Rising to the ‘Challenge’

LIHUE — Randie Peters tried three times, and the third time was the clincher because Peters was declared the winner of the national Make-A-Wish Plank Challenge, said his wife Kathy.

“His final challenge was done in the garage at home,” Kathy said. “He held the low plank for 17 minutes, and eight long seconds on the last day of the national challenge.”

Sponsored by Valerie Pawlowski, a three-time world Olympic gold medalist in kettlebell, Peters earns the $500 purse that came with the challenge. Kathy said Randie plans to donate the prize money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation when they travel to Houston, Texas next week.

“Randie raised $360 locally for this Make A Wish Foundation fundraiser,” Kathy said. “A lot of it came from social media contacts and friends. We’ll turn this over when we get to Texas. Randie was honored to have been asked to participate in the challenge by Valerie because he supports the work of Make A Wish Foundation with children and their families who deal with life-threatening illnesses.”

During the first challenge on Dec. 27 at the Kauai Athletic Club in Kapaa, Randie fell short of the 12-minute mark by seconds, noting that perspiration from doing the low plank caused his elbows to slip on the wood floor.

Working with the organizers, Randie got permission to use other absorbing materials.

“No yoga mats,” Kathy said. “The second challenge was done on the carpeted gym floor (no padding) and his time improved to 16 minutes. Then, on Dec. 31, the last day video could be submitted for the challenge, he said, ‘I’m ready, we’re going to do this.’”

Kathy said when you first see Randie do the low plank, the appearance is deceiving because it looks effortless.

“Low plank builds core strength which helps with balance, standing straight, and supports skeletal strength,” she said. “It’s a really good thing to do as one ages because of the strength it builds in a person’s body. Randie has incredible core strength and that’s probably why they invited him to participate in the challenge.”

“I can do a 6-minute plank,” Kathy said. “But it took a lot of practice for me to get there. Most people can pull off a 30-second plank, and people who are really good can go for three minutes. When Randie accepted the Challenge, a U.S. Marine Facebooked him and said the longest average plank in his platoon was eight minutes. Randie’s strongest plank to date is 26 minutes.”

She said Randie was really honored to be declared the winner.

“He was so deeply moved and touched that his efforts would help the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Kathy said. “He was silent. But then, the excitement set in when Pawlowski conducted an interview via social meda from her home in New Jersey.”

Kathy said Randie was formerly known for his Dragonfly, an exercise move perfected by Bruce Lee.

“It made effective use of every muscle in the body,” she said. “Now, the Plank Man is here.”

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