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Wednesday, April 01, 2015         

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While his job as Mid-Pacific Institute's chief innovation officer helps students incorporate ever-changing technology into their education, Brian Dote expands his own mind — and body — with an old-school discipline: the martial art of karate.

George Kam's forehead wrinkled slightly as he closed his eyes and reminisced about his first encounter with a speed bag, decades ago in the shade of a colossal mango tree.

A workout routine can become about as appealing as a diet without chocolate. Which makes it hard to stick with. Intrigued by obstacle races, a growing trend, Jennifer Lee and Alfred Van Gieson tried the Makahiki Challenge mud run at Kualoa Ranch last year. They found just what they wanted: a fun fitness activity they could do outdoors with friends.

Former Ironman triathlete John Henderson was hit by a bus while riding his bike six years ago on the North Shore, but even though it left him partially paralyzed, it hasn't stopped him from getting back on two wheels.

When Tyce Nielsen does a pullup, effortlessly rising and falling like a fitness metronome, the muscles in his arms look as if they are going to burst through his skin. But Nielsen's real strength isn't in his mango-size biceps. It's in his hands.

Kelsie Shibata, a teenager with a cheerful smile, moves her lanky body up and down in graceful patterns while holding a colorful lion's head used in Chinese lion dancing. She glides as she makes her way through the courtyard of the Mililani Town Center during a practice session with the Asian Lion Dance Team.

When Kyle Gion was growing up in Kailua, he was fascinated by the freedivers he saw emerging from the ocean. They wore no tanks of air but had still managed to spear fish. Lots of fish. "I thought it was so interesting, and I wanted to know more," says Gion.

For Dr. Clayton Everline there's no better preparation for surfing than surfing. The real workout comes after a surf session. The North Shore surfer and orthopedist has a rigorous apres-surf stretching regimen designed to counteract the muscle imbalance that results from catching and riding a lot of waves.

Moana Henriques, who recently graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor's in agricultural sciences, fell in love with the art of Tahitian dance four years ago when she discovered Tahiti Mana, a professional dance troupe in Honolulu.

Ku‘ulei Nitta punches, kicks and grapples with her parents on a regular basis. She'll tumble with her mother, Patricia, and trade punches with her father, Bruce. But she's not a violent person. She's a devoted student of kempo karate and has trained with her family since she was a child.

Exercising more and losing weight are two of the most common New Year's resolutions. To that end, Americans spent $60.5 billion on health club memberships, weight-loss programs, exercise tapes, diet soda and other diet-related aids in 2013, according to Marketdata Enterprises.

To the untrained eye, surfer Dusty Payne flies without effort or fear of falling. Speeding along the face of a wave, he'll twist his body with a snap and launch himself 5, maybe 6 feet into the air. Then he'll soar a distance of 10 feet before coming down.

When state officials and local businesses need good, accurate information about the economy, they look to economist Carl Bonham. But his sober demeanor masks an adrenalin junkie whose sporting choices have forced him to stay as fit as possible.

Sunrise often finds Jack Roney on the blue waters of Kailua Bay, paddling his one-man outrigger canoe toward the horizon. That's one of the advantages of living on Kawainui Canal, a mile-long waterway that leads to Kailua Bay.

There was a time when publicist Tracy Larrua was on top of the world. The Kaneohe native had a high-paying corporate public relations job in Los Angeles and a busy social life.

Jennifer Wurthner has always looked for ways to squeeze exercise into her busy schedule, even if that exercise is a 26.2-mile marathon. For the past several months, she has been working toward her third Honolulu Marathon.

For professional dancer Cara Horibe, impending motherhood is no reason to stop moving. After all, dancing is a part of her life. "Everyone keeps asking me, so are you still teaching?" said Horibe, who is seven months' pregnant.

Browsing through his photos of powerful, barreling waves, each shot taken as he floated above jagged reefs, you would think Colin McGillivray is fearless. But courage isn't as important as respect for the ocean.

Jeremy Sentelle has big dreams. The Campbell High School senior wants to be a state wrestling champion, maybe wrestle in college. He wants to run a marathon, too.

Tabitha Fernandez was sick and tired of being overweight and feeling sluggish. So when her employer, ALTRES Staffing, started a free corporate wellness program that involved working out while at work, she jumped at the opportunity to make a change.

Alvin Shiraishi had a look of focused determination as he sent the ball with topspin over the net at a recent table tennis tournament at the Palama Settlement gym. He responded with lightning-quick reflexes in a rally that set him on a back-and-forth dance around the edges of the table.

Lane Woodall kept on trekking. She wasn't out of breath. She didn't need to stop and rest. In fact, Woodall laughed as she led a group of hikers on a moonlight walk on the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail last month.

With barely a drop of sweat sliding across his tanned and weathered face, weightlifter Gary Kawa­mura lifted the barbell — laden with steel plates that weighed more than he did — and raised it in a smooth motion high above his head.

Kim Springer never thought adopting a dog was going to help lower her cholesterol and get her into better shape.

Without their gloves and mitts, Marc Kumai and Ikaika Sylva, who spend their afternoons punching and kicking each other at Kakaako Waterfront Park, would look like a pair of brawlers with a thirst for violence.

Tango is known as the dance of love and passion. But it can also be one heck of a fun workout. Laughter, sweat and high heels routinely fill Brett and Jenny Griswold's small Chinatown dance studio, Paradise Tango.

Sue Cowing calls it a “burning wing.” It’s a sharp pain that would flare up under her left shoulder blade whenever Cowing, an award-winning poet and writer, sat for too long at her computer or while writing in her notebook.

When Plummer described that period of her life on a recent summer evening just before a walk through Mili­lani, her painful past seemed too nightmarish to be true. "I would bend down to pick something up, and I'd be stuck," she said.

Keala Fung conquers long distances, marching thousands of miles. Two years ago she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,660-mile trek from the Cascade Range in Washington through Oregon, to the Sierra Nevada in California down to the border with Mexico.


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