training for life // interview with melissa aiona
Over the last few decades we have noticed our fitness and health goals constantly maturing with us. We were discussing this recently and thought many of you might relate. We talked about how at this point in life, in our thirties, after back to back pregnancies, nursing babies for years, hormonal changes, chronic illness, family trauma and everything else our teens and twenties held for us, our focus is now more than ever on sustaining health for the long run. We are working today for strong bones in our elderly years, for cardiovascular health that will allow us to adventure with our future grandchildren, for gut health that keeps our immune systems fortified, muscle tone that keeps our pelvic floors working with us and for us, for mental health that keeps our minds clear and healthy for many more years.
A healthy, active lifestyle is not just a trend for fit people. It is a way to steward our minds and bodies to the best of our ability so that we can live life fully for as long as we are able.
We interviewed an amazing woman who is an inspiring and active woman at 64 years old.
She is an entrepreneur, paddles with an outrigger canoe team, is an avid boogie boarder, and an adventurous grandmother. Meet Melissa, Tiff’s mom!
Have you always been an active person?
Yes-- I have always been active... my Mom was a wonderful role model... I remember her working out with Jack Lalaine (on the TV) every morning... playing beach volleyball.. and in her later years running... marathons and all ! I saw what physical exercise did for her..both physically and emotionally and I wanted that too...
What motivates you to stay active?
I have always been competitive.. and have always wanted to be physically strong... when I first started out in construction work... I had to be able to carry my load..that is when I started lifting weights in the "dungeon" at the Nuuanu YMCA .. once you start--- you get addicted .. it is entirely up to you -- there are no limits... you can have any type of body you want... but you have to put in the time and effort ... Having a work out buddy and a goal... are both important.. But what truly keeps me motivated... I want to be able to stay up with my kids and grandkids.. To hike.. bike.. camp.. swim... I don't want to miss any time with my family.... my oldest grandchild, Keanu and I have been boggie boarding for 21 years now !!
What do you enjoy about paddling?
Ahhh paddling.. I LOVE everything about it..pure joy of being in the ocean ... the physical demand... the comradery .. the commitment ...facing your fears of long distance races (sharks!) the quest to be a better paddler than the year before
If you could go back and tell your 20 year old self one thing about staying active what would it be?
Go for it.... you will benefit greatly when you get older... The more you put into it now.. .the greater the benefits later.. Not just for stonger bones.. or your figure... exercise is such a HUGE bonus for your emotional state... A swim in the ocean or walk up a hill and back... can make the troubles of the day seem a lot less threatening...
What advice would you offer to others?
Find something you truly love to do.... and then it won't seem like such a chore... for me.. it is boogie boarding... after work-- a hour long session at Kalama Beach Park and I’m good to go...
I am so thankful that all 3 of my kids (and their spouses) are so involved in helping others find joy in fitness -- makes my heart feel good.. and they are setting such GREAT examples for my grand babies