invisible illness

Can you guess what super power I possess?

Do I possess telepathy or the power of flight? Hmm, maybe its shape-shifting or the ability to time travel. What about mind control or heat vision?

No, nope, and nada.

I have the power of INVISIBLE ILLNESS! Have you heard about this unique power?

Invisible illness is the ability to look completely healthy on the outside as said hero lives life, even kicking some serious ass, all the while slowly dying on the inside.

Invisible disabilities are chronic illnesses and conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living. In the United States, 96% of people with chronic medical conditions show no outward signs of their illness, and 10% experience symptoms that are considered disabling.

I suffered over a decade with severe, refractory Ulcerative Colitis, all the while competing in endurance sports, starting my own fitness company and working full time as a Junior Media Planner. I definitely did not look sick on the outside and although I suffered tremendously, I always kept up the fight.

My mantra,

How will I adapt in this situation so that I can keep on living the life I want for myself?

It sure wasn’t easy and definitely not all roses. I smiled on the outside and cried at home. Many times, my spirit became defeated and each year, my once bright light dimmed.

I soon became tired of people treating me, mainly medically, as if I wasn’t as sick on the inside because of how I looked on the outside. And my suck it up attitude didn’t win any sympathy awards either.

But now, after surgery, I find new emotions (anger and resentment) arise. Had my outer shell reflect my inside diseased body, perhaps my medical team would have treated me differently?

I let those very thoughts in and am sure to quickly let them go…

This is my destiny, it is to be my fate…

Could have; would have; should have.

It’s already spilled milk right?

Now, I am reborn. And with rebirth, I am a warrior, a fighter and an ADVOCATE for my fellow invisible illness heroes, especially those that cannot yet fight for themselves. For every day, we deal with ignorance, miseducation and bias simply because these fuckers can’t see what we know and feel.

In a future post, I will write about this week’s said fucker who bullied me into showing my handicap disability parking card informing me that I was illegally using my hanging placard.

“It’s not your pass” he proclaimed loud and proud, puffing up his chest while his belly hung over his belt. Wind fiercely blowing sparse strands of greasy hair poorly disguising a balding man in denial.

As he continues to put me in my place, I am enraged and saddened; but, all I can do is stare; stare at his wrinkly bitchy face, at the people eavesdropping in around me, at his shitty four door sedan, proudly displaying the title “SHERIFF.”

#asshole #bully #invisibleillness




aloha wow (workout of the week)

Pressed for time? Use either of these workouts below to get an effective workout in a flash.

Shoulder Pump:

Do 3 sets of the following, without any rest between exercises. Rest 30 seconds at the end of each set.

  • Dumbbell shoulder press 10 reps
  • Dumbbell lateral raises 10 reps
  • Dumbbell front raises 10 reps
  • Dumbbell upright row 10 reps
  • Dumbbell rear delt 10 reps
  • 30-seconds up up down down planks 


Bodyweight Circuit:

Do this workout three times through, directly from one move to the next. Rest 30-60 seconds at the end of each circuit.


aloha wow (workout of the week)

What is the most common reason why you don’t exercise?

Many folks declare, “Time, I just don’t have the time.”



Years go by and you still don’t have time, but the consequences of a sedentary life style sets in. Body aches and joint problems arise. And before you know it, it’s too painful or you are too out of shape to even start.

In all honesty, undoing long bouts of inactivity won’t be easy. It’s brutal, another kind of pain all together and it’s freaking hard work; but fortunately, there are a few exercises that can make a difference in a hurry.

Start now by moving a little using the Cardio Tabata workout listed below and start now by changing your food intake A LOT. Remember, fitness is only a part of the equation; if you want the best results, pay attention to what you eat, too.

Combine these four cardiovascular exercises into a tough and effective workout by using them in a Tabata. A Tabata consists of eight rounds of 20 seconds’ worth of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Cardio Tabata


  1. Running
  2. Burpees
  3. Jumping Jacks
  4. Skaters

Head to the gym or a nearby park, set a timer, and start your sequence. Simply run as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. The next interval, do 20 seconds of burpees, then 20 seconds of jumping jacks, 20 seconds of skaters, and so on. To complete the Tabata you’ll perform each exercise twice.

After performing one full Tabata, rest two to four minutes, then repeat the series three more times.


Run as fast as you can. The key words here are to run “as fast as you can” — depending on your fitness level, this may be the equivalent of a fast walk. Trust me, that’s OK. And if you want to work on your WOG (walk or jog), come join our crew every Wednesday!


Stand tall, your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, your core engaged. Crouch down, placing your palms on the ground under your shoulders. One at a time, step each leg back so you’re in a high-plank or push-up position, your body forming a straight line from heels to head. Immediately step each leg forward again to your crouched position, then stand tall. Repeat these steps as fast as you can with good form for 30 seconds. Rest for two to four minutes, and repeat. Perform four to eight sets. Find low-impact to high-impact burpee progressions here.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks 1) engage your entire body, from your calves to your shoulders, 2) you can (almost) literally do them anywhere, 3) they involve lateral abduction and adduction movements of your hips and shoulders that are a break from the more traditional forward-backward movements of most cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, and swimming, and 4) they involve jumping, which is great for cardiovascular health and bone density. If you cannot perform jumping jacks while jumping both feet off the ground, substitute the jumps for steps and step out to each side instead of jumping out to the side.


Stand tall, your feet hip-distance apart, your knees slightly bent, your core engaged. Take a step to the right with your right leg, planting your foot on the ground as you sweep your left foot behind your right and reach down and across your body with your left hand, reaching it toward your right foot. Make sure you keep your torso straight, pressing your hips back as you lean. Immediately take a step or hop to the left with your left foot, this time sweeping your right foot behind your left as you reach toward your left foot with your right hand. Find low-impact and high-impact skater progressions here.

These four equipment-free aerobic exercises will do the trick to maximize your heart health. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing that your tough cardio sessions kind of help counterbalance all those weekends spent lying around on your couch.


find your happy

Us locals say, lucky we live Hawaii. And yesterday, the Huff Post reported the same – Hawaii Ranks As The Happiest State In The Country In New Report.

One of five poll questions asked:

Do you like what you do each day and are you motivated to achieve your goals?

In 2011, I left a professional career in advertising for one in fitness. I abandoned an automatic paycheck and medical insurance to pursue my own happy. And boy, was I scared shitless.

During my eleven years on the 24th floor of a fancy Honolulu high rise, I grew tired of my corporate marriage. I often thought “Did I really go to college for this?”

I sold people shit they didn’t need or couldn’t afford, making them believe those very things.

Advertising is very sexy and glamourous. Client pitches. Creative ad campaigns. Market research. Target audiences. Radio ads and TV commercials. Print ads and online marketing campaigns.

On each anniversary, I became an even more disgruntled order taker; a paper-robot machine, spitting out media buys all day long. On each anniversary, I contemplated my getaway.

My saving grace was my husband, Lekeli. I am SURE he was UNSURE when I brought him my exit plan despite him not speaking it. And I am SURE he was UNSURE about my then mental state despite him not asking about it. Yet, Lekeli supported me as he always has-in the only way this man is built-he wanted whatever I wanted. And for his endearing quality, I am forever grateful.

It is very hard to be your own small business. Income isn’t guaranteed. Sick pay and vacation are unheard of. But, I set my own hours and choose my clients.

It has taken me forty years to realize that energy (yours and those closest to you) are just as important as your nutrition and daily dose of physical exercise. It has taken the loss of my own colonto truly appreciate the mind to gut connection. And now with each passing day, I am appreciating mindfully slowing down.

One of my athletes, whom I consider a great friend who also happens to be an AMAZING hair stylist gifted me a class at The Hangout, an AntiGravity® Fitness & Yoga studio in Kakaako. Today, I tried the Fascianation Class and the Aerial Class.

It was the first time I was suspended in space while being supported by a soft cloth hammock. I was able to move my body in ways before I’d thought impossible. Inversions provided me with a wonderful buzz leaving me lost in my own space. And it brought me back to that HuffPost poll question:

Do you like what you do each day and are you motivated to achieve your goals?

Fuck yeah. Every. Single. Day. Lucky I live Hawaii.

Here is some of my happy with my fur babies…

prs & life patterns

My first race was this past Sunday, running 6.2 miles for the Sharon’s Run.Ride.Walk. for Epilepsy. It is a small race where you will always find a parking spot and never wait in a bathroom line.

1st place age group W40-44

My love and hate for racing is one and the same; I always push my hardest in a race. Everything in my body burns. I unknowingly drool because I can barely breathe. My thoughts turn dark and I usually want to quit or drop dead.

So why subject myself to all of that?

The only way I can write it is like this – when I race, I know I am ALIVE. It’s refreshing and terrifying; exciting and excruciating.

I encourage my athletes to participate in at least one race / event in their lifetime so they can experience this sort of feeling. A few are one and done. Even fewer become obsessed on this new found means to an end and the rest are impartial.

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And despite their mixed race reviews, my lead-by-example method has created long lasting friendships that go well beyond the confines of 4 concrete walls filled with exercise equipment.

As their coach and friend, I’ve become woven into their life patterns, witnessing not only race finishes and PRs (Personal Records) but also weddings, births and as I continue to age, unfortunately deaths, break ups and divorce.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

2cw-HI Athletes (L-R) Allison, Me LA & Shawna Pre Race!

I met 2CW-HI Athlete, Shawna when she started my fitness bootcamp about 5 years ago. She was a beautiful young woman, single and looking to ramp up her fitness as she was kick starting her career. We became fast friends in and out of the gym.

In the beginning, Shawna was terrified and fearful; but, MY belief in HER was the ONLY reason she needed. Because I knew Shawna could, she did, over and over and over again!

With her dedication and trust in my method, Shawna went on to kick triathlon’s ass!

In return, I was able to witness her beautiful marriage and now the addition of a baby boy. And although she is thousands of miles away, Shawna has a special way of reminding me why I do what I do.

Shawna sent me this sweet note yesterday totally out of the blue,

Hi! first off, happy belated birthday – it looks like you had a great one! I wanted to drop you a note because again i was reminded of you and your AWESOMENESS. I went to a spin class tonight and it just made me feel amazing and just brought back so many great memories of training with you. The instructor reminded me of you just a little – she almost physically looks like you. But personality wise, you have her lapped. I remember how motivating, funny, and exciting you made working out to so i tapped into those memories to get me through it tonight. We were riding and i was thinking back to when we did Tantalus, when you motivated me to start triathlons and pushed me to do my fist, then second and third one! And, i found someone who wanted to train to do a Mega Sprint in September. that should be interesting but i’ve been wanted to try to get back into it and it looks like things are falling into place. I hope you are doing well and i just wanted to remind you how AWESOME you are and how much I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!!

Stay tuned for Shawna’s return to triathlon with her Mega Sprint Triathlon Race in September! Each month we will devote a post to Shawna’s journey!

aloha Friday wow (workout of the week)

It’s my Birthday month and I officially turned 4 decades old on the 26th! I definitely do not feel 40 years old! What does that even mean?

Do I need to stop listening to rap music with explicit lyrics?

Must I give up my sexy and tight clothing? 

Will the gas station guys start calling me Aunty? (OMG, I die, I die)

birthday dinner with Lekeli while listening to hip hop while wearing my sexy tight clothes hahaha

I’m gonna fight it every step of the way. I will continue my bi-yearly Botox treatments and maybe even look into that expensive shit called La Mer all the celebs swear by.

BUT, DID YOU HEAR ABOUT this AMAZING anti-aging concoction our 2CW-HI Athletes are raving about?

My peeps are all jumping on the band wagon and the BEST PART? It’s absolutely FREE! Wanna know, huh, wanna know?

It’s called nutrition and exercise! Do it on your own, when you can, at your own pace! 

Here’s this week’s WOW!

Gunnar Peterson’s Workout Challenge

Side Lunge with Weights

A Holding one dumbbell in each hand, feet hip width apart, step to the right to a lunge position with arms at side.

B Push off of the right foot back to starting position and repeat on the left. That’s one rep. Do 6-10 reps per side for a total of 12-20 reps.

Ball Bridge

A While lying on back, arms at sides, place feet on an exercise ball, knees bent to tabletop position.

B Pushing through the heel, lift body into a bridge position, engaging the core and glutes. Lower body to starting position. That’s one rep. Do 12-15 reps. To make it more challenging, try them one-legged.

Shoulder Press with Ab Rotation

A Holding one dumbbell in each hand, feet hip width apart, start with arms at 90-degree angle. In a fluid motion, rotate to right (pivoting on the left toe).

B Press dumbbells above head. Lower dumbbells and return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. That’s one rep. Do 6-8 reps per side.

Bicycle Crunch

A While lying on back, place hands behind head (without interlocking fingers). Raise head and shoulders off the ground and raise legs parallel to the ground keeping calves low and level.

B Engaging the abs, twist right elbow to left knee, while keeping right leg extended (remember to keep that leg low!). Repeat on the other side, twisting left elbow to right knee. Do 30-50 total reps.

Follow up with some cardio using this great 8-minute fat burning workout!

Or meet our group every Wednesday morning at Roosevelt High School Track!

don’t tell me diet

For over a decade, I suffered with Ulcerative Colitis (UC for short). It was a few weeks after my first Honolulu marathon when I became ill. “Stomach flu” my then-Doc preached:

“Take some Pepto and Immodium. Call me after a few days if it doesn’t let up.”

I can laugh at the ordeal today. Stomach flu I wish! Turns out a sinister son-of-a-bitch lurked in my genes (thanks Grandpa Hernandez). After suffering 10 undiagnosable days, my then-GI (not by my own choosing) called it. I had Ulcerative Colitis; an inflammatory bowel DISEASE not IBS, (another I wish) that is the result of an abnormal response by my immune system.

My life involved ignorant GI Doctors, steroids, food restriction and bathrooms, not to mention having to compete in my love of triathlon, pretty much in a fasted state (not by choice but dictated by my disease).

I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars trying holistic/naturopathic/eastern/not-covered-by-health-insurance concoctions.

I’ve tried every diet, juice, supplement, enema, pill, shot, patch, IV therapy, on and on and on. And then one quiet, cool and crisp fall day while at the The Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic, it was clear that I needed surgery.

My battle left me exhausted, depressed, hopeless and defeated. If UC didn’t kill me, my soul would. Mayo’s recommendation solidified a decision that I had put off for far too long.

Fast forward to today. I literally do not have guts , but I am far from gutless. And now that I have been reborn, I am enjoying the ability to eat a balanced diet allowing everything in moderation. I go by the 80-20 rule. And I don’t judge others and their habits. I support the belief that we are all different and we all need to find the path that works best for us.

I limit (NOT ELIMINATE) my fast food. I enjoy a good drive thru every once in a great while (mainly after a night out on the town with way too much alcohol involved)

I work out every day; every single day. My exercise is long and intense, more days than not.

Down to Earth juice menu

I try to make smart choices when I can. I mostly shop organic. I LIMIT (NOT ELIMINATE) my gluten. I do a few real deal juices or smoothies each week. I LIMIT (not ELIMINATE) my processed food and sugar and I drink alcohol in moderation.


My meals are home-cooked Monday through Friday and I really, really enjoy gourmet takeout on the weekends.

I do not eat cookies or candy or sweets every day. I enjoy these treats a few times per week.

I do not follow a particular style of eating such as Vegetarianism, Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Blood Type…but rather, I go by how my body feels. Sometimes, I crave meat. Sometimes I crave more veggies. I listen to the signals my body sends me and adjust my plan accordingly.

I abide by intermittent fasting. I regularly eat during a specific time period usually from noon-8 PM . On some days, dependent upon how I feel and what workouts I plan to do, I’ll decrease that time frame, choosing to eat in a 6-hour window, or even a 4-hour window.

And some days, all above goes to shit. I throw out my mental food checklist and I enjoy celebrations with family and friends. And usually, my splurge is planned so I’ll be sure to get in lots of high intensity exercise before and especially the day after my outing.

I like the f word a a lot 

On that wave length, here’s a pretty darn good zucchini “crab” cake recipe I came across as I was feeling in a veggie mood. My only critique is that it isn’t as firm as a regular crab cake. We’ll see if it passes the husband test… I used coconut flour instead of regular flour and garbanzo “bread” crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs to keep my version Gluten Free. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a whirl!





join us – weekly morning run

pre run boost (lemon vinegar honey)

Triathlon is a pre-fixe menu featuring swim, bike, run for consumers who tend to be OCD, ADD or both. I mean, what human would do all that for fun? Well, a shit load in fact, myself included for over a single decade.

In January, we come out of hibernation; waking up way too early on the weekends; sporting way too tight compression gear to pedal our two wheels until we drop or get dropped.

We have a leader; we call him Raul Boca . We have a name; we call ourselves Boca Hawaii. To an outsider, it is very strange. But, to us, it’s the best way to kick off the new year.

And then, in January, it’s my Birthday; something I’ve tried to ignore for at least the last 5 years. Not only will I be a year older on the 26th, but I will also “age up” in my sport.

The point to this story is this:

waikiki fountain

Just as my athletes pay me to show up and get it done, I pay others to do the same for me and along with that fee, comes an entire group of like-minded crazies who enjoy the strange things that I do so that we can smile and suffer together. After all, misery loves company.

Starting in February 2017:

We will meet every Wednesday (except holidays) starting on Wednesday, February 1st at 5:45 AM at the Roosevelt High School Track to do a run workout. Each athlete will chose what workout they fancy. We may rotate locations every once in a while, so stay tuned here on our website for updates or email us to be added to our private 2CW-HI Athletes Facebook group.

beautiful sights on da run diamond head

aloha friday wow (workout of the week)

I found ANOTHER show – “Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian.” Let the eye rolls begin LOL! If you don’t know me, I’m a reality-TV junkie. I own that. It’s my release; staring into the dark boob tube, viewing the rich and insignificantly famous, contributing to more of the same.

Some folks drink wine; smoke weed; read or write. My husband Lekeli is a sneaker head. My name is Lee-Ann and I love reality tv. I DVR all my shit (well Lekeli does it for me HAHAHA). BUT, you can bet that watching TV will NEVER replace a workout nor cause a missed workout – nevah, evah evah – as us locals say.

Any who, each “Revenge Body” episode follows the participants’ progress to transform their bodies and empower their confidence in 12 weeks, leading to final reveals and chances to defy those who doubted them.

Long story short, there’s a lot of puking, sweating and exercise with very amazing and well-known celebrity trainers like him here or this guy there. And so many new ideas for my athlete programs and personal workouts!

But not everyone can afford a trainer or have the luxury of time to get to the gym. So every Friday, I’ll post a DIY workout you can do anytime and anywhere for any ability taking the guesswork out of your workout! Comment below if you have questions or let us know how it went!

Now, get at it!


Cardio Warmup
Starting with the first exercise, do as many reps as you can in one minute, moving immediately from one exercise to the next.

Walking High Knees: Standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart, raise your left knee as high as you can and step forward. Repeat with your right leg; continue alternating.

Jog in Place: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, elbows bent and at your side. Move as quickly as you can, bringing knees to hip height while pumping arms.

Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet together, and simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump your feet out wide. Quickly reverse the movement and repeat.

Jumping Imaginary Rope: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, imagining you’re holding the ends of a jump rope. Push off the floor and point your toes downward, making small circles with your wrists. Land softly on your toes, immediately pushing off again, jumping as quickly as possible.

Mountain Climbers: From a pushup position, bend your right knee to bring it toward your chest. Return to start, and quickly repeat with the left leg; continue alternating.

Total-Body Circuit
Starting with the first exercise, complete all prescribed reps, moving from one exercise to the next without resting in between. Repeat the circuit three times.

Skater Lunge

Cross your right leg behind your left leg as you bend your left knee into a half-squat position. Extend your left arm out to the side, and swing your right arm across your hips (a). Hop a few feet directly to the right, switching the position of your legs and arms (b). That’s one rep. Continue hopping from side to side without pausing or resetting your feet until you’ve completed 20 total reps.


Start in a pushup position with your hands slider wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet close together (a). Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head. Brace your core and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor (b). Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. That’s one rep. Do 20.

Seated Trunk Twist

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and heels on the floor, holding your arms straight out in front of your chest, palms together, and lean your torso back at a 45-degree angle (a). Brace your core and rotate to the right as far as you can, without raising or lowering your torso (b). Pause, then reverse your movement and twist all the way back to the left as far as you can (c). That’s one rep. Do 20. Make it harder by lifting your feet off the ground.

Cardio Cooldown
Starting with the first exercise, do as many reps as you can in one minute, moving immediately from one exercise to the next.

Mountain Climbers: From a pushup position, bend your right knee to bring it toward your chest. Return to start, and quickly repeat with the left leg; continue alternating.

Jumping Imaginary Rope: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, imagining you’re holding the ends of a jump rope. Push off the floor and point your toes downward, making small circles with your wrists. Land softly on your toes, immediately pushing off again, jumping as quickly as possible.

Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet together, and simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump your feet out wide. Quickly reverse the movement and repeat.

Jog in Place: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, elbows bent and at your side. Move as quickly as you can, bringing knees to hip height while pumping arms.

Walking High Knees: Standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart, raise your left knee as high as you can and step forward. Repeat with your right leg; continue alternating.