For most of my life I have been setting goals and raising the bar each time I’ve achieved that goal. It is a good way to challenge my boundaries and to get out of my comfort zone.
“Our subconscious mind can be compared to a garden,” Dr. Joseph Murphy said. “If we leave it unattended, the weeds will grow wild. Goal setting is a great destroyer of those weeds.”
For Hilo’s Nicki Aguinaldo raising the bar and reaching higher has become part of her everyday routine.
“I like to see what I am capable of doing,” Aguinaldo said. “Sometimes I don’t reach my goals, but I’ll just try harder the next time around.”
Aguinaldo, the Vice President of the Loan and Collection Department at the Big Island Federal Credit Union in Hilo recently set another goal as she ran the Big Island International Half Marathon a little more than a week ago.
“The night before the half marathon I was talking with my father-in-law, Nick Balingit, and I told him I wanted to run the 13.1 mile race in 2 hours and 30 minutes,” she said.
“My father-in-law is an active runner and he encourages us to live a healthy life and to do the best we can in everything we do,” Aguinaldo said.
Balingit and his wife Josie can often be seen walking laps around Liliuokalani Gardens and Nick is a regular at various swimming events, including the Richardson Rough Water Swim.
“My in-laws are often there for us as they help watch our kids when we train,” Aguinaldo said. “Nick came to the finish line to watch us finish and even though I didn’t reach my goal, I finished in 2:48, he was still impressed.”
Aguinaldo graduated from Hilo High School in 1992 and did very little running prior to starting a family.
“I ran track during intermediate school and ran during my first year of high school,” she said. “I have a good family support system which encourages me to try my best.”
Every other day Aguinaldo will meet up with friends, Crystal Nicolas and Stacie Mandaloniz, for a run of three to five miles.
“My in-laws will watch the kids, Logan 9 and Lainie 5, so that I can get in a run right after work with my friends,” she said.
Aguinaldo will try to watch what her and her family eats, but is often side tracked with other temptations.
“At home we’ll eat a lot of salads, chicken and fish,” she said. “I try to stay away from sweets as much as possible but it’s hard when you work in an office with ladies because we are always snacking.”
What’s even more interesting about Aguinaldo is that when she first started trying to get into shape she could barely run a mile and now she is doing half marathons.
“When I first started running I could barely run a mile without stopping,” she said. “But I welcomed the challenge of pushing myself harder each time.”
Aguinaldo wanted to test her limits as she has close family members, including life partner Lyle Balingit, that have run several half and full marathons and she wanted to experience the ups and downs of training.
“The best way for me to feel what others are going through when they train for a long distance run is for me to try it myself,” she said. “What’s great about my family is that everyone is so encouraging and provides me with a great support base.”
For Aguinaldo she has learned the benefits of doing a long run and has found it to be a good way to reduce stress.
“While running I get to clear my mind, it’s just me and the song playing on my iPod,” she said.
In writing this story I was reminded of what the great Los Angeles Dodger first baseman, Steve Garvey said, concerning setting goals.
“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential,” Garvey said.
Thirty seven year old Nicki Aguinaldo continues to set the bar higher for herself and doesn’t allow not reaching it the first time to interfere with trying it again.
“I plan on doing one more half marathon by the end of this year and the goal is to run it with a better time,” she said.
“I’d also like to do at least one 5K (3.1 miles) with my two kids,” she said.
Asked if she would ever try to tackle the full, 26.2 mile, marathon, she replied, “No, but never say never.”
Nicki Aguinaldo is but one of the many hard working, family oriented members of our community that continue to set goals in order to live a more healthy and productive lifestyle.
I’d be willing to beat that at her next half marathon she will reach her goal of 2 hours and 30 minutes and if she doesn’t she will be trying it again for a third time with a never ever giving up attitude.
There is much to learn from this young woman.
And someday should you happen to see a happy, goal setting, retired teacher doing laps up and down Shower Drive remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
Email the Big Dog at email@example.com.