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  • Kevin Hara

Walk the Talk

Updated: May 8, 2022

Wellness is multi-dimensional. Physician burnout often focuses on the occupational dimension, but we cannot neglect the emotional, physical, spiritual, social, intellectual, financial, and environmental dimensions. We need to address all of the above for wellness of the whole.

My physical activity was recently curtailed by a recent illness. But, to be truthful, my physical conditioning was not that great to begin with. Neither was my diet or sleep. In any event, my stamina had further deteriorated. I tell my patients that staying well requires attention to the basics; eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercise. I had been putting off exercising for many reasons. But maybe they were just excuses. I knew that I needed to improve my body physically. It was time to walk the talk.

The University of Hawaii Family Medicine Residency Program sponsors an event called Walk with a Doc. Once a month, they gather at Blaisdell Park in ʻAiea and go for a two mile walk along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path. The event is headed by Dr. Arcelita Imasa and Dr. Thomas Quattlebaum. The benefits of their activity is not only the physical exercise. There are the benefits of being outside and receiving nourishment from the sun. There are also connections that are established with our colleagues, patients, families, friends and community.

It has been years since I have been on the Pearl Harbor Bike Path. We used to go there when my kids were small. The boys would bike and I would follow along on my Razor scooter. To be honest, I was a bit nervous about taking the walk. I wasnʻt sure that my legs would hold out. I had heard stories about hostilities from the homeless. What about the availability of bathroom facilities if needed. And, It looked like it might rain. My brain came up with all kinds of . . . excuses. In my heart I knew that I should go. In actuality, I really had no choice. My wife, Norma, would not accept otherwise. As always, she keeps me on the right path.

Our arrival at the park was welcomed by colleagues and friends. There were people I knew well. There were people that I didnʻt know well, but wanted to know better. There were new faces and new friends to come. There were children, babies, seniors and pets. It was nice to come together away from the clinics and hospital. Drs. Quattlebaum and Imasa reviewed the purpose of Walk with a Doc and led us through warm-ups. Then, off we went.

What followed was a delightful journey. I would even call it an adventure. The beauty of Hawaiʻi that we overlook and donʻt appreciate in our daily hectic lives is present all around us. I forgot about my anxieties. There was so much to see.

The solitude of the fisherman.

Fresh water from the mountains meeting the salt waters of Pearl Harbor.

They even have ducks here!

So much green.

A cautious onlooker watching my every move.

The oysters of Pearl Harbor.

And look, even a rainbow trying to emerge over Ewa.

Sometimes, when you walk the talk, you get pleasantly surprised. It's not too late. Take care of your body. It carries you through our world. I canʻt wait for the next one.


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