Whether you’re a soccer mom, baseball dad, or anything in between, you know
how busy family life can be. But you don’t have to sit on the sidelines while
the kids have all the fun. Shared activities can strengthen family bonds and promote
the importance of physical activity for all ages.
Island Scene profiles three active families. Whether it’s on the field, on
the pavement, or in the water, they make the most of their family time.
Jeanine Nakakura caught the triathlon bug from her son, Dakota.
She and her husband, Keith Miller, are both runners, and they entered Dakota in
keiki races when he was a child. He now competes in the adult division and is part
of the Punahou School cross country team. “He’s actually the first triathlete
in the family,” says Jeanine. “He’s been raised on exercise and
Jeanine thought if her son could do it, she could do it, too. So she began biking
and swimming and entering triathlon events.
Although they don’t always win, Jeanine says just to finish is an accomplishment.
“It’s about finishing, trying your best, and having a good time,”
Where they train:
- Jeanine and Dakota run together with the Runner’s HI running club on Ford
Island and bike around their ‘Aiea neighborhood. They also take swimming lessons
together at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa pool.
- Keith and Dakota run together at Pearl Harbor, where Keith works.
Having a Ball
This Kailua soccer family has long days. The girls have soccer practice or games
after school with the Honolulu Bulls Soccer Club. Dad, Kurt, is a coach.
So they often don’t get home to finish homework and eat dinner together until
after the sun sets.
And if that weren’t enough, the family also trains at Crossfit 808 on Sand
Island to work on their cardio, strength, and flexibility, and to learn about good
nutrition. Kurt and Sharnell train in the adult classes while their daughters take
the youth classes.
“It keeps them busy and they sleep well at night,” says Sharnell. “I’m
competitive. I push them. So as a parent, I have to step back and make sure they
are having fun,” she adds.
Other favorite sports: The girls also play basketball and softball.
Motion in the Ocean
For the Aukai family, the water is where their heart is – whether they’re
on the Mainland or home in Hawai‘i. Maybe that’s not too surprising,
since “‘aukai” means to travel by sea or a seafarer in Hawaiian.
Tom and Lianne fell in love with outrigger canoe paddling while growing up in Hawai‘i.
When they married and moved to Seattle, they joined canoe clubs there. During practice,
Tom would take their son, Kyle, in the canoe with him.
“Whatever Dad did, Kyle would come with me – whether snowboard, paddling,
or biking,” says Tom. “Ever since he was 3, he would come with me in
the mountains. When he started swimming, he’d come surfing with me.”
Now back in the Islands, the family paddles for canoe clubs and in their one-man
canoes. “You work out your body, mind, and soul,” says Tom.
The family also runs together to build up their endurance for canoe races and surfs
For the Aukais, watersports aren’t just about competition – it’s a lifestyle.