Man, 90, inspires many at Waikiki beach

Thu Tran lost a fortune in Vietnam; lost his wife when he moved to the U.S.

Published  6:00 PM HST Jan 01, 2013
HONOLULU -

With his contagious chuckle, firm handshakes and friendly hugs, it's easy to see why Thu Tran has so many friends.

Make that many, many friends.

At 90 years of age, he may be the oldest man at Kaimana Beach in Waikiki, but he doesn't let age hinder his spirit.

"Every day happy happy good!  Every day careful.  No careful, no good!" said Tran.

It's that philosophy Thu lives by and shares with everyone he meets.  But, what exactly keeps this man of 15 grandchildren so happy and good every day?

"When I heard about his life story, I think he's the most amazing man I've met in my life."

Phillip Pelletier, friend of 90-year-old Thu Tran who is a regular visitor of Kaimana Beach

At 9 a.m. sharp, Thu starts his morning workout which includes punching, kicks and breathing exercises.  And if that wasn't enough, Thu spends an hour swimming laps awing beach goers.

"He inspires me to keep going and to keep in good shape so someday I can be as strong as he is," said Barbara Ryan, Tran's friend.

But, Thu wasn't always happy.  He grew up in Vietnam and had a successful business.  However, he lost his life savings during the Vietnam War.  After relocating to the U.S., his wife passed away.  Thu says what has helped him get through life's challenges and troubles is by going to the beach every day.

"Going to the beach is good for you.  It's like a medicine -- skin is good; stomach is good; and teeth will be good.  Eye will be good because I use the beach," said Tran.

This proud father of 10 says his secret to long life is not to let anything get him down.  His story inspires all those who know him.

"When I heard about his life story, I think he's the most amazing man I've met in my life," said Phillip Pelletier, Tran's friend.  "He's an inspiration to everybody who meets him.  He's an incredible man.  I think the best thing is the positive attitude that he has.  It's really great and makes you smile."

After Thu is done with his daily exercise at the beach, one by one Thu says goodbye to all his friends.

But, everyone at Kaimana knows, Thu will be back tomorrow to spread his aloha, come rain, vog or shine.

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