19° 38' 24" N 155° 59' 48" W

MicroAdventure: Play Like a Lifeguard Run the Rock

Aaron McHugh

Need an exhilarating MicroAdventure idea? Act like a Maui lifeguard and Run the Rock. I first wrote about this experience back in 2012, All Work and No Play Makes You a Dull Boy. This is a fun and simple MicroAdventure for any age. Go find a pool. Go find a lake. Go find an ocean. Now find a rock, a weight belt or a kettle bell (anything to weigh you down under the water). Now grab the weight, sink to the bottom and start running.

@Anders Carlson The Rock
@Anders Carlson The Rock

Run the Rock: The Drill

My local Hawaiian buddies took me on this MicroAdventure off the coast of Kona, HI. On Thursday mornings, we would meet at the beach club and paddle to a nearby cove for our fitness ritual. Run the Rock is a lifeguard training routine used to train their lungs to tolerate less oxygen for longer periods of time. We did it just for fun.

  1. Find a medium size lava rock on shore.
  2. The rock should be large enough to keep you submersed, but not so heavy that you can’t move forward.
  3. Take the rock out into the ocean and drop it underwater.
  4. Dive down, pick it up and hold it across your chest.
  5. Now start running across the bottom of the ocean floor.
  6. When your lungs are on fire and your lizard brain tells you go up, resurface and then have your buddy dive down and repeat the above. Or if you’re by yourself, catch your breath for a few seconds and go move that rock again.
Happy is contagious underwater in Hawaii
Happy is contagious underwater in Hawaii

To some this may seem like the furthest thing from Play.  Try it anyway.

*Photography by Anders Carlson.  Visit andersimagery.com  for more information on his work.

If it still doesn’t make sense, watch this video of a lifeguard running the rock in the pool.

[tentblogger-youtube iMZYSBtKUIw]
Play like aquaman
Play like aquaman

Run the Rock Hawaii style

For my local Hawaiian brothers, Run the Rock Kona style is both play and serious training. Surfing, paddling, spearfishing make for extraordinary moments where oxygen becomes rationed…gulp…wave…breath. Run the Rock trains your lungs and your mind that you’re going to be just fine. Wanna be tough as big wave surfing legend Laird Hamilton? Start by training in the pool. Watch Laird XPT Extreme.