showed. I eventually got passed by two more guys.

Result: 23:32 as RXed.

On the plus side, I did all the bodyweight moves unbroken. In particular, it felt great to bust out the pull-ups. On the minus side, my running still sucks.

"We need to come to class earlier in the morning," M told me after she finished her final pull-ups. "It's too damn hot."

You can call us wimps if you want. We prefer to think of ourselves as cold weather fans.

M, chilling with our classmates in the shade post-WOD