I've always said that its a great time to be a girl! We have freedoms our foremothers and fathers fought for, a voice, which we haven't had for centuries. We have fashion and mimosas and hobbies. We get to be anyone we want to be. But being a woman is not without many ups and downs a long the way.
Society still has expectations, ladies. We work, we raise the babies, we keep the home, we maintain appearances, we put in the grind and then we try to find space in the limited time remaining to focus on ourselves. That last part is of growing importance to a lot of us in this constant carousel that can be both extremely rewarding and quite tiresome. We are realizing how crucial it is to the rest of what we need to do.
Today's customer crush is someone I've always personally looked up to as having her needs and wants in balance. She currently cares for her two little dolls alone for a majority of the week while her husband, Kevin, is working away from home, saving lives as a Honolulu Firefighter. She also works full-time and is co-owner of Oahu based Hawaiian Fire. She also works out regularly, whether squeezing in a barre class, traveling to compete in a marathon or doing push ups in her garage with two girls at her ankles, she is incredibly committed to taking care of her children as well as herself.
And of course, she looks amazing.
But perhaps her motivation to stay active is so strong because it isn't coming from a source of wanting to look good, but a source of wanting to feel good.
After graduating from college, Wisa found herself to be depressed, bummed out by what many women face when they've worked hard to earn their degree, only to find a less than welcoming reality of the working world and being a grown up. Wisa found solace in running. Its no secret that exercise is an efficient natural method of reducing symptoms of depression. She ran her way out of this slump kept going until she was able to complete a half-marathon (13 miles) and a marathon (26 miles).
Soon after having her first daughter, Lexi, while living on Oahu, she came to realize the epic athletic resources available through her immediate environment; living at the foot of Diamond Head, she had hills, long stretches of road as well as the beautiful Pacific ocean nearby. This trifecta created her longterm goal of participating in a triathlon before baby number two.
For those who don't know, triathlons are athletic events that involve swimming, biking and running marathons. This impulse for Wisa didn't come without some reservations. "I was scared because one, the swim part, even as a surfer its different to swim to race with so many people touching you and two, I didn't own a road bike and was intimated because I didn't want to look like a kook and get hit by a car and die."
But what drove her past the fears was that she could not neglect that the training grounds available to her were desired by so many people around the world and she wanted to prove to herself that she could do it.
Despite having zero cycling experience, Wisa instinctively bought a road bike, and rode around Kapiolani Park, trying to self-learn how to clip in and out of bike pedals. She then signed up with a cycle group, Boca Hawaii, "the most well-known hardcore cycle group," and was fortunate to share training days with the top Hawaiian triathlon competitors. That's when reality set in. "I used to think I was athletic until I started training with these people. It was a humbling experience. I didn't know anyone really. I was like the only person who had zero experience with a road bike. I ended up meeting some really fun people."
She went on to complete four triathlons in a year's time, the main one being the Honu 1/2 Ironman. "I felt like I won when I got out of the water at Hapuna and didn't miss the cut off time of 1 hour and 10 minutes."
Shortly after her 4th triathlon, Wisa found out she was pregnant with second daughter, Imani, and they moved to her home island of Maui to be closer to family, but she had to leave her cycle groups and solid workout routines behind.
After returning to Maui, she participated in Cycle to the Sun, a cycling race up Haleakla, as part of her training for Honu. People fly in from all over the world to participate in these events, and Wisa was able to represent being a local girl that grew up on that very mountain, a mother, a filipina, and most of all, a female. Only 19 women competed in that event last year, compared to 142 men.
And she did it again this year, she trained as hard as a mother, and admits that taking care of her babies often took her away form her training at times, something her competitors didn't have in common. But the children always come first for this marathon mama.
And so on June 24th, she bicycled up a volcano. And ... although she was just short of her goal to make it up there in under 5 hours, she did something even better by serving as an amazing role model for her daughters. She has established the groundwork for a lifelong practice of physical fitness, making time for yourself and for representing local women in an incredibly powerful way. That alone is podium worthy. And after all, there's always next year.
So why does Wisa love to cycle even when not vigorously training? "I just want to take advantage of this beautiful place I live. Cycling is fun. I mean, who doesn't love to ride a bike? Here on Maui we have great roads to ride on. Cycling has taken me places I never would have been and allowed me to use all of my senses to take it all in. We miss that when we are driving."
Wisa has started a Facebook Group called Fabulous Cycling Maui, in an effort to create a place for people to get information and inspiration for cycling on Maui, whether an experienced rider or someone curious about starting out.
She will also be offering demonstrations to help people get into it. "What I want is female representation. I want to help women have some fun on this beautiful island that we get to call home. Cycling is not just for Lance Armstrong Look-A-Likes." Hit her up and learn something new, Honey.
Clearly Wisa shows that cycling can be for beautiful badass mom-boss babes. We wish her health and success and she continues her training and look forward to watching her kill it!
Thanks you Wisa for sharing your inspiring journey and beautiful girls with us. We just love them in our Exclusive ACACIA Honey Kokomo in Clover and Wisa looks fantastic in the ACACIA Ehukai in Shibori.