PROFESSION: Director of a Gang Violence Intervention Program; Public Health Consultant
HOMETOWN: Born in Santa Monica and raised in Huntington Beach
COLLEGE: UCLA – Goooooo Bruins!
FAVORITE FOOD: A toss-up between papayas from my former home in Hawaii or fresh picked Blenheim apricots.
FAVORITE PLACE VISITED: Another toss up! It’s between Tanzania and Borneo.
PLACE YOU WANT TO VISIT: Madagascar
FAVORITE MOVIE: Being John Malkovich
FAVORITE BAND: The Ramones, Social Distortion, Bad Religion – this list could get mighty long.
HOBBIES: Surfing, hiking, adventure traveling, community activism
BACKGROUND: I am so happy with my progress. While I may not be keeping up with our Olympic qualified runners, I have come a long way. When I started, I couldn’t finish three laps around the track. Now, my next goal is to run a mile in eight minutes. I’ve lapped myself from when I started! I’ve also doubled the amount of sit-ups and push-ups (now Army standard), and lost 20 pounds.
In addition to feeling stronger, I’ve become mentally tougher. On my recent trip to Southeast Asia, when a “nature walk” turned into two days of hard-core trekking straight up a mountain (no switchbacks!) through dense jungle, I called upon my Sonki Fitness training to conquer it. I was in way over my head – technically and physically – battling torrential rains, deep mud, washed out steep trails and relentless leeches (ewww!). When I thought I couldn’t possibly take another step, I heard Sonki saying “up an inch, up an inch.” With my mantra, I “upped an inch” up that @#$%! mountain for two days until we were safely back at the village. I now enjoy a new-found confidence that allows me to accomplish more than I thought possible.
What is your current exercise routine? Sonki Fitness three days a week interspersed with gym workouts and running. Since I like to be outdoors, I also hike a few times a month.
What is your motivation to stay in shape? My motivation is the kids in my gang violence intervention program. All of them have been injured by violence, mostly firearm assaults, and some of them have significant injuries including paraplegia. Despite everything going against them, they have amazingly positive attitudes. If they can survive traumatic assaults and find motivation to keep moving forward, then by golly, I can do anything…one more lap around the track or even mountain climbers (and with a smile).
Plus, I never again want to feel the pain that I had after my first week of Sonki!
What is your greatest challenge to staying in shape? Not letting travel, illness, or work get in the way of my fitness routine.
What is your key to success? Incorporating fitness into my everyday life by learning exercises that don’t require a lot of equipment. During my last trip to Southeast Asia, I brought resistance bands with me and re-created Sonki Fitness workouts. In fact, I inadvertently ended up training a Laotian army officer, Sonki-style! While working out, I was approached by a man in a uniform. Terrified, I was certain that I was breaking some law (perhaps, he was the modesty police and my workout shorts were too short?). Instead of arresting me, he grabbed my resistance bands. So, I showed him a few exercises…and that tough Laotian army officer couldn’t keep up!
What do you like about Sonki Fitness Boot Camp and how has it affected your life? I’ve learned that with a pair of running shoes and a resistance band, I can work out anywhere. Sonki’s circuit training really works for me – when I feel I can’t go further, I remind myself that I can do anything for one minute – and suddenly, one minute turns into sixty, and I finish a super workout.
What advice would you give to others about fitness? Invest in yourself. In public health, we are working to address the epidemic of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. These two risk behaviors have a bigger impact on health than anything else. We can choose to invest in ourselves now or pay the price later.
Any other comments? Pain is temporary. This too shall pass. Just do it.