Motivational Monday–Giving Back

Happy Monday! 

I’m a bit late with the post today because I’ve been busy with this:


Our good friends asked if I would watch baby Addi for a few days this and next week, and how could I resist?  Although you totally can’t tell by the photo, this little girl is the most animated one-year-old I’ve ever met.  She is a blast to hang out with all day Smile.

Ben was up all night working on his final [literally – he graduates with his teaching degree next week!] paper, and then was off to work at 7 am, so he was pretty exhausted by the time he got home at noon.  He went down for a nap a couple hours ago.  Addi, on the other hand, put up quite the fight and just fell asleep a few minutes ago. 

I’ve always had the utmost respect for stay-at-home parents, and it’s days like today where that respect is especially rekindled. 

Anyway… I decided to focus on giving back for today’s Motivational Monday because it has been such an essential part of to my health and wellness journey

167239_10150145111406041_680581040_8462025_382580_n (1)

As you know, I’ve been a TurboKick cardio kickboxing instructor for the past couple of years.  Being an instructor is a huge part of my life and I teach three classes a week.  I love being a fitness instructor and absolutely adore my students, but to be honest I never would have imagined that I would be in this position. 

The first few years of my fitness journey were spent mainly in solitude.  I’d put my headphones in and only take them out to talk with people I knew at the gym.  Once I started practicing yoga, I felt like exercise was meant to be practiced alone. 


[Camel at the summit of Haleakala.]

I probably would have never known how amazing group exercise is if my Mom had not have asked me to join her for a TurboKick class at the gym one week.  She and her best friend Jymme had totally fallen in love with the format and were toning up quickly, so I thought I’d find out what the hype was about. 

It took me a few classes to get the moves down, but I was hooked on the group exercise environment immediately.  I fed off my classmates’ energy and couldn’t stop laughing and smiling the entire sixty minutes, which was a complete shock considering I left the room drenched in sweat. 

Soon enough, I had made friends with a lot of my classmates.  We quickly became close and would keep each other accountable [”Why weren’t you in class on Monday? We saved you a spot!”].  To be completely honest, I loved the classes offered, but it was really the connections and friendships that kept me coming back. 


The interactions that happened before and after class were great.  We’d talk about everything from child care to heart rate monitors and caloric intake. I realized somewhere along the way that I really enjoyed offering my advice and experiences.  And I appreciated being depended upon.

In the summer of 2009, I got word of a TurboKick training happening on the island of `O`ahu.  I thought it would be a great way to learn more about the format and better my technique.  I never considered being an instructor… I just thought I’d become a better student.  I’m sort of an all or nothing type of girl, so I went for it with just a month and a half notice.  The training was time well spent, even if it meant going off-island the weekend before my wedding [I considered it stress-relieving].


[My amazing Turbo friends threw me a TKB wedding shower!  Intense cardio + white + a veil = awkward.]


[TurboKick Class of October 2009!]

The rest, as they say, is history.  A friend approached me about the Wellness Center at lunch one day and because it scared the bejeezus out of me, I said yes [sink or swim!].  

Being a student is so much fun, but being an instructor is ten times more exhilarating!  It has taught me such profound life lessons – forcing me to accept myself for exactly who I am and appreciate my own unique style.  It has been incredible to help people become healthier and happier individuals and to inspire them to live their best life possible!  Being a teacher makes me a better student, and it has helped me stay motivated in my journey.  I have also gained intense respect for teachers of any and all capacities – it takes a lot to get up in front of people, give everything you’ve got, and inspire change.

Of course, there are other ways you can give back and gain self-confidence and motivation that don’t entail being attached to a microphone and gasping for air while jumping and punching in front of a class-full of people.  Here are a few ideas as to how to give back and feel fulfilled:

  • Volunteer for a local organization
  • Donate food/clothing [homeless + women and children shelters are always in need]
  • Become a mentor
  • Read to kids in your area – or simply your own kids or family members
  • Assist with or head a clean-up effort – this can be small- or large-scale [anything from picking up bottles on your street to spearheading a beach or park clean-up] (always more fun with friends)
  • Babysit!

Speaking of… the munchkin could wake up any moment now (especially with all this random thunder)!  See you tomorrow with that quinoa casserole recipe I promised you!

If you are catching up on the Motivational Monday series, here’s what you’ve missed:

1.) My tips for taking control of your own destiny

2.) Caitlin’s post on eliminating negative self-talk and fat talk

3.) My tips for making time for health and wellness

4.) Tips on setting attainable goals

5.) Therese’s post on getting from there to here without going crazy

6.) A reminder to stay open to reevaluation

7.) Fueling your body, mind, and spirit well

8.) The importance of accountability

9.) Creating new boundaries

10.) Utilize resources and gain knowledge

Motivational Mondays are meant to offer you tips and tools to help you live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  What would you like to see for Motivational Mondays? Would you like to be a contributor? Comment or email me at and tell me your motivational story, who motivates you, and/or your tips.

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


8 thoughts on “Motivational Monday–Giving Back

  1. Therese says:

    I mostly exercise on my own but being in bootcamp is really opening up my eyes to the social aspects to group workouts, it’s so much fun!

    And in the same vein I’ve been thinking about giving back this year as well and volunteered for a race last month and I felt fantastic doing it, it made me decide to do it at least once a year to give back to the amazing volunteers at my own races!

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Ooh, volunteering at races would be fun! Maybe I’ll do that for a longer race or triathlon or something! That way I can see if it’s feasible for me to do it at some point 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s