Wednesday, April 14, 1999

will sweat, strain
for food bank

It will be a contest of
brawn to raise funds for
the isle charity

By Terrence Lee


Forget Jake. Get ready for Body by the Legislature.

It will be a House-Senate showdown Friday when state Reps. Nestor Garcia and Brian Schatz flex their muscles against Sens. Jonathan Chun and Matt Matsunaga at the state Capitol rotunda to benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.

The competition will be held after the House session, probably between 1 and 1:30 p.m.

It will be a two-card event: Matsunaga (D, Palolo) is pitted against Garcia (D, Waikele) on the parallel bars to see who can do the most dips; and Chun (D, Lihue) and Schatz (D, Makiki) will vie in a chin-up contest.

Lawmakers and legislative staffers have pledged donations to the food bank based on how many dips or chin-ups the contestants make. Matsunaga said it's possible the competition could expand given the many offhand suggestions colleagues have made.

"There was one suggestion that we have a contest to see who could sign the most bills," he said.

The contest will use a multi-exercise machine Matsunaga has kept in his office for a year. He and Chun use the machine during evenings and sometimes after floor sessions.

"I think Matt's going to kick butt because he's got a pull-up apparatus in his office," Schatz said. "I wouldn't have agreed to do this if I'd known he had that thing."

The contestants said they're doing little, if any, training for the competition. Garcia goes to the gym a few times a week. Schatz plays water polo, surfs and hikes. "That doesn't necessarily translate into more chin-ups," he said.

Chun said he hopes running will skim off enough weight to help him do more chin-ups. How many can he do? "Depends on how much pain I start to feel," he said.

Pain was a reason why Schatz cut short some light training this week. "I'll just have to rely on mental toughness," he said.

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