This week’s blog comes courtesy of my friend Kāneali‘i (Kāne) Ng-Osorio.  He works for the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii.  My favorite times with Kāne are early morning runs through downtown Honolulu and finishing along Waikiki beach.  The serenity allows us to have meaningful conversations about life’s challenges and successes–and Kāne enlightens me with fascinating Hawaiian history.  Earlier this week he delivered the Manao o ka la (Thought of the day) to the staff of the Kamehameha Schools (schools for native Hawaiians).  He was kind enough to share it with me and is allowing me to now share it with you.

“Today I want to share some key life events that contributed to my developed passion for running and life lessons I have learned from it:

  • In 1985 I was 10 years old, My Dad was just starting to run and he was slowly building up his miles. He use to run laps around St. Louis campus and challenged me to run 1 mile and if I could do it he would buy me a transformer toy.  I wanted that that toy really bad, so I completed my first mile run.
  • In 9th grade I was accepted at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus. As a 9th grader I watched Po‘o Kula Dr. Michael Chun run up and down Kapālama campus each morning.  He was a slow and steady runner.  At the end of the school year he beat most of our class in our 15K Freshmen run.  His performance at the 15K made me think that it was possible to stay active into adulthood. Overall, the freshmen 15K and Sophomore Biathlons run by the PE department were events that brought our entire class of 94 together and many students completed these events that they might have never attempted in their lives.
  • In 11th grade after getting cut a third year trying to make the b-ball team, I made a commitment to be the best runner I could be in cross country and track & field. I wasn’t the best runner on the team, but I worked hard and brought my best.
  • In 1998 after coming home from college I ran my first marathon with my Dad. This was the only marathon he ever ran so I’m very happy I got to experience that with him.
  • In 2002 my wife convinced me to get back to running after I took a two year break from the sport. She ran her first marathon with me, and we raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  As of today, I have now completed 21 marathons and almost 200 races.

4 things I learned about life through running:

  1. You get out of things what you put into them. When you get to the starting line of a race, you either trained, or you didn’t. If you haven’t logged the miles and put in the work it’s going to show. Such is the way it is in life. When you don’t prepare, study, work hard, eat right, or train, it will show. You have to be willing to “show up” and do the work that needs to be done to be successful each and every day and this takes discipline. When I’m training I don’t always feel like I’m at my best. There are a lot of days when I don’t feel that “runners high” from working out.  Training can often feel like a grind. The reward though is getting into great shape if you put the work in and you will see great results in the races.
  2. Enjoy the journey. While I often visualize the pride and excitement I will feel in crossing the finish line, I realize that I should also enjoy each step in training in getting there. If you spend your life waiting to celebrate, you’ll miss all the moments that make up life. It’s okay to look forward to things and keep your eyes on the prize but it’s also important to enjoy the journey as well.
  3. Setbacks are part of the journey. Life, as in marathon training, rarely goes exactly the way you plan. Weather happens, injuries happen, sickness happens. The key to life is to learn to manage the bumps in the road. I have found it’s very helpful to set both realistic and stretch goals for my target race times.  During the race I’ll also adjust my goals based on weather and how I’m feeling.
  4. Take care of yourself.  Investing in self-care allows you to bring your best self to every facet of your life. From your mind to your body and your diet, better health allows you to achieve more and experience more fully. It can help you reach those race-day goals, pursue a new passion, and live, not just longer, but better. “Taking care of yourself isn’t about striving for perfection or unnecessarily limiting yourself, it’s about constantly challenging yourself to be better. “

Mahalo Kāne