Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

My husband is my hero

my wife honors me as she wore this button to school all day

This is the ultimate honor.  My wife Randee wore this button to Keaau Middle School all day! When she showed it too me it brought me to tears She is a good person and a great caregiver.


November 29, 2012 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , | 1 Comment

Having a supportive spouse can lead to a regular fitness program

Having a supportive wife and a training partner can make a world of a difference in one’s health and fitness endeavors.  That is the type of spouse Jonah Waters has to inspire him to lose 75 pounds and more importantly he has been successful in keeping that weight off.

Waters is a huge sports fan (no pun intended) and attended Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama and participated in many different sports but found his calling in golf.

“I golfed all 4 years of high school for the Warriors,” Waters said.  “During my high school days I could pretty much eat anything I wanted to without gaining any weight.”

But things changed for Waters when he became an adult, he found the weight beginning to stick onto his body with time.

“I used to love to play basketball, but can’t do that anymore as age has taken a toll,” he said.

Waters has been a teacher for 24 years and is currently an English teacher at Keaau Middle School.

“I have been teaching language arts and reading at KMS since 2000,” he said.  “When I came to Keaau I weighed 290 pounds and I now weigh 215.”

Waters admits to never realizing the extent of his weight gain because when he was younger he had an easier time taking the pounds off and had a metabolism that burned those extra calories with less effort.

Waters is married and has three daughters ages 25, 21, and 12.

“I gained weight prior to and during my wife’s last pregnancy,” Waters said.  “When our youngest daughter was about one or two, I decided to dedicate myself into getting in shape.”

Waters included his wife into his mission of losing weight and has found himself a regular training partner.

“My wife Jean and I work out seven days a week,” Waters said.  “We are in the gym from Monday through Friday at 4:45 am and on weekends we sleep in and are in the gym by 8 am,”

Waters rotates between a cardio and weight lifting program on alternating days and in combination with diet has been successful in taking the weight off and keeping it off.

Much of his cardio workout comes from the elliptical machine because Waters finds it easier on his joints, especially on the knees.

“Lately I’ve been doing a lot more cardio because it feels good,” he said.

“The combination with a diet that consists of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains I found that the weight just came off,” he said.  Within six months I lost about 60 pounds and it has now been 2 and half years.”

It should be noted that Waters wife, Jean, has never had a weight problem and she will go to the gym each day in support of her husband and to get a good workout in.

“Exercise and diet has never been a quick fix for me,” Waters said.  “It is a change in lifestyle, a total commitment to be a healthier and fit person.”

Waters has also bought himself a juicer and prefers to extract the nutritious juice out of carrots, beets, and other vegetables.

“Although we are far from perfect, we really try to eat healthy, especially as we get older,” Waters said.  “It is also good for us to encourage each other.”

Waking at 4:30 in the morning during the week is a difficult task in itself but when you have a supportive partner to encourage you to do so it makes it a little easier.

“We encourage each other,” Waters said.  “There are times that she has to drag me out of bed to get me to the gym.”

The relationship that the Waters have established reminds me of what Gloria Steinem said “Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner, it feels limitless not limited.”

The Waters are blessed to have such encouragement within the family which is one of the secrets to staying with an exercise routine and a healthy diet.

“The benefits of all of this are feeling strong and healthy,” Waters said.  “Also even though we get up early, we have enough energy to deal with whatever comes during the day.”

Since the exercise routine is well established in the Waters household if that pattern is broken there becomes another factor for the family to endure.

“There is also guilt when I don’t go to the gym,” Waters said.  Working out is fun and we enjoy doing it together.”

But there is a difficult side to maintaining a steady course.

“Working out is fun, but watching what you eat is difficult,” Waters said.  “At least for me!”

Johan Waters is very fortunate in finding a supporting spouse that will go to the gym at 4:30 in the morning during the work week, especially since she doesn’t have a weight problem.

I am equally fortunate to have found an exercise minded spouse that shares in the joys of being healthy and fit.

Of course it isn’t a requirement to find a partner who will wake up before the sun rises to get up and get going, but it sure does help.

And someday should you happen to see a lucky man come jogging through the back roads of Hawaiian Paradise Park remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

September 11, 2012 Posted by | Profiles | , , | 1 Comment

Rugby 101 by Hilo’s Fili Lauano – teaching his passion to youngsters in East Hawaii

I am the first to admit that my knowledge on rugby is close to nil, until being invited one day to observe a lesson on this sport at Keaau Middle School by Fili Lauano.

Lauano was an invited guests of the physical education department to give six to eighth graders an introductory lesson on this growing sport.

“I’m from Western Samoa and in my country Rugby is the national sport and we all learn to play it at a very young age,” Lauano said.

Lauano was born in Utah and while living there his father attend Bingham Young University in Provo.

“Following my Dad’s graduation we all moved back to Western Samoa,” Lauano said.  “I was two years old when we moved.”

Later his mother sent the 17 year old back to Oahu where he graduated from Kahuku High School.

“I played rugby for a club on Oahu called the Honolulu Chiefs,” he said. “Shortly after moving to the Big Island I played for the Hilo Reign Rugby Club.”

Lauano was raised most of his life playing rugby and his hero became a former Samoan rugby player by the name of Brian Lima.

“Everybody in Samoa loves rugby and everyone knows Brian Lima as he also has the nickname of the Chiropractor,” Lauano said.  “He got the nickname because when he hits someone while playing defense that person will then need to see a chiropractor to realign his bones.”

Despite the fierce reputation of the sport Lauano would argue that rugby has fewer injuries than football.

“Rugby referees are more concerned with controlling the sport and we do get fewer injuries than American football,” Lauano said.

Lauano just recently got out of the Navy.

“My job in the Navy was a medic attached to ground forces of the Marines since the USMC pulls their medics from the Navy,” he said.  “No matter where I was stationed I found the time to play.”

The 29 year old Lauano has a son that plays rugby for the Puna Chiefs, as all the members from that team attend the Hawaiian immersion school called Ke Kula O Nawahi’opu’u in Keaau according to Lauano.

“Most of our players who form the Puna Chiefs rugby club are Hawaiian speaking,” he said.

To stay in Rugby fitness shape Lauano works out three times a week, doing lots of cardiovascular training, including running.

“Since my exercise discipline from the military stuck with me, I normally run a lot,” he said.  “I don’t really pay attention to the miles that much, but usually just go out for time.”

Instead of weight training Lauano will opt to do pushups, sit ups, pull ups and body squats four times per week.

“I’ll do resistance training as well because it strengthens my core and to me that is important,” he said.

“For diet I will go with meats to build muscle, plenty of fruits for both hydration and essential minerals for the body as well as a lot of vegetables,” he said.  “I also drink a gallon of water every day.”

Lauano believes that rugby is good for children as it keeps them active in a day and age where kids have been controlled by video and computer games, along with television.

“The media has taken control of our children,” he said.  “Not only have their sedentary habits been affected but also the foods they eat are unhealthy as I see many obese kids which is sad.”

Lauano points out that Rugby is an Olympic sport that is growing throughout the world.

“It’s best to teach the basics of Rugby while they are still young,” he said.  “When they grow up they can develop their skills provided they stick with the sport.”

Teaching rugby to youngsters is what Lauano loves to do.

“I love the game and have a passion for it,” Lauano said.  “The competitive aspect of the sport develops characteristics among players such as persistence and teamwork.”

Lauano believes that Rugby teaches discipline and that it creates leaders, both on and off the field.

“I love the game and I have a strong passion for it, so I try to share this passion with young people,” he said.

“In Samoa everyone plays Rugby and it is a national sport, just like baseball and basketball is here in the United States,” Luano said.  “In Samoa kids are exposed to sports heroes in rugby and there are many that we look up to as all we know is rugby.

As an athlete Luano believes that hydration and nutrition are the key components.

“Health is very important in order to participate in any sport,” he said.  “Living in Hawaii makes it a challenge as the local foods here are very enticing.  I try to stick to eating vegetables and fruits everyday along with hydration, but never any electrolyte replacement drinks as I stick to just water.”

Standing at 6-2 and weighing in at 225 pounds Lauano is an imposing figure, but once you get to know him you realize what a kind and gentle person he is off the playing field.

“I actually played semi pro football for awhile, but I’ve always come back to the sport that I love the best,” Lauano said.

And someday should you happen to see a tall slim stranger jogging slowly around Bayfront Park remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/keaau-middle-schoolers-learn-how-to-play-rugby-by-expert-fili-lauano/

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Rugby | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Staying Healthy and Fit helps in times of Adversity – Brain Tumor Removal

Big Dog 2 days after brain surgery

Overcoming Adversity

There is a French proverb that goes, “Good fortune and bad are equally necessary to man, to fit him to meet the contingencies of this life.”

I’ve been a health advocate and runner/walker for most of my life.  I have always believed in taking good care of my body to avoid problems associated with high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

Until about two weeks ago I was logging 55 miles per week on the roads of East Hawaii doing my daily jogs coupled with long walks.

My wife, Randee, a physical education teacher at Keaau Middle School, is the perfect mate for me as she too also logs many miles at home on her treadmill.

I’ve been able to avoid the trapping of high fat foods and for the most part limited my sweet intake.

During a recent MRI visit, following the one year anniversary of my only episode of having seizures, it was discovered that I had a brain tumor.

Having an eternal caring and insistent wife, because I can be quite stubborn, I took the first available opening to go to Queens Hospital and have brain surgery to remove the growth.

Now here is the tie in to why it is important to stay healthy and fit:

What was to be a five hour surgery last only three and a half hours, record time they tell me for a man of 64.

What was to be five to seven days in the hospital ended up being just four days.

I was up and moving the day following surgery, taking baby steps at first around the hallways of the hospital.

The medical staff often remarked at how quickly I was recovering and the pain level was minimal and my attitude remained happy, cordial and at times even funny.

I credit all of these things to my overall health and fitness level that has served me well for many decades.

Exercise and diet are not the panacea for all that ails us, but both will contribute to a better attitude and a more resilient body.

Since being released from the hospital I am only walking about 30 miles per week as I need to take things slowly as there are still 14 staples on the right side of my head.

The brain seems to work fine as four days after surgery I voluntarily wrote a 1,000 word story on high school wrestling.   Of course, the Running with the Big Dog columns will continue as long as people out there are reading them and I do appreciate the community who takes the time to read over my stories.

The tumor was malignant and I am still waiting for the recommendations of a hematologist/oncologist.

Life is filled with adversity and challenges will crop up when we least expect, but our attitude, spiritual beliefs and a healthy body will stand up to those challenges.

I’ve already been blessed, escaping death twice in my life.  

When I was 9 years old I was fishing in a river bank with high walls when a flash flood roared through.  Fortunately my older brother was with me, grabbed me and threw me up the side of the bank, saving my life.

Another episode happened when I was 17 when the cargo plane that I was in lost both its engines during a lightning storm.  We were told to prepare for a crash landing as the plane nose dived, helplessly.   My prayers were answered just seconds before plunging to the surface as one of the engines sputtered back on.

Big Dog 10 days after surgery

Death is not something that we have control over and is a process of the life experience.

We can only do as much as we can to keep the quality of life at a maximum by controlling what we eat and making sure that we have an ample supply of exercise to keep it moving.

My wife had to endure the burden of my experience as it was difficult for her to see me is such disrepair.  I am blessed to have someone that loves me so much that she would hold my hand, every step of the way.

I was told at the hospital to find myself a friend, a rock, which I could lean on to relieve the stress that my wife was going through.  This was great advice!

That “rock” is former mayor Harry Kim, who I speak to in my most terrifying moments. 

Kim was another blessing as he went through a similar experience when his son Garrett was diagnosed with cancer.

I promised Harry that through this experience I would offer myself to be someone else’s ‘rock’ in their time of need.

If there is someone out there that feels alone, battling adversity, and needs someone just to talk with don’t hesitate to contact me.

You are not alone, there are many that are battling to fight this horrifying disease, called cancer.

Stay positive, enjoy each day, and if at all possible keep your body moving.   Movement will make you feel better which will then lead to a feeling of well being.   And above all, keep the faith.

Helen Keller said it best, “Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world.  So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.”

And someday should you happen to see a happy man with an incredible wife remember to smile, say ‘woof’ and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Keaau Middle Schoolers learn how to play Rugby by expert Fili Lauano

Fili Lauano

Click any photo to enlarge.

Fili Lauano came to Keaau Middle School to teach the sport of RUGBY to Ms. Arkin’s Physical Education 6th and 8th graders this past week.

Lauano learned the sport of Rugby at age 5, growing up in Western Samoa.

Kaylee Marques

“It is our national sport,” Lauano said.  “I Iike teaching kids how to play.”

Luaano plays for the Hilo Reign and is 29 years old and in the U.S. Navy.It looked like everyone had a great time, especially Kaylee Marques who made a BIG impression on the Big Dog.

Way to go KMS Greenwaves!


December 14, 2011 Posted by | Rugby | , , , , , | 1 Comment