When the annual Crossfit Games begin this week in California, a box from Kalihi called Crossfit 808 will be among the favorites in team competition. And, a group of otherwise ordinary people from here in Hawaii will be competing as some of the top athletes in the sport.
"It takes a lot of time, these guys literally finish their job, some of them work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. They get in here and then they train for the next three hours," says Crossfit 808 gym owner and team member, Elyse Umeda-Korth. "We do a strength portion which can include anything from squatting to Olympic weight lifting. Then, we'll head into some conditioning which includes pretty much anything thing at this point. So, it really takes a lot of time and I don't think people really realize that...how much time and dedication it takes from these guys with full time jobs besides crossfit."
In the past, that time spent in the gym has paid off for the Kahili based team. Last year they finished fourth among international competition at the Crossfit Games. It's a feat that's particularly impressive considering that teams don't even learn what events they'll be competing in until the day before the competition.
"It's always helped having gone the year prior, knowing day one we're going to get thrown into some mix-up that we have no idea," said Crossfit 808 team member, Josh Akiona. "The day prior we'll find out. Then, it's going to be a three day onslaught of just workout after workout."
With little indication of what their workouts might include, the team has been putting in extra hours and making sure to cover all their bases.
"We know generally that we have to train running, we have to train swimming, and we generally know that we have to be competent on moving barbells, cycling barbells back and forth," said Akiona. "Gymnastics movements we have to be on top of, and we know that generally the events, they want to make them as exciting as possible. They're looking at these high risk maneuvers, looking at a lot of weight being thrown around. So, we try to come up with things that we can match to that."
This will be the fourth consecutive year Crossfit 808 will be competing at the Crossfit Games. After just missing the medal stand in 2015, this time around they have one thing in mind.
"We are looking to podium for the first time ever. And after being so close last year, we're really looking to finish in the top three," said Umeda-Korth.
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