Maita started working out with Jane Fonda’s first video when she was 19 after suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Since then, she dedicated herself to aerobics, spinning, yoga and weight training. Sporting amazing energy, she took her athleticism to the gym 5 times a week during school and after work when she was in New York. When she moved to San Francisco in 2000 she found that running was much more enjoyable because of the wonderful outdoors and scenery of Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. However, having done a few marathons and some 5 and 10Ks, Maita began to need a little variety in her workouts. She started training for triathlons in the last few years and found it great!
When finding some down time from training, Maita takes care of her daughter Yasmin. Athleticism runs in the Pang family, with Yasmin being a soccer and lacrosse player, as well as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. In addition to lots of culturally motivated and fun activities, the Pang family practices good eating habits and physical activities.
The triathlon world led Maita to Fil-Am Tri by chance a few years ago, where she Googled triathlon clubs in the Philippines. She wanted to see how global triathlon training had become and quickly came across FAT’s organization. She couldn’t be happier to have found a Filipino organization that supports a physically active lifestyle in addition to eating pancit and lumpia!
This past 2011 year brought challenges and triumphs to Maita’s life. Surrounded by friends, fellow trainers, and a neighbor, Maita and her husband trained for and raced the Baltimore half marathon. Their son had died in the beginning of the year, so continuing the training meant so much to them. She remembered she could have taken off 30 minutes from her time, having become emotional while racing. However, official times aside, she found inspiration during that race as she thought of her son. There were, she saw, other people racing to raise money for wonderful causes. Their efforts encouraged her, as the Pang family had raised money for the Baltimore Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, an organization committed to helping grieving parents due to the loss of their children. The Pang’s strength and determination never faltered throughout the race. Her husband Rich could have done the race in about 1:50 but stayed with Maita till the very end. He had developed really bad leg cramps at mile 11, but never left her side. What a guy!
Maita’s athletic endeavors and hopes for the 2012 year are family focused. After 10 years of coaxing, needling and begging, she has finally convinced her husband Rich to live a much healthier and more active lifestyle, which he is currently doing! They are both doing the DC Rock and Roll half marathon this March. Maita will also be doing a sprint triathlon in August. One of her upcoming projects is to learn how to veganize some Filipino recipes. Lastly, she wants to learn to run like Phoebe in Friends!
Maita leaves us with a favorite fact: There’s a 55 year old woman in her local Road Runner’s Club who purposely stops swimming, biking or running during the races, because she thinks the sights and sounds of where she’s at are too wonderful to miss. Using that as inspiration, Maita thinks it’s time to spread the word to the couch potatoes of the world to go outside and play sports and enjoy 5D TV! She wishes everyone a wonderful, prosperous and healthy New Year! Mabuhay!