A Healthy Life: Body, Mind, and Soul
Esther Genter has been an active member of the Still & Moving Center community since 2016. When asked what keeps her healthy at 93 years young, she replies, “I tribute it all to love. God is love. Being spiritual gives me that motivation to interact and take care of my mind and body — exercise and good food go with that. And I hope to live a life that is of service to others.”
She describes her life with resounding gratitude. In her childhood, she spent years amongst the quietly picturesque landscapes of Pennsylvania and Michigan, then came the years of devotion and service while raising her four children. She became widowed at age 56, and continued her life of service with volunteer work, continuing education classes, and teaching Christian studies. She serves as a guiding light for those around her, and in a beautiful circling metaphor, her father, a Coast Guard man, was himself an actual lightkeeper in his day. He was, in fact, the last Coast Guard light attendant to ever work at the Great Lakes.
When Esther was a little girl, she and her family moved about, depending on her father’s work. She lived with her parents and five younger siblings, and because they often lived on military bases far from other families, they were a very close-knit bunch. Esther recalls their long treks to school each day, sometimes in a jeep, and other times in a cargo truck, military truck, or other military vehicles. “We were all very much alone because the Coast Guard station was eight miles out of town,” Esther recalls.
Part of their unique upbringing was their proximity to nature — or rather their distance from any city luxuries: no movie theaters, no shopping malls. Instead, Esther and her siblings created games in the wide and wild outdoors surrounding their home. In the summertime, they sailed, hiked, and played tennis and golf. In the winter, they went downhill skiing, went onto frozen lakes ice skate or cut a circle in the ice to see what they could catch.
As Esther and her siblings grew into thriving adults, their pursuits sent them across the globe. Her sister lived in Europe, then in India, then ended up on Kauai. Her scuba-diving brother found his place in Puerto Rico. And after raising her own four children and living out a full chapter in the midwest, Esther eventually made her way to Oahu. “I came to Hawaii as a tourist around ‘73,” Esther remembers. For three years they continued coming over for her husband’s business. Esther’s father had lived on Oahu in his early 20s, and she recalls hearing him strum his ‘ukulele when she was a young girl. A couple of generations later, the US Army stationed Esther’s son in Honolulu, and Esther eventually made home on O’ahu. “I just knew I was going to make the islands my home someday!” she confides.
With many years of service to her family and community, she clearly understood the importance of health. Feeling well, she can amply provide support to others. Wellness is a cornerstone of her daily and weekly routines. At age 65, she found a wonderful yoga teacher in Ludington, Michigan, a place where Esther still gets to visit today for relaxing summers at the family lake house. And serving as an example of wellness herself, this first yoga teacher of Esther’s taught classes up until her demise at age 107!
In 2016, Esther and her friend Gigi discovered a hub of like-minded movers to connect and learn with at Still & Moving Center in Hawai’i. Still & Moving Center proudly awarded Esther for her achievement of taking eighteen classes in one month for the January 2019 Challenge. That’s an inspiring commitment to movement!
For a fit mind, Esther continues to take Olli (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) classes at local universities. She hardly misses a semester. And she always keeps her curious mind active through travel and meeting others.
The Covid-19 era has been tough. After enduring a difficult year of restricted travel, companionship, and physical activity, Esther is back at her Yoga and Feldenkrais practices, enjoying the ability to move with other enthusiastic students again, finally! Part of what keeps her coming back to Still & Moving Center is the enthusiastic community of movers from a diversity of ages and backgrounds.
Esther recognizes the importance of a healthy body and mind. She carries out her life’s work and serves as a beacon light to others on their journeys. Taking care to stay balanced, she commits herself to daily activity, enrolls in university classes nearly every semester, and saves a special time every day for prayer and reflection. She gracefully exemplifies habits that lead to wellness: yoga, daily walks, gazing at nature, moving with a joyful community, and laughing with grandchildren. Her chosen life habits provide the essential ingredients for a radiant life. Esther reminds us that we can only serve others if we have first taken care of ourselves — mind, body, and spirit. And that’s how she aligns with Still & Moving Center.
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This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)