Meaning of ALOHA –
The real meaning of Aloha in Hawaiian is that of Love, Peace, and Compassion. It’s the guidelines of how to live – a life of Aloha is one when the heart is so full it is overflowing with the ability to influence others around you with your spirit.
Just returning from vacation on the BIG Island of Hawaii, I feel inspired to share the following story with you…
Better known as Peaman, Sean, is an acquaintance I have known all my life and see every year in Kona. He has been putting on free running and multi-sport events in Kona for the last 20-years and generally contributing to the aloha feel that the Big Island is famous for.
Sean was in an accident at the age of 9 and he still suffers severe pain on a daily basis. One (not ALL) of his obstacles have been that his pituitary gland does not function and he does not produce any hormones. As a result he has zero motility in his gut which makes it extremely difficult for him to absorb nutrition and gain any weight. Usually it hurts me to look at him because he is so skinny! However, something was different about Sean this year. I was expecting to see his frail physic, bald head, and chicken legs. Instead, I saw him with a full head hair, and possessing some muscle mass. He actually had meat on his bones! What happened I wondered?
The accident happened when I was 9 years old when we were back visiting Manhattan Beach, California. A drunk driver hit us going almost 70 mph, killing my mother instantly. It put me in the hospital for an extended amount of time and caused major damage to my pituitary gland, which helps maintain your body’s muscle mass.
During the accident I had the experience of going toward the loving light of God and then going back into my body. I would say that moment has formed my life in a very positive way.
When I was in high school, no one knew how bad the pituitary damage was. When everyone else was growing facial hair and wanting to have girlfriends, I wanted to play in the mud. I was not interested in standing in the hallway with fancy clothes. I wanted to throw the ball around like we did in elementary school.
In high school, I was running track and playing Pop Warner football and doing all the things normal kids did, but just having a lot of pain and unusual health situations. Suddenly, my femur breaks and they tell me I have the bone density of a 70-year-old man and that I have osteoporosis.
If you look now, as far as my heath and the pain I’m in, I still say it is a blessing. I would not be doing what I’m doing if it was not for that.
When I saw Sean, I automatically said, Wow! You look great. What happened? What did you do?
He was so kind and humble and told me his story. He said, a lot happened! Mainly he stated that he choose to live. He hit rock bottom, sleeping 36 hours at a time and only weighing in at 80 lbs. At that low point he knew he wanted to live and therefore had to make some changes…body, mind and spirit.
Last year before the Hapuna Rough Water Swim was a big rough patch. I was hovering around 80 pounds and sometimes sleeping up to 36 hours at a time. To do Hapuna — I cannot even explain it. On paper, it was nearly impossible.
When you go into something and tell yourself you can’t do it, you’re not going to do it. In the years I was able to do Ironman, I did not train as much as I should have, but never told myself I couldn’t do it. When I did train, I wouldn’t wear a watch or heart monitor because I didn’t want something to telling me what my limits were. I just go by how I feel, regardless of time or numbers.
I think the way I make it through the rough patches is with consistency and not giving up. I do what I can do, but make the effort to get up and do it. Movement is what keeps me alive.
In addition to not giving up, being present, and believing in himself, Sean told me he simply does what he needs to do to keep his body absorbing the nutrients he needs the best he can. This means daily injections of B12, hormones, daily Noni juice(if you do not know what this is, look it up! It is magic), and lots and lots of protein shakes as he regurgitates most of what he eats. He also continues to exercise daily, I see him almost every morning at the Kailua-Kona pier swimming out to the 1.2 mile buoy. Most impressively, he is kind, compassionate, caring, and has an expansive heart. He is not ashamed to share his story, his struggles, and also work hard to fell better. He does not let his pain and all his daily upkeep prevent him from keeping a positive outlook on life. I love it! He is no victim to his pain and knows that life is to be lived and also shared. He is definitely an inspiration to me and how I want to live my life.
What do you hope people take away from a Peaman event?
SEAN- I would say the beauty of Kona and the giving nature of the people here.
I always hope people experience aloha in its purest form, which is when people come together and celebrate the day. I really get perturbed when people talk bad about Hawaii and say the aloha is gone. There is always aloha, you just have to find it.
Our slogan is, “Live, Laugh and be a Pea.” All these people who are so called “adults” love a kids party better. People are big kids and just want to have fun. That’s my belief.
I hope you can all find and see the Aloha in yourself and share your incredible ALOHA with the ones around you.
If you travel to Kona and want to participate in one of Sean’s events, please click here!