Are you looking for a nutritious, vitamin-packed vegetable that is also loaded with great flavor? Try kale. There are many reasons to pile this cruciferous veggie on your plate. It is low in calories, has zero grams of fat and contains nearly 20 percent of the RDA of dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating.
Need more reasons? Kale also contains the glucosinolate isothiocyanate (ITC), which fights the formation of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori), a bacteria that can attack the digestive system and cause big problems. Kale is also a superstar in the arena of carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. There are also tons of vitamins in kale – think vitamins C, D, A and K. All boost immunity, help maintain healthy bones and teeth, and maximize overall health.
In doing this column for nearly ten years I had never met someone who calls himself a pharmacist, until recently when I met a 40 year old by the name of Lyle Balingit.
I’ve known his parents for a number of years and his dad , Nick, was a top running and swimming competitor in his heyday.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and Lyle Balingit is a good example of a runner who has progressed over the years.
Balingit also has a great sense of humor like his father because he is a self described pharmacist of sorts.
“I’ve been working for Automotive Supply Center since 1995,” Balingit said. “We meet different people every day in the shop where everyone wants the best price and part for their motorized vehicle.”
Balingit will find the right part for the customer in the shop and they will leave with a smile knowing the quality and the correct part is in their hands, according to Balingit.
“Stress hits me when nothing fits and every part seems to be wrong for that application,” he said.
So, Balingit considers himself a Pharmacist for cars as he works in the Sales of Parts.
Having an athletic father Balingit started in sports at age six by playing T-Ball and baseball and he also stayed fit by riding his bike everywhere.
“I remember riding my bike to Waiakea Uka Gym to meet up with friends for basketball games,” he said.
One of the earliest graduates of the then new Waiakea High School Balingit made a slow progression into running as he didn’t discover his love for the sport until two years ago.
“I guess you can say that I take after my dad,” he said. “I’ve done a few half marathons (13.1 miles) and a handful of full marathons.”
Recently Balingit took on the challenge of running from Coconut Island in Hilo up to Cooper Center in Volcano Village, a distance of 31 miles.
“My longest race was the Hilo to Volcano Ultra Marathon,” he said. “I did it to just challenge myself to see if I could do something that far.”
Balingit has discovered, through running, the individuality that comes with loving the sport.
“I like the challenge, to see how far I can get, and how I can push myself,” Balingit said. “I also like meeting up with my elementary buddies, Nick Ayho and Allan Leite, for our weekend runs.”
Balingit realizes what running can do for his body and sense of well being.
“I want to keep active and healthy so that I can live a life, medication free,” he said. (And that coming from a pharmacist) “I plan on living a long, happy life and to watch my children Logan and Lainie, as well as my nephews and nieces grow up.”
Balingit is considered a health runner, as opposed to being a competitive one. His motivation for exercise comes from wanting to be healthy and not from wanting to win medals or recognition.
His training schedule for health allows him to run, on average, 10 to 18 miles during the work week, and when in training for a marathon he will add a long run of 18 miles on either Saturday or Sunday.
“My favorite race is the Big Island International Marathon because I live in Pepepeekeo and the course starts a few yards from my house,” Balingit said.
Having a marathon start right outside enables Balingit to run on the marathon route whenever he is able.
“I have to take advantage of running on that scenic course,” he said. “The race is so challenging that if I start too fast on the hills in the first eight miles it will make it harder for me to enjoy the second half of the race.”
The Big Island Marathon brings runners past Richardson Beach Park where Balingit finds time to meditate.
“That beach run, near mile twenty, allows me to get into a mental zone of some kind where I am able to find inner strength,” he said.
Balingit and his family also realizes the value of nutrition and they will eat a variety of healthy meals.
“We try to watch what we eat so we do a lot of fruits and vegetables along with pasta dishes and stir fries and fresh fish,” he said.
But with most things that are good for us, exercise at times does not come easily for Balingit.
“There are times that pain comes with running and times that my thigh feels like a man kicked the heck out of it,” Balingit said. “I just can’t walk as it is so painful.”
Balingit remembers a marathon where nearing the end of the race it became a difficult struggle to continue.
“One marathon, around mile twenty three, I swear, a golf ball size knot was behind my knee,” he said.
It was during that race that the tough Balingit went through an extreme negative scenario of thoughts before coming to a positive conclusion.
“I remember telling myself, what the heck do I do?.” He recalled. “Keep going, don’t quit? Yell!!”
Balingit ended up massaging the knot while running, and he finished the race, despite the excruciating pain.
Through running this automotive pharmacist has learned much about himself and his ability to push harder.
Running is a sport where people discover who they are and what they have inside of them. If you succeed in your goals or if you complete a marathon you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it on your own.
Lyle Balingit has learned much about himself and will continue to learn with the many more years’ worth of challenges ahead of him.
And someday should you happen to see a lifelong learner come jogging through the streets of East Hawaii remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
KEAAU – Three defending state champions sunk their spikes into the all weather track at Kamehameha to rise to the top of their competition at a Big Island Interscholastic all schools track and field meet held on Saturday.
Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira and Ua Ruedy along with Kamehameha’s Kaenen Akau distanced themselves from the rest of the league as they prepare to defend their state crowns in three weeks.
Galdeira opened the day running away from the field in the 100 hurdles in a blistering time of 14.8 seconds, then moments later returned to win the 100 dash in 12.54.
The amazing Wildcat managed to squeeze in the long jump between the two 100 races, winning with a giant leap of 17-11.75 and finished the day with a triple jump victory of 35-08.5.
The state champion in the 100 hurdles complemented her coaches for much of her track success.
“Our coaches are great, as they know what they are talking about,” Galdeira said. “I wasn’t even going to come out for track this season because I wanted to focus on academics but they convinced me to come out.”
Galdeira needed to get up early to catch the 5 am bus from Kona to Kamehameha and forgot something in the process.
“I forgot to pack my track shorts and just brought this ordinary pair of shorts,” she said. “I think I could have done better had I brought my correct shorts, especially in the long jump.”
Teammate Ruedy brought all the right equipment and dazzled the crowd in the 300 hurdles racing away from the rest of the field.
The defending state champion in the 300 ran a flawless race while looking like a gazelle traversing the obstacles in perfect strides.
“It was okay today because I got a slow start,” Ruedy said. “I know I can improve my time a lot and I need to get out of the blocks quicker and not slow down.”
During the girls long jump 8 girls jumped over 15 feet.
“It shows the level of competition is at an all time high and at a state level,” Jordan Rosado the long jump official said.
Kamehameha’s Akau was up to his normal patterns in the long jump, fouling in his first two attempts before making the final jump count.
“I know that my first jump is the most important, but I have marks from the previous weeks so I can give my all on every jump,” Akau said.
The defending state champ in the long jump decided to take two steps back on his final jump then unleashed his personal best launching a 22-.75 and in the process setting a new stadium record.
“On my final jump I moved back 2 steps, but I know that getting a mark on my first jump is most important,” Akau said. “I’m shooting to reach 23 feet by the BIIF championships.”
Akau also started his day winning the 100 meter dash and in the process set a new stadium record at 11.04 seconds.
“I’m still working on being relaxed in the 100,” Akau said. “I tense up and my stride lessens.”
In the 100 Akau was challenged by Keaau’s Jesse Huihui in a battle to the finish.
“Jesse is a great competitor and I felt the urge to push myself harder with him in the race.” Akau said.
The 400 dash saw the return of Kealakehe’s Luca Walter to his first all schools meet this season.
Walter wasted no time reminding people who the BIIF champion is by clocking a 50.7 second time to place himself as the second best time in the state.
“I want to hit 49 seconds by the BIIF championships,” Walter said. “I need to work on my start out of the blocks to be faster.”
Walter clocked a league leading time in the 800 with a 2:01.87.
“I’m pretty excited with my 800 time and I think I can bring that under 2 minutes within the next two weeks,” he said.
In the 200 dash it was Keaau’s Damien Packer winning his second race after taking the 110 hurdles.
“My 200 time can improve if I kick out of the turns better and have faster feet,” Packer said. “I need to get faster and not tense up as much.”
Another defending state champion in the shot put, HPA’s Shane Brostek, was at the Punahou Relays on Oahu and was selected most outstanding for winning both the shot and discus.
Running around the oval and not getting much attention is Pahoa sophomore Micah Davis.
Davis, for the past two weeks, has decided to run in every event from the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 3000.
“I thought it was amazing that someone who finishes last in every event would have the will power to do all the running events,” Kamehameha Coach Ryan Cabalse said.
“I feel like I’d rather run than sit in the bleachers,” Davis said. “I’ve been second to last twice and I beat my times from the week before.”
Davis has a twin brother, Josh, who also runs for the Daggers, but it is Micah that will take on the task of doing every running event that the league has to offer.
“I’m improving each week and I want to get faster,” Micah said. “I do it just for me and not for anyone else.”
The BIIF regular season concludes with an all schools meet at Hawaii Predatory Academy on Saturday starting at 9 am.
Kamehameha girls judo team champions under Coach Jenna Aina
The BIIF is the only league to come together at States. This is the 3rd time that the BIIF has worn BIIF shirts. It was in 2008, 2010 and this year… every 2 years.
The back of the shirts will include all the participating schools in track & field.
Kudos to Faith Nance for once again designing a unique BIIF shirt for the state track meet to be held at Keaau High School on May 11 and 12