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Aloha oukou, from the Sicest of the Pacific West on the beautiful island of Maui.

Returning back home to Hawaii for this fitness competition was a dream come true. I woke up to the sound of the flight attendance voice, “Please fasten your seat belts as we begin our descent towards the island of Maui.” I was overcome with so much excitement and nervousness, but most of all I couldn’t wait to get off of the plane. In fact, I snapped quite a few pictures in excitement.
 
Kawika HI Recap JuneKawika HI Recap June 1

I was picked up from the airport by a fellow competitor, Jenn D, whom I’d be staying with for a few days. First on my list on things to do was to buy Ahi poke, a staple food of the islands.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 2

Stomach full and ready to explore the island, we started our adventure to pick up some paddle boards from 808 boards. As we began to pull out of the garage I looked to my left, then to my right, then to my left again. All clear to go, I thought. Next thing I knew I was on a stretcher, paramedics surrounding me, slipping in and out of consciousness. I wiggled my fingers, I wiggled my toes, I thanked God immediately. The toughest pill to swallow was knowing there was no way I’d be competing in an event that I’ve been looking forward to for over a year. It was hard to focus; my attention often drifted away during conversation. The next few days are still a blur.

Trying to make the best out of my trip I still tagged along with the group to various spots. Every morning SICFIT would workout at CrossFit Lahaina, an amazing CrossFit facility not too far from where we were staying. The coaches and members there were very welcoming and encouraging to all of us. Although I was physically unable to compete this weekend, I was given the major responsibility of becoming a Judge for the competition and represented Team Xyience to the fullest of my capabilities.

Day 1 of Competition: No Ka Oi

SICFIT shirts flooded the Maui Sheraton as if it were spirit day at SICFIT University. With everyone flashing smiles and shakas the competition was ready to begin. Athlete and judges briefing started us off at 8:30 with rules and standards. After that, games faces went on. 3 2 1 … Go! Heat 1 rushed off to start the No Ka Oi partner workout.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 3
Kawika HI Recap June 4

The first workout was concluded by a paddle board segment worthy of America’s Funniest Home Videos for the mainlanders. With Maui winds and open sea style currents, few stood a chance.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 5

After the first day of competition, Lululemon, had sponsored a restorative yoga class on the Sheraton lawn for all to enjoy.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 6

Day 2 Final Day –

The final two workouts took place inside the Maui Sheraton Ballroom. The Sheraton Ballroom was decorated with rigs, rowers, kettlebells, and all the classic fitness equipment fitting of a serious throwdown. Day 2 was much more competitively wound as every athlete knew it was all or nothing today.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 7

All the 28 teams knew that this was their last chance to solidify their spot at a chance for a podium finish. In full support of my original partner and his new team we went over a strategy for each of the 2 events today. Emotions ran high as all teams pushed themselves past their limits and fought hard to finish a highly fast pace workout with partner rowing, kettle bell swings and burpees.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 8

From intermediate athletes to the professional-elites fatigue was setting in.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 9

Knowing that they were one workout away to finish the competition the intermission gave the athletes the ability to refocus. At the start of the last and final event of the day I stood on the sideline as my original partner and new teammate as I yelled and encourage them that they need to finish strong and solidify a first place finish on the podium.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 10

Through a very tiresome workout of gymnastic movements and Olympic lifting they kept a focused attitude pushing past exhaustion and finishing first in the last event, giving them the 1st place podium finish.
 
Kawika HI Recap June 11
Kawika HI Recap June 12
 
Cheering, high-fives and laughter filled the room as they realized that their hard work paid off. They couldn’t have ask for more of a story book ending; finishing strong, fighting through adversity, and adapting to the unfortunately circumstances given to them. Congratulations to Kyle Lucena and Johnny Griffith of becoming the 1st SICest of the Pacific West Champion.

-Kawika Henderson