Disgust can be a powerful motivator. For an area with a climate that not only requires, but practically commands that both sexes remain mostly uncovered for the overwhelming majority of the year or risk possible heat stroke, my amazement with the vast cadre of physiques here is essentially non-existent. The notable exception is, surprisingly, those belonging to my age group. In an interesting turn of events, the complete antithesis of what is usually encountered on the mainland; many millennials here pride themselves on their fitness levels, athletic abilities, and the aestheticism of their bodies. Whereas, even in my beloved California, a woman that dedicates herself to the gym with passionate devotion, rather than idiotically starving herself then halfheartedly plodding through a Zumba class a few times a week, is a rarefied minority, in paradise, nearly every woman, from Mothers to Marines, is in the gym 5 days out of the week, pumping iron, hitting the heavy bag, and sprinting on outdoor tracks. And squatting. God bless squatting.
Men, as lazy as we can be, are blessed with ample ambition to pursue physical perfection by virtue of the gorgeous surroundings we’re encircled by, both in foliage and in flesh. And Brothers, are the opportunities bountiful. Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Street Workout, Acrobatics of all variations, Running at all distances and speeds, Yoga, Cycling and everything in between. I mean fuck, there’s even a group of neo-hippies that meet casually on Waikiki Beach come nightfall to do traditional Hawaiian fire dancing while reeking of potent marijuana. Whatever your vigorously rejuvenating poison, you will find kinship and an open door. Also, do yourself a favor and take some hula classes. “That’s gay bro”, I heard disdainfully, an admonition I was silently amused by upon recall as I spent the evening around a large group of sweating, shapely, gyrating women. Yeah bro, very gay indeed.
A good friend recently referred to my arms and shoulders as “sausages attached to rocks”, praise that, although admittedly somewhat awkward to grasp, ultimately left me blushing. Literally, much to my hilarious dismay. Indeed, and I boast when I announce this, my daily regimen has blessed me with superior development of my upper body muscles, as well as the expected strength my appearance entails. In a world filled with perpetual victims, I make no apologies for exceeding the average masses in my chosen areas, and no one in the Haven does either. In the name of transparency, however, I’m always completely honest with myself, particularly regarding my beloved canvas, the page I forever stain with my ink. In this case, despite previous accomplishments, I desperately want to take up the sport of Surfing.
My first weekend here, a veritable tourist even then, I accompanied some friends on a trip to Makapuu Lighthouse. Although I expressed little interest in the famous landmark, my eyes spread wide and my pupils dilated as I beheld, for the first time in person, a Hawaiian beach. It was stunningly ethereal, a postcard granted the Breath of Life by God himself. Regaining my focus, I ventured down onto the white sands, eager to immerse myself in the crystalline, glassy water. It was in this instance I was introduced to the act of Body Surfing. Swimming into the horrendously exhilarating onslaught of what I naively believed to be massive swells, I was promptly introduced to the sea floor. Upon recovering and resurfacing, I was shocked at the apparent ease of the locals as they navigated the treacherous waves, rising like roaring comets before riding the aquatic mountains down like descending, dying stars. This remained the highlight of my observations on the island until a few months later when I ventured to the North Shore for a kick it with friends and witnessed the majestic virtuosity of the fabled big wave riders. Masterfully tearing through the gaping maws of the titanic, imposing breakers with such talent and precision that they appeared to be floating on air and ripping through space itself, they were astounding in their complete dominance, yet sublime grace and cooperation, over and with the forces of both fear and nature. Some appeared to charge through the deluges like enraged bulls, while others danced lovingly and seductively with the great aquatic volleys, both displays coalescing into a stupefying masterclass that succeeded in completely enrapturing me. Neptune once again beckoned.
Another undertaking I’ve become mildly obsessed with is the practice of long distance walking. From the age of 18, one of the path’s I’ve traversed in my training is the pursuit of unrelenting, animalistic muscle mass. Growing up idolizing Bodybuilders and enduring the shade of my larger cousins’ shadows and sporting accomplishments, I longed for size and strength. As such, I swiftly absconded from any and all cardio sessions, obsessed to the point of mania with bodily growth and expansion. Now that I’ve succeeded to certain degree however, I’ve begun to, unconsciously at first, seek out novel forms of heart pumping, low impact condition that won’t eradicate muscular bodyweight. In this instance, I’ve accomplished my goal with zeal. Dorian Yates, a former Mr. Olympia with 6 consecutive wins to his name, who regularly competed at a shredded 290 pounds, used simple walking as his sole form of cardiovascular exercise, believing that in provided maximum adipose tissue incinerating benefits while preventing the cannibalization of precious muscular mass by a ravenously starving body. Advocated by both Victor Pride and John Doe of Bold And Determined and John Doe Bodybuilding, respectfully, as well, I could see no reason why I shouldn’t adopt it and appropriate it for my own use. Hawaii, whether one chooses to hike the wonderous mountains or the thick urban sprawls, boasts naught but magnificence and exquisiteness in its locales, and walking is as good a method of locomotion as any to enjoy the sights.
Island Fever is a real malady, afflicting one after a prolonged period of time confined to the jutting, water enclosed land mass. But to believe that being here is a form of imprisonment is the height of folly. This tropical hideaway has a culture all its own, unique and indigenous, captivating in its vibrancy and startling in its strength. Obesity runs rampant in many, but among the young, hungry, and ambitious, fitness is a virtue, a near religion, as it should be. Come out here for awhile. You may never leave.