1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Aloha, I’m Richard Koob, founder and retired Executive Director of Kalani, the largest retreat center in Hawaiʻi. At 66 years young I’m just beginning my 4th round of 22! Kalani is also a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit – all proceeds from guest stays here goes into education, recreation, and Hawaiian culture preservation in the poorest district in the state – we are the largest NGO provider of services in Puna, including over 50 classes/activities a week offered free or by donation to our community. I continue to provide support to Kalani management given my 37 year history as Executive Director, and serve on the board.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My dad was a farmer and my mom an organic gardener. All six of their children were so inspired by our parents that we in turn inspired them later in life to choose better ways of eating healthy and staying fit. They stopped smoking and stopped drinking except for a bit of wine sometimes, reduced their consumption of red meat and processes fats, and embraced daily walks and other forms of exercise.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
They demonstrated deep appreciation for nature, culture and wellness. We enjoyed family trips together, sometimes all 8 of us, 2 parents plus 6 kids, that included hiking, fishing, and national parks (Badlands, Glacier, Yellowstone,…). My mom was a pianist, organist and choir director, so we were all encouraged in piano, singing, and other cultural and artistic interests – especially writing, art, and dance – on floors and ice! We were encouraged and excelled in sports, especially the only official sport of our tiny country school: basketball. Additionally I especially enjoyed running a “section” (4 miles square) of country roads, my own “gymnastic” like workout using the clothesline poles, tennis, figure skating, water and snow skiing. Training in my dad’s farm and equipment business helped build my math and entrepreneur interests and ability to evaluate and take risks.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Beginning in 1975 we collaborated on Kalani, helping thousands of annual visitors embrace total wellness. The trust, support and closeness of my family and the village I grew up in prepared me for the re-creation of close-knit village life that is the essence of the Kalani community. I have deep appreciation for rational thinking, heart based feelings, and gut intuition, requiring the agreement of all three in decision making. The recipe for a wholesome life is based in loving life, especially the gift of oneself, respecting others, and caring for home: local and global.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
Yes, by years of teaching and performing in the schools and communities of Hawaiʻi, and by welcoming and encouraging keiki (children) in the many educational offerings of the area, including Kalani’s 50 activities per week and hundreds of events each year.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Be your personal best in mind, body and spirit. Love yourself, respect others, and take care of home: local and global.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?