My Fitness Journey

A little background: I am by no means a jock or an athlete. During high school, I was quite chubby and unathletic. After graduating, I did lose a bunch of weight, not in a healthy way, and I was still essentially out-of-shape… sort of a "skinny fat" kind of guy. Though I worked out here and there throughout my 20s, I wasn't all that serious about it. Things began to change about 10 years ago. My mother passed away at the age of 48 due to botched gastric bypass surgery. I was always close to my mom, and her death hit me hard. After getting over the initial shock, I began to reevaluate my life. Part of that reevaluation included starting to take my health more seriously. I started  getting more and more consistent about exercise, and began training in mixed martial arts and Kali. Now, a bit passed 40, I'm in vastly better shape than at any other time in my life.

Everyone who exercises is partly motivated by vanity, including me. But that isn't my primary motivation. I'm not obsessed with having six-pack abs, and I never expect to be on the cover of Men's Health. On a similar note, bodybuilding has no appeal to me. I don't obsess about putting on mass, or or bringing out the peak in my biceps. My goal is to be functionally fit. I want to be in good enough shape to do the things I enjoy doing, and do them well. For example, I'm an instructor in both Burton Richardson's JKDU/MMA for Street Self Defense as well as Battlefield Kali. My workouts are in part geared to make me a better performing martial artist. For me, this means using kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, yoga, and cardio intervals. To become better at these training goals, I studied under Jon Hinds at Monkey Bar Gym, where I became a Certified Natural Trainer II. I really appreciate his approach to fun, practical fitness.

I spent several years doing traditional workouts at a traditional gym. I didn't really enjoy it, and I had mixed results. About three years ago, I decided to make a change. I figured I live in Hawaii, so why not enjoy it and train outside? I started doing bodyweight and cardio workouts at the park, and the results were impressive. I burned flab and got stronger. And no more paying money to wait for smelly, seat-laden pieces of equipment at the gym! In late 2008, I began to add kettlebells to the mix. Again, I was thrilled with the results. The impact on my overall fitness levels has really impressed me. Some might think of kettlebells as some sort of fad, but trust me, they work! The great thing about the kind of training I do now is it's fun. I love the stuff I do now, and always look forward to my workouts. That wasn't the case back in my gym rat days!