Hilo’s Trudy Sleightholm finding ‘My Time’ to exercise
One of my favorite American poets is Maya Angelou who said, among other things, “This is my life, it is my one time to be me. I want to experience every good thing.”
Following along Angelou’s sage advice is Hilo’s Trudy Sleightholm who knows what she wants in her life and makes time for it.
“Running has always been my ‘me time’,” Sleightholm said. “I have always been athletic to some degree throughout my life and I have always come back to running.”
Sleightholm was born in Kona, but raised in Hilo and started playing basketball from the fifth grade to her junior year in high school.
In high school Sleightholm discovered cross country and track & field along with joining the swim and soccer teams.
It was through cross country that Sleightholm found something she could take with her and do by herself.
“Right out of high school I went to Oahu for college,” she said. “I lived at the University of Hawaii dorms and I would run from my dorm room to the Punahou gym, maybe 25 minutes away, workout and then run back to the dorms.”
Sleightholm’s break from school work to the gym was considered her ‘me time.’
“Running has always been my ‘me time’ as I always felt so good afterwards,” she said.
After college Sleightholm continued her running and included yoga.
“I took a liking to bikram yoga, which is a very intense type, but I always felt so energized after,” Sleightholm said. “I would go to a yoga class in the morning before work, then after work go for a run along Kapiolani Park.”
Yoga, along with running, according to Sleightholm became a way of life as she fell in love with staying fit.
“I did the Great Aloha Run a couple of time, but just never pushed myself any further than that 8.5 mile distance,” she said.
Five years ago Sleightholm moved back to Hilo and opened her own business, a salon.
“Being a business owner can be very hectic, but it is also very fulfilling,” Sleightholm said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way now that I am my own boss.”
Being her own boss gives Sleightholm a little more ‘me time’ which is advantageous to a 33 year old with a three year old child.
“I am allowed a little more freedom to take care of things on my own schedule,” she said. “My days are very long though as I juggle my time with my daughter, working and running, but I love every second of it.”
Since returning to Hilo Sleightholm has done less yoga and more running until a knee injured forced her to make the reverse switch.
“I injured my knee last October in the Nike Women’s half marathon,” she said. “That was an awesome run, but my knees could not handle it.”
Sleightholm worse fears began to arise from her knee injury.
“I thought I wasn’t going to be able to run anymore and I just didn’t want to hear that,” she said.
Sleightholm went to ashtanga yoga classes three to four times a week, while trying to lightly jog.
“I wasn’t going to let my fire for running burn out,” Sleightholm said. “I was in training for the Honolulu Marathon last year and I did not want to give up. I trained as hard as I could and took all the extra vitamins to try to help my knees and joints heal.”
Sleightholm stubborn, never give up attitude, helped her to finish the 2010 marathon with two of her friends, Misty Pacheco and Summer Mochida.
For the 2011 marathon Sleightholm managed to put in the training necessary for a successful 26.2 mile run.
“My knee has given me a little stress, but I have been running through it,” she said. “No pain, no gain!”
Running has also helped Sleightholm maintain a healthy weight as she admits to having a sweet tooth and a carefree diet.
“I have the sweetest tooth I know as I love sweets, which is why I stay active,” she said. “I don’t really watch what I eat, but I do eat healthy.”
Sleightholm doesn’t like soda, doesn’t drink alcohol and stays away from red meat.
“I love to eat salads,” she said. “I tend to eat more pasta and drink lots of water or Gatorade before doing my long runs.”
Sleightholm also discovered the value of keeping track of her mileage on a daily basis as she can now see her progress recorded.
“I logged most of my runs on jog tracker and it totaled 1045 miles from May 2011,” she said. “After seeing my logged runs I wished I had logged all of my runs from January 2011.”
Sleightholm believes that her workouts have contributed to her good health.
“I am grateful to not having any health problems,” she said. “Running and yoga has kept me stronger inside and out.”
And someday should you happen to see a healthy senior having some ‘My Time’ by jogging through the streets of East Hawaii remember to smile, say ‘woof’ and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
And here’s wishing all of you the very happiest, healthiest New Year. Be safe, be kind to others and remember to exercise and eat healthy.
Email the Big Dog at firstname.lastname@example.org.