Childhood dreams often disappear as we get older and different things get in the way as we are shuffled into different paths.
But for some of us, lucky enough to keep the flame going well into adulthood, those childhood dreams can pay off into a lifelong clenching satisfaction of today’s reality.
For Marc Miranda growing up in Honokaa was a continuous journey of activity starting with riding his bike everywhere.
“My friends and I had a pretty active lifestyle,” Miranda said. “We biked everywhere and anywhere we could whether it was down Waipio Valley or up to Waimea to go swimming in Anna’s Pond.”
Miranda’s true calling in sports participation came at St. Joseph Elementary School with a teacher named Bob Holt.
“Mr. Holt introduced soccer to me,” Miranda said. “I played every recess on the asphalt parking lot right behind the Our Lady of Lords Catholic Church.”
Miranda recalls some epic matches on the school’s campus with fellow students and at the end of the day, when it was time to go home to Honokaa, he remembers going with his best friend, David Cypriano, to play in his Aunty Nancy’s yard.
“Her house had two monkey pod trees that were four yards apart, which was a perfect goal, and then the other goal was facing her kitchen window,” Miranda said. “That was the one we wanted to defend because the other person never wanted to shoot because if they hit that window, ‘GAME OVER!’
Miranda and his friends played soccer everyday for countless hours, but his love for other sports also grew.
“My friends and I would play everything, football, basketball, body boarding, baseball, dodge ball, you name it and we did it,” Miranda said.
Miranda explains that due to the lack of quality video games back during his childhood he and his friends were always outside, playing.
In high school Miranda played volleyball, baseball and ran track during his senior year for the Cardinal, but soccer was his true love.
“None of the other sports really stuck with me too long because we usually had a soccer tourney that we were gearing up for and traveling to and that took up most of my time,” he said.
His love for soccer paid dividends as the 1997 St. Joseph graduate went on to play collegiately for Missouri Valley College in Marshall.
“I got to play all four years in college and it also afforded me the opportunity to see parts of the United States that I’d never thought I’d get to see,” Miranda said. “It made me appreciate coming home to Hawaii, for sure.”
Today Miranda is a Personal Banker for First Hawaiian Bank in Hilo where he provides a wide range of services in what he calls a customer oriented operation.
“It’s my job to come up with different strategy’s on individuals personal investments,” Miranda said. “There is a bit of pressure associated with that and making sure that our investors are taken care of during a period when our economy is fluctuating.”
Miranda is also the Head Soccer Coach at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he is responsible for 30 young women between the ages of 18 and 24.
“The soccer stuff is easy, it’s the traveling during the season that is added stress on my body and mind as we need to organize events so that there is a minimal amount of stress that the athletes have to deal with while on the trip,” he said.
As a stress relief Miranda will get into the UHH athletic facility at least twice a week to work on his cardio, either on the elliptical machine and working out with his ladies team.
“I’ll spend 35 minutes on the elliptical machine, then 20 minutes on free weights,” Miranda said. “I’ll also walk my dog almost every day for 20 to 30 minutes so that he gets his exercise.”
Of course, Miranda can also be seen on the soccer field kicking the ball around with the women on a regular basis.
I had to laugh when Miranda told me that as he gets older, he’s 32, he needs to be more conscience of what he eats and the portion size.
“I stay away from white rice and fried foods as much as I can and really try to eat more vegetables and freshly grown foods,” he said.
Miranda also just discovered the value of a juicer and tried to juice every meal, for two weeks, with amazing results.
“I juiced everything and added some exercise and lost 20 pounds during that 2 week period,” Miranda said. “The weight loss made a huge difference in my energy level and overall mood.”
Miranda will still juice every morning, but admits to finding it difficult to drink kale and other vegetable every day.
“My girlfriend, Megan Fuller is an ER nurse, and she got me started into juicing,” he said. “She is usually right about all things concerning the body.”
In three years, or by the time he turns 35, Miranda hopes to run his first marathon, a distance of 26.2 miles.
“Running a marathon would mean getting dedicated and having a long term plan and sticking with it,” Miranda said. “I’d also like to get back down to my college playing weight of 180 to 185 as this was the best shape I’d ever been.”
Miranda continues to play in a men’s soccer league in Hilo while working two jobs.
“I find that if I don’t exercise for at least 30 minutes per day the stress really piles up, he said. Exercise allows me time to stop thinking and just be focused on one singular task and sort of just quiets my mind, which is a great thing for me.”
Miranda continues to live his childhood dream while serving his community on a daily basis.
And someday should you happen to see a tall, thin stranger coming jogging the streets of Keaau remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
Email the Big Dog at firstname.lastname@example.org.