From a young age, Shane Davies took a liking to all things physically challenging—surfing, fishing, skateboarding and hunting in his native Kaua‘i. Right out of high school he joined the Marine Corps and traveled the world, then found a calling in the health industry after settling in to civilian life on O‘ahu. Today Coach Shane is the proud owner of Kahala CrossFit, a lifestyle hub that’s a far cry from your typical fitness center.
He first started reading about the CrossFit movement—the branded fitness regimen created by Greg Glassman—in 2012 in hopes of resolving the bad-posture habits he acquired through years of high-impact activities. CrossFit’s emphasis on self-awareness and functionality was a welcome relief for Coach Shane, especially after he was diagnosed with spinal degeneration, likely the result of surfing accidents and practicing aggressive sports like jiu-jitsu. He knew without a doubt that he had found his calling and started on the path to opening his own center. “CrossFit incorporates movements we did in the Marine Corps and techniques from around the world and enhances every type of activity imaginable,” Coach Shane says.
He describes Kahala CrossFit as a Disneyland for adults, where strategic movement nourishes the body and laughter feeds the soul. Results are measured in mobility, endurance and self-improvement, not aesthetics, and safety is of utmost priority. “The exercises that physical therapists do after injury, we do these things now so you don’t get hurt,” Coach Shane says. “The coaches become mirrors, critiquing factors like form, grip and posture, but we also make it fun.”
He credits the success of Kahala CrossFit to the four coaches he handpicked, all leaders in sports and fitness with amazing stories of their own about their journeys to wellness. The coaches include a pro surfer who oversees a youth surf team and a former teacher who brought lacrosse to the islands.
With the goal of empowering people, Kahala CrossFit takes a holistic approach to improving its members’ lives, from developing positive self-image to practicing respect for the environment through volunteer trips working in the kalo fields. The business practically runs itself, Coach Shane says, because everyone in his Kahala CrossFit ‘ohana takes care of each other like a team.
Kahala CrossFit offers six CrossFit classes a day during the week, plus a fat-burning strength class, CrossFit Kids sessions and KAIWOD, a swim and CrossFit workout held at Kaimana Beach. It also offers a six-week, one-on-one REVIVE program focusing on universal movements, nutrition and health psychology principles to improve endurance, energy and even libido. “It’s really just brain health,” Coach Shane says. “The targeted movements of CrossFit stimulate growth hormones to build muscle and feel good. You’ll sleep better and have a better state of mind all day.”
CrossFit is unique in that it’s backed by cutting-edge body mechanics research from around the world and regular input from local doctors and physiotherapists. “Society tends to dumb down fitness in America to pills, machines and pictures of how we should look,” Coach Shane says. “But here, we train for longevity, with the goal that you’ll be able to walk when you’re 100 years old. You should see our 68-year-old member who can climb a 15-foot rope!”
From college football players to soccer moms, doctors and CEOs, workouts are designed to get anyone in shape, no matter their current fitness level. “We’re not the die-hard, elite CrossFit team,” Coach Shane says. “Our demographic is people who have to work all day and have families. They can’t afford to be injured or spend four hours in the gym.”
Looking forward, Coach Shane is excited to add jiu-jitsu classes to the lineup along with a variety of specialty disciplines like biathlon training and Olympic lifting. He plans on opening a clinical psychology practice with his wife, Dr. Mimi Andjelic, to offer a combination of psychology and physiology services. He’s also brainstorming a legacy project to develop programs for at-risk youth in Hawai‘i, starting in the schools and expanding to safe houses for mistreated children. “It’s my vision to create a legacy for my children, to show them life is not all about self, but about serving others,” he says.
Losing his father too early inspired Coach Shane to set an example for his children, and CrossFit has proven to be the perfect outlet. Too often he sees people so focused on outward success that they forget to pay attention to their own health. “I want to share what I know and give others the tools to help themselves,” Coach Shane says. “Today when I get thank-you letters from my clients saying, ‘You changed my life,’ it’s just priceless.”