Whoa, remember when I tried to stick to my editorial schedule? Hah! yea, me either. For those of you new to my blog, I was once on a “kick” where every week, I would write about something that inspired me, or something that could inspire others. I called this “kick” Wednesday Inspo days. Why on Wednesday? It’s the hump in the week- once you get through it, it’s a downhill ride to the weekend, which for me, is always something I look forward to.

I haven’t been posting in a while and that’s not because I haven’t been inspired, it’s because I’ve been SO inspired, that I’ve been traveling, exploring, and out in the world just “doing the damn thing” (as I like to say). So why am I posting now? Because I feel like it. Because I can. Because I am alive and truly living.

There are a couple things that I am truly grateful for, well more than a couple things, but just a few that I will share in hopes that this is inspiring.

One- I am thankful, and proud to have been born and raised in Hawaii. There’s no surprise there- Hawaii people are always proud to say where they are from. In fact, if you’ve ever been anywhere else in the U.S. and you come across Hawaii Natives, that’s the first thing they’ll tell you right off the bat. It’s more than that though- I have a unique perspective in the world I live in BECAUSE I’m from such a unique cultural background. I suppose it’s the way foreign exchange students feel when they come to the U.S. I suppose for all intents and purposes, it’s the same feeling anyone else would feel if they chose to live somewhere they weren’t originally from. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to thrive in my community, and to take that context and thrive somewhere else entirely. I’m grateful because most people don’t get to do that in a lifetime. Some people stay in one place their entire lives. I could have stayed in Hawaii and there wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that, but I’m glad I didn’t. I miss home, A LOT, but moving pushed me to grow and forced me to figure shit out. If I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have met Coleman.

Secondly, I’ve had mentors to guide me along at every stage in my life. NO JOKE. I was an athlete, which meant I had coaches. Once in a blue moon, when the stars align, the world comes across a player-coach relationship that goes beyond the perimeters of the volleyball court. This was the relationship I had with Coach Daryl. He’s taught me so much about tenacity, and how far that could take me in life. When I was twelve years old, Daryl introduced me to my first physical trainer, Steve Lee. My workout regimen changed forever, but it wasn’t just that, it was all the life lessons that came with it; I just didn’t know it at the time. If it weren’t for Steve, I wouldn’t be 5’6″ with a career as an outside hitter. We spent countless hours in the gym maximizing my strength, speed, endurance, explosiveness, and vertical. We did this for a number of consecutive years too. It wasn’t just physical workouts either. Steve used to push me to my absolute limits, and whenever I thought I was about to give up, or quit, or take a break, I would keep going because he would suddenly give me ten more reps, or a few more parachute runs. When you’re an athlete, physical and mental strength are sometimes intertwined with each other and this was a ritual at Steve’s gym.  There were no compliments with Steve or Daryl. It was always “that’s better, do it again” or “keep going” or “this could be better.” There was no hand holding, and whenever I thought too highly of myself, they were the first to humble me. It was always about the work, and whatever I put in to my training, I always got back in my results. I always wanted to be better because that was the culture they instilled in me. There was never an end goal with Daryl and Steve; it was always about moving the needle forward. I’m grateful for this. I’m grateful because I have gone my whole life never expecting a pat on the back for the work that I do and this has made my life easier than most in both my volleyball career and my professional career now. Even though my competitive volleyball days are somewhat over, I still talk to Daryl and Steve and see them every time I come home. When I need advice, they are the first two people that come to mind. I don’t know where I would be in life if it weren’t for their constant guidance.

I am grateful to have the means to travel. More importantly, I’m just grateful to be alive. Having a tough Thursday? Well, perhaps that’s why I wrote this. To make you think about the people that got you to where you are today. Are you on the grind? So is everyone else in Silicon Valley, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Are you tired? Good. If you aren’t, you’re not working hard enough. There’s a tiny voice in the back of your head that wants to complain, we all have it. For today, tell it to shut the fuck up. Get your head out of your ass and keep going because you’re alive.

So, stop bitching and go live.

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