Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Keaau’s Kokubun in Great Shape

Evelyn Kokubun of Keaau

     Exercise:  The key to a long, healthy and productive life.  So what keeps us motivated to eat well and exercise regularly?

    Internal motivation provides us with the desire and will power to get up and get moving.  Motivation is a powerful tool and once we have discovered its powers we can use it to achieve almost anything we set our minds to doing.

   It is said that in order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Making changes in our life that produce positive results can be difficult, especially if we’ve been stuck in a rut for a number of years.

    Positive change doesn’t come easy and finding that internal boost is what we can all use.

   Charles Caleb Colton wrote, “Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed.  Health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied.”

   I’ve been fortunate enough to have found that inner voice that gets me out the door every morning at 5 a.m. to do 4 to 5 miles before returning home to enjoy a breakfast loaded with fresh papaya and bananas.

   I’ve been doing the same routine for many years and it has become second nature. I never really think about it anymore.  I follow the same pattern day in and day out because I know it’s good for my body and it keeps my weight in a healthy zone.

   But what motivates others to work out regularly?  Everyone is different and for 66-year old, Evelyn Kokubun it is the joy of being able to keep up with her 12 grandchildren.

   “I like the fact that I can still keep up with my grandchildren and even challenge them at different kinds of sports,” Kokubun said.

   Kokubun is no stranger to sports as she grew up in Kau (Evelyn Espiritu) and was introduced to track at an early age.  In high school Kokubun competed on the girl’s basketball team for the Trojans and continued with her love for track, graduating in 1961.

   “Initially I continued exercising to lose weight, tone my body and keep my blood pressure at bay, so that I don’t have to rely on medications,” she said.

   Kokubun started the Jack LaLanne video workout on television while raising her children and as the children got older she would go out and jog between 8 to 10 miles a day.

   More than 20 years ago Kokubun moved her exercise routine to various gyms in Hilo to take advantage of the various aerobic programs they provided.

   “Now I exercise to keep fit and to do things that will keep me healthy enough to do all the things that I did while I was young,” Kokubun said.

    Kokubun used to do a lot of jogging and she did aerobics at Spencer’s and Island Training Center, but found a new workout place that was more convenient for her, while still getting the positive results from the exercise program.   

    Over the past three and a half years Kokubun has become a regular at Curves in Keaau/Pahoa.  “I’ll spend an hour and fifteen minutes, Monday through Friday, doing aerobics and working on 14 different machines to target every part of my body,” she said.

    For Kokubun the best part of working out in public areas is the comradraire she forms with the people she meets.  “I’ve bonded with the nice ladies that I work out with,” she said, “and that makes the workouts even more enjoyable.”

   Kokubun also believes in the value of healthy eating as she watches what she eats.  “I love to eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, lots of fish and chicken.  I do not drink soda instead I make sure I drink lots of water and tea,” she said.

   For her efforts Kokubun looks ten years younger and she has the energy level of a person half her age. 

  Kokubun will also add to her Curves workout some cross training for variety.  “I walk, hike and garden and I also enjoy running after the grandkids,” she said.

   Kokubun can be found during the early evenings walking with her husband Glenn within Shipman Park, four to five miles. She does more mileage once per week when she goes on long hikes, usually within Volcano National Park, Kalapana or Waipio Valley.

   As a semi-retired person, Kokubun, continues to stay active in a variety of community functions and is actively looking for part time work.

   “I’d like to be as healthy as I can and I want to live each day to the fullest, with love in my heart,” Kokubun said.


November 3, 2009 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles | , , , , | Leave a comment