How long have you been involved in the fitness industry?
I recently opened a business in Kona, Hawaii called Kona Fitness. I have been active my whole life. I grew up in San Francisco in the 60’s and after some years of distraction, I started my re-involvement in fitness in 1981 and ran my first marathon. I moved to Kona, Hawaii to enjoy the fitness based lifestyle and soon after, I decided I would enjoy helping others succeed at becoming fit and healthy and so I became a personal trainer and group fitness instructor.
What is your favorite part of being a fitness professional?
My favorite part is helping people overcome obstacles and seeing them take charge of their health and fitness because above all, I love seeing them succeed.
What has been your biggest challenge in your career?
The biggest challenge is overcoming my own obstacles to stay fit so I can be a good role model for my clients. I had severe osteo-arthritis in both hips and because of this had one hip replacement in 2007 which failed terribly in 2011. With not many options, I was able to find the inventor or my hip in England, who could successfully repair my failed hip. Working through these obstacles was quite the challenge, but I do feel it also helps my clients to know that they can overcome their own challenges as well.
Who inspires you to propel as a personal and group fitness instructor?
One of my biggest career influences is my buddy Rick T. He had never done an Ironman race and after he completed his first Ironman, he went on to compete in two more! He had overcome addiction and changed his life.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I find the most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing people leading healthier, happier lives. I recently coached and trained a 56-year-old that had a serious life altering stroke. When I met him he wanted to become a triathlete. I worked with him closely for 11 months and at the end of the year Kevin R. completed Kona Ironman Championship (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) as a physically challenged athlete. AMAZING!
What would be your advice to emerging fitness professionals?
My advice would be that lifestyle fitness is most important. As a trainer, you need to have an open mind to what is going to work for your clients. My clients are generally 50+ and my hope and hard work helps them to be able to live functionally healthy lives to a ripe, old age! 🙂