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How to Sweat Like a Hawaiian

Author Chris Wright Illustration Marc Rosenthal


This month (October 10), the Ironman World Championship comes to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, as the world’s finest masochists compete in a triathlon that requires a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle race and a 26.2-mile run. This laid-back paradise might seem an odd choice for such an event, but the locals here are no strangers to physical exertion. Here, how to work out like an islander.
1. Tree Climbing

Approach the tree and grip the sides with both hands, the way you might when giving someone a good talking to. Next, hop up and squeeze the trunk with the (bare) soles of the feet, knees akimbo. Extend your legs and regrip with the hands, then quickly bring your feet up. Repeat until you either reach a coconut or fall down.
2. Hula Dancing
First, put on appropriate music (the “Hukilau” song, rather than “Can’t Feel My Face”), then swing your hips to either side, as if trying to barge your way off a crowded subway car. With your arms, make like you’re hauling in a fishing net, then pretend to throw it away, wiggling and stepping side to side as you do so. Phew.

3. Spam Extracting
While ring-pull tops have replaced the finger-slicing, key-twist method of old, you still need a strong wrist and a steady nerve to open a tin of Hawaii’s favorite foodstuff. Next, you need to get the meat to come out, which requires holding the tin upside down and banging its base for an hour or so. After this, e ‘ai kaua!

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