Aloooha from Hawaii!
About 2 weeks ago, an opportunity presented itself that I couldn't turn down. The scenarios all fell into place... and I packed my bags and headed to Oahu, Hawaii for 10 days of "training".
The last 15 weeks of shoulder rehab were very intense and although my shoulder was getting very strong, maybe even stronger than before surgery...but the flexibility and range of motion where lacking. At the end of week 13, my coach and training partners did a round of testing, which saw me post new personal bests in the 30m sprint and back overhead shot throws...we also did extensive strength testing on the shoulder and the results where good, but as I mentioned, the range of motion was lacking and I needed to back off (again) and give the shoulder time to heal from 13 weeks of pounding. I was due for a rest week, and my coach and all my training partners where going to be out of town for USA Indoor Championships.
Then Hawaii called...
My roommate and training partner, Brad Walker (pole vault) (http://www.bradwalker.us/)
just had some minor back surgery and wasn't able to train at all in San Diego...so he contacted a few of his friends in Hawaii to see if he could come out and do some core and balance training in the water at the islands. It just so happened that he had a friend who was out of town (watching the games in Vancouver) and needed someone to house sit and watch his golden lab Pele'... housing situation...done
He also had another close friend and former coach at the University of Hawaii, Spencer Chang, who doubles as an orthopedic surgeon and pole vault coach as well... He was able to get us access to the University's facilities as well as numerous outlets of therapy... training facility and rehab situation....done
Finally, we where able to link of with a few of the U of H athletes to lend a hand in the pole vault and javelin events. Brad also linked up with the reigning World Youth Pole Vault Champion from Sweden, who was in town for a holiday with her family. It was awesome to get a chance to see 2 current World Champions go at it. It was a good chance for me to give back a bit of what I have learned over the years in throwing a stick.
I had an amazing training week that involved a ton of low intensity kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and even a few horrible attempts at boogie boarding a few waves that where way out of my league! The lifting and sprinting sessions at the University where also much better than expected and the break from throwing did wonders for my shoulder.
Friday night and Saturday morning where quite the adventure. Let me set the stage for you.... dramatic pause....
We got a call around 3 in the morning from the guy who owns the condo (from Vancouver)..he says, "have you heard the news? there was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile and there is a 30ft Tsunami headed for Hawaii!"
Turns out, he got a call from our neighbor, who just so happens to be the worlds biggest drama king and blows things waaaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion! He told him the story of the earthquake and therefore he called us and began giving us instructions on how to pack up his entire house (which was in the evacuation zone, right on the water)
The view from our back patio
We packed all of our stuff and the home owners belongings from 3 - 8am... There was a bunch of random things to do, trying to haul boats out of the marina, moving tool boxes and surf boards to the front of the house, packing food and water for 7 DAYS!!! (thanks CNN...what a waste!) all of this on no sleep and the local media trying to scare everyone into a mellow-panic, if there is such a thing.
The most eerie part for me was the blasting of the Tsunami Sirens at 6am...
We finished packing up the house around 8 and evacuated at 9 and headed for a hilltop about 2 miles away....we joined about 100 other local residents who had set up shop in the cars, jeep and tents and prepared to watch.....NOTHING!
Everyone had their radios on, blasting news and eye witness reporters from every side of every island...then came the news of the 6 foot surge from French Polynesia... It was pretty intense for several hours, but as the waves came closer, then news reports predicted the waves to be 12 feet, then 6 feet, then 3 feet...
Then the sirens blasted again, and the Tsunami that was created from a 8.8 magnitude in Chile struck the island of Oahu and the Hawaii Kai bay with the force of......nothing!
The best report came from an eye witness reporter on the big Island...the radio guy asked, "the time for the Tsunami has come and past...can you tell us what you see now?"
The eye witness said..."well its a beautiful day here and it looks like a great day to be in the water!" ....the reply came from the radio... "wait, you mean you dont see the Tsunami wave surge?" ... "no, no wave at all here"..... "so nothing in the 6 foot range as the reports have been indicating?" ..."hahaha, no man, nothing even in the 1 foot range."
We listened to the radio reports as the dj's desperately began to search for things to talk about as the drama of the killer wave that never showed up quickly disappeared and the locals frustration and lack of interest began showing up. After all, this is the 4th or 5th time that this has happened in the Islands...evacuation, panic...and then nothing.
We hung out on the hill next to the bay for about 4 hours before we finally gave up and headed back to the house and got a kick out of the people who where hanging out on the bay, some of which had already taken their boards and boats out for a spin...it was clear that the panic that the media inflicted on the rest of the world was just a big swing and a miss...
I have 2 more days on the island before I head back to the training center in San Diego and the High Tech High Track Team. I am looking forward to their first meet on March 11 and myself getting back to throwing after a week of "training" here in paradise!
Here are a few cool pics from the week... Catch up with you from San Diego