Written By:  Sanae Shea

My long-term fitness goal does NOT look like this.

That would take way too many hours in the gym and result in depriving myself of too many things I love. I can’t imagine going through life without chocolate and movie theater popcorn and donuts and sweet white wine and….ok I will stop.

Being healthy isn’t about a number on a scale or a dress size. It’s about the quality of your life and the incredible experiences available to you when you are fit and healthy.

My goals are simple. I want to be healthy, active and maintain where I am right now (give or take a few pounds depending on the day). I am pretty sure I’m in better cardiovascular shape than most of the 20 year olds in my Zumba classes. I can squat lower and I can out-shake many of them. (However, they are able to do jumping jacks without peeing their pants. Sigh.) At a moment’s notice I could run a 5k in under 30 minutes without having to train if I had to. I like this place. My goal is to stay here for at least the next decade or two.

While on vacation in Hawaii, my husband and I went for daily morning runs along the beach. We hiked mountains and spent the days walking miles and miles throughout Waikiki soaking in the culture and the food, the sights and the sounds. I often thought about how much we would have missed if we had not been physically able to handle that level of activity.

Greg and I ran around this cove near Ala Moana Beach Park almost every day. If you look closely, you can see a rainbow!

And I love the fact that we can do these activities together.

While we were running alongside Waikiki Beach one morning we passed an elderly couple probably in their 70s. They were all decked out in work out gear and they were running! Together! It was so cute and I hope that is Greg and I 30 years from now.

Why spend your hard earned money on vacations only to sit on the sidelines and miss out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I often hear about people taking family trips to Disney World and how they leave the parks early because they were hot and tired.


My family gets free admission into Disney World (thanks to my sister who’s been working there for 15 years) and we don’t even leave until closing time. Do you know what you are missing when you leave early? Everything. You are missing everything!

Maybe you don’t care if you are carrying an extra 75 pounds. Maybe you don’t care about being a size 6. Or you just don’t care about being able to climb a mountain because you never leave Nebraska. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life….never say never! You just might find yourself in the most beautiful place (or the happiest place) in the world someday and wouldn’t it be sad if you couldn’t enjoy it?

The good news is that all it takes is a tiny bit of activity to be on your way to a more active lifestyle. A little activity is better than no activity. You can build from there. (Here’s a previous story with tips to get you started!)

What are you waiting for? You might win the lottery next week and want to go on your dream vacation. Or maybe you would just like to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded? Now is the time to start conditioning. So throw on some tennis shoes and take a walk already!

Trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss this view…

On Memorial Day we were running through this park and crossed paths with a half marathon in progress so we ran alongside the other runners for a while until we realized it was the end of the marathon. We didn’t have the guts to actually cross the finish line. If you know my husband, you know he is not a rule breaker!

Hiking the Diamond Head Summit Trail was one of our favorite activities and is a must-do if you ever find yourself on the island of Oahu. It takes about an hour to get to the top. You start off on a paved trail but it quickly becomes moderately treacherous. Tennis shoes are a must (although my mom tried to do it in ballet flats!)

Just before you reach the tippy-top, you have the option of taking the easy route or the challenge route which includes these 99 very steep steps. Of course we picked option 2 and of course Greg sprinted to the top! Charlie tried to keep up with Dad and did a pretty good job!

And this is your reward for making it all the way to the top…amazing view of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki!

This picture was taken at the top of Makapu’u Point Trail. This hike takes about 30 minutes on a paved path offering breathtaking views of the southeast shoreline.

See….breathtaking! The little island on the top right is called Rabbit Island. Do you see the bunny?

Making our way back down, I almost fell (because I was taking too many pictures according to Greg). I’m blaming my flip-flops. Correction, slippers. Only mainlanders call them flip-flops. 🙂  My fear of heights was validated while hiking this trail. If you are here between November and May this is a great place to view migrating humpback whales.

At the bottom of the Makapu’u Point Trail is a road less traveled which takes you to a secluded cove with tide pools and amazing rock formations. I felt like I was on an episode of Lost!

So this is where we spent the rest of our afternoon…picnicking by the sea, wading in the tide pools and jumping off the rocks. We have to thank our Hawaiian family for being the most excellent tour guides as this spot is a local secret. It was amazing!

This is how we ended (and sometimes started) almost every day. Can’t beat real Hawaiian shaved ice. Aloha!

Sanae Shea

Sanae Shea is a girly girl living in a house full of men…1 husband, 3 sons and new puppy named Ted. When she’s not busy with her boys, you’ll find her teaching Zumba Fitness classes at several locations throughout Kearney. She is also a skin care consultant for RX Skin Therapy at USave Pharmacy in Kearney. Learn more about Sanae at www.zumbawithsanae.com.