One of the many things about being married is that the love that you have for each other can grow into friendship and blossom into respect and admiration.
For Eric and Cindy Kuwana their six year marriage has produced many exercise related benefits.
Cindy, a long time distance runner, provides the role model that Eric need to get off the coach and onto the roads.
Recently Eric completed his first marathon (26.2 miles) and credits his wife as being his primary motivation.
“I never played any sports in High School and I was never really motivated to do much of anything until I saw my wife finish her first marathon,” Eric Kuwana said.
Kuwana grew up in Hilo and was a 1992 Viking graduate and he now works as the sales manager at S. Tokunaga Store.
“I run the largest shoreline fishing tournament in the state,” Kuwana said. “The inception of this tournament was in 2004 and since has grown to over 500 participants.”
Kuwana also gives much of the credit for the fishing tournament success to his wife.
“Every June, with the help of my wife, we’ve been putting on this fishing tournament,” he said.
And how did Eric get involved with his first marathon experience, you might ask?
“My wife signed me up to do the Honolulu Marathon in December 2011 and I did it to prove to myself that I could complete a marathon,” Kuwana said. “It was never a goal of mine to do a marathon, but with my wife’s urging I did it with a finishing time of 5:43:49.”
Eric’s wife did her first marathon in December 2010, six months after being in a serious car accident that set her training schedule back.
“I was the driver in that auto accident that my wife was in and I still have occasional aches and pains since we were t-boned,” Kuwana said.
Part of that glowing admiration that Kuwana has for his wife was in seeing her cross that finish line in 8 hours and 3 minutes two years ago.
Better trained and better prepared Cindy was able to complete the 2011 marathon nearly an hour faster, finishing in 7:15.
“When my wife took me on my first training run, which was less than 2 miles, I thought it was hell,” Kuwana said. “I’ve come a long way since starting training this past February.”
Through his wife’s guidance Kuwana has made great strides in his health and fitness needs.
“I have taken up stand up paddle boarding and will also accompany my wife to Kiwi Fitness for Turbo kick class,” Kuwana said. “I also took up R.I.P.P.E.D. exercise classes for better fitness,” he said.
R.I.P.P.E.D. stands for Resistance, Intervals, Power, Ply metrics, Endurance and Diet and Kuwana swears by it high intensity fitness level.
“I attend the class every Thursday at Kiwi Fitness and that helps my wife and I cross train,” Kuwana said. “Most people think that 5 or 8 pound weights are light but, I encourage all to attend this class as you will be humbled, like I was, 10 minutes into the class.”
Running is also an important feature to his fitness routine, but Kuwana is smart enough to know that rest days are also important in staying injury free by taking Friday’s and Saturday’s as his days off.
“Following the 2011 marathon Cindy and I took time off and went on a planned trip to Las Vegas,” Kuwana said. “We will start back up with our running at the end of January, running anywhere from 8 to 15 miles a week, which is plenty enough.”
Kuwana has added a series of shorter races, 5K’s (3.1 miles) to his annual routine by doing the Hilo 5K and EMS 5K, but his favorite distance has become the half marathon (13.1 miles) as it is not as strenuous to prepare for as the marathon.
“The marathon training schedule is very time consuming and we need to do it rain or shine,” he said. “Not to mention that we have to wake up early and run every Sunday.”
Kuwana admits to having no regular diet, except when he is preparing for a marathon event.
“I will cut down on meat consumption as we get closer to the marathon and then eat more carbs, pastas, the week before the marathon,” he said.
Today Kuwana has set high standards for future exercise related goals.
“For someone who never exercised or participated in any sports growing up, I’d like to continue on this health quest in support of my wife,” he said. “Cindy was diagnosed with high blood pressure in April 2010 and that’s her driving force of why she exercises.”
Now Eric supports his wife in her effort to lower her medication.
“Cindy hasn’t had to increase her dose in medication and helping her maintain that is enough of a goal for my future,” he said. “I still plan to continue running and would like to Stand Up Paddle more as time permits.”
Eric and Cindy Kuwana are in a great relationship where each helps the other with important things in their lives.
Friendship and respect play an important role in any relationship and the Kuwana’s are well on their way to accomplishing both.
And someday should you see a happily married retired teacher come jogging through the streets of Hilo remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”