Activity: Building and flying kites at the beach Starting line: I started about 20 or 30 years ago. I’ve done it all by trial and error. The swallow was my first kite. I’ve made owls, butterflies, goldfish, pandas. I have centipedes [pictured] and a caterpillar.
Making time: I retired after 30 years at Warner Bros. I always loved fishing; after a while my [late] wife said, ‘Aren’t you tired of fishing?’ In fishing, you look down; in kite-flying, you look up.
Benefits: I enjoy meeting people, the fresh air, the exercise. Walking on the sand is exercise in itself. One time I was flying 25 kites by myself. You never saw a guy so busy in your life.
“No-whining” secrets: I’m a lazy kite flier; the wind does all the work.
Fitness mantra: I take everything as it comes . . . the good with the bad.
Esteban “Steve” Abenoza
Occupation: Semiretired graphic designer and photo restorer
Hometown: Santa Ana
Activity: Inline skater
Starting line: Since 1990. I was ready to lose weight and had to choose a kind of exercise, so I said, ‘I used to skate when I was a kid, why not try again?’
Making time: I can arrange my schedule. I usually skate about 45 to 80 miles per week. During racing season I’ll skate . . . over 100 miles per week. I’ve done more than 200 races. There’s an excitement; everything you do is your own effort, your own power.
Benefits: I feel a lot younger. My life changed entirely when I quit smoking, lost weight, started exercising. I don’t have any more problems with my heart. I used to be more pessimistic, I’m not anymore.
“No-whining” secrets: If I don’t feel like I want to skate, I walk, even just for half an hour. If it seems a little boring, I listen to music.
Fitness mantra: Moving is the best medicine.
Occupation: Entertainment lawyer, writer and filmmaker
Activities: Swimming, triathlete
Starting line: I’ve been swimming on teams since I was about 6.
Making time: We have a lap pool at my house. Now that it’s nice out, I try to go [ocean swimming] at least once a week. I generally swim at lunchtime. That’s sort of sacred. Long rides and long runs on weekends. Running is a good complement to the swimming. We just had a baby, [so] I’m probably training about 12 hours a week. It’s an extension of who I am and what I love.
Benefits: It helps me achieve focus in all the other areas of my life. It’s as much a meditative experience as anything else. It gives me a clarity of thought. When you’re swimming in the ocean, there’s a purity you don’t have in the pool.
“No-whining” secrets: If I’m getting stale in one endeavor I can switch to another. I also do yoga. It’s an extension of a holistic lifestyle that includes diet and meditation.
Fitness mantra: I feel it’s what I’m meant to do.
Occupation: Kindergarten teacher
Hometown: Ladera Ranch
Activities: Single-speed (one-gear) mountain biking, endurance races
Starting line: About five years ago.
Making time: I get creative with the day [and] try to keep a balance. I usually ride to or from work . . . about 35 miles away. I put in anywhere from 12 to 15 hours a week [commuting] and a big ride on the weekend. I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s really fun for me; even if I didn’t race, I’d still do it.
Benefits: I have 20 kindergartners all day by myself. That’s pretty exhausting. I love [that] when I’m done with work, I have two to three hours to be by myself, just to think. When I’m home I’m fresh, ready to do other things.
“No-whining” secrets: Some days it’s cold, I’m tired. If it’s an extra-tiring weekend, I’ll do a long, hard ride with my friends. We keep each other going. My husband also trains with me a little bit. During the week I love commuting, that’s the only way I can get home. That really helps with the discipline.
Fitness mantra: It’s about trying to figure out how to live life well. I can be a better teacher, I can be a better wife.
Occupation: High school student
Hometown: Huntington Beach
Starting line: About six years ago. My uncle took me out. It was so fun, I just kept doing it.
Making time: I get to surf in the morning for PE. After school, I surf for fun. It’s one of my priorities. In the winter it’s a little different; right after school I go immediately to the beach and surf for a couple of hours. Sometimes it’s dark if you go very early in the morning.
Benefits: If I’m stressed out at school, it takes my mind off that. Surfing is a good workout. A couple of weeks before a contest, I’ll do a little training, like jogging. My coach has me riding a bike on the wet sand. It’s really hard; if you can do that it means your legs are in shape.
“No-whining” secrets: I like to sleep a lot, [but] I have to get to class. So I drag myself out of bed. I know I’ll be happy about it later. Once I’m out there, I’m so glad.
Fitness mantra: I wouldn’t stop if someone gave me a million dollars right now.
Read about Sarah Sneider, a 62-year-old power lifter and rope climber, at latimes.com/westprime