Fitness & Wellness Fair promotes fun and readiness

Melissa Cruz puts her back into the fire truck pull.

Story and photos by Randy Dela Cruz
Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Tapping into a culture of fitness, the 2018 Fitness & Wellness Fair provided information, vendors, exhibitions and events that promoted a healthy lifestyle for military members and their families.

Held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center May 11, attendees experienced hands-on participation in selected programs offered at Joint Base.

Participants also got to join in head-to-head competition that featured a six-person truck pull, where teams hooked up to a 50,000-pound fire truck and dragged it for 200 feet.

A friendly and knowledgeable staff not only kept the four-hour program moving at an organized and brisk pace, but also ensured that the event was fun and enjoyable for everyone who attended.

Attendees of the Fitness & Wellness Fair join in a class of Hot Hula.

“First of all, I make sure that the staff understands the impact of the event,” said Fitness Center Manager Benny Miguel. “Any staff (member), whatever they are doing, are supporting the facility and event, so they are really pumped up. They take ownership. And we also tell the vendors that their presence at our fitness center allows our military community to see what’s out there, so they are really motivated. That’s what it’s all about.”

Entering the fair at the fitness center was like stepping into a whirlwind of activity, with vendors introducing their products to attendees, people testing out some of the equipment and the facility demonstrating a few of the classes that are offered throughout the year.

First up on the floor was Hot Hula, an island-style fitness workout that uses movements which are inspired by the traditional Hawaiian dance to burn calories.

Then it was off to the fitness center’s parking lot, where teams of men and women put their strength and skill to the test by pulling a full-sized fire truck.

The record stood at 43 seconds, but that didn’t last very long as just about every team obliterated the time.

In the very first pull of the event, the 21st Dental took care of the mark by covering the 200-feet course in only 41 seconds.

The ladies, under the team of Stroller Warriors and 808 Heroics, made not one, but two, attempts at the course.

After traversing the women’s course at 100 feet in only 21 seconds, the ladies conquered the men’s course of 200 feet in a time of 52.9 seconds.

Stroller Warriors show their strength during the fire truck pull.

“A group of us mamas said, hey let’s pull a fire truck,” said women’s team-mate Melissa Cruz, a military family member, who trains at the Hickam Fitness Center. “So we got together and did it.”

Seems like after the teams got warm, things really started to heat up.

After traveling the course in 41 seconds in its first time up, 21st Dental shattered the course record by bettering its time by a full 10 seconds to take over first place with a mark of 31.2.

STB Pullers, a group of pullers from the 747th Communication Squadron, got up next and edged out the 21st Dental with a time of 30.5 seconds.

However, the best pull of the day came at the very end, when 55 Pull, representing the 735th Air Mobility Squadron (735 AMS) set the new record with a time of 29.6 seconds. “We changed it up, so we had the tall guys on one side and the short guys on the other,” said Master Sgt. Kaipo Cowan of 55 Pull. “We wanted to go that route and we just put the pedal to the metal.”

With back-to-back successful promotions in the recent powerlifting tournament and the fitness fair, Miguel said that he is already thinking of new events to highlight the military’s culture of fitness at the center.

If everything goes as planned, he expects a couple of things to be in place later this year.

“I have two things in my books right now,” Miguel admitted. “One is a fitness competition, which will be like a strongman competition and the other is geared more towards being an incentive program.

It will be like if you run so many miles per month, you get a reward or recognition. It will happen. It’s just a matter of time. My target time is December, when all of this will be in place.”

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Category: Life & Leisure