From Hilo Boy to Fitness and Lifestyle Business Owner

By Ricky Kuntemeyer


Throughout my childhood and young adult life in Hilo, I realized I owned a very special gift: being absolutely below average in everything I did.

An external glance at look my life today, however, would indicate otherwise. Being the CEO and Co-Founder of The Fitness Compass, a health and wellness company whose goal is to inspire, educate, and guide people to a healthier tomorrow by using fitness and personal development to establish healthy lifestyle habits, it would be easy to assume I was the A+ Student, Mr. Confidence, having athletics and working out came easily, and had it all together.

On the contrary, as assumptions tend to be, reality was quite the opposite.

As a child, I was always last at bat during baseball and sat on the bench all 60 minutes in basketball. In elementary school, I was more often in the time-out corner than my own assigned desk. In middle school, a teacher asked me if I was mentally handicapped and needed “special classes” to accommodate for my inability to comprehend particular subjects. In high school, I was not necessarily the best friend, brother, or son I could’ve been, and Lord knows definitely not the best student I could be. By my junior year at Waiakea High School, I was obese, chronically depressed, declining grades, and lacked any source of identity..

So what changed?

3 Things That Changed

1. I became aware of my circumstances.

I realized where I was in life as a high-school junior and the direction I was headed in did not align with what I wanted my future to be. Thus, I needed to change habits in a manner that would effectively and efficiently guide me towards my ideal future. What was my ideal future? I did not know exactly what that meant at the time, but I did know it wasn’t being unhealthy and frustrated with my performance. I began to admit to my shortcomings, understanding that I was a work in progress and accepting who I uniquely was, regardless of the world telling me what success, health, and happiness looked like. I accepted my weaknesses, emptied my cup, let go of my pride, and was finally willing to learn.

2. I took action.

I began asking a lot of questions, learning from anyone, anywhere, about anything. I read books on various topics and followed blogs just like this one to learn more about exercise, dieting, productivity, and mental health. I began trying various workout programs and nutritional guidelines to find what would work best for me, and above all, I stayed consistent.

Within six months, I lost over 40 pounds and drastically decreased my body fat by over 15 percent. The effects of my increased fitness levels were obvious, for along with my new health, I achieved my first 4.0 GPA on a report card, became one of the senior captains of the Waiakea football team, was nominated homecoming king, and I began building strong lifelong relationships. My physical remodeling then transformed every aspect of my life, and I could not contain the joy and passion I have found for exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle coaching.. I aspire to utilize these passions and skills to empower individuals to living life to the fullest, excelling in their careers, and finding love in all aspects of life.

3. I committed.

After this period of time, I left Hilo for college to learn more about the human body by pursuing a degree in Applied Exercise Science and how it is affected by exercise and diet. I did not know how I was going to use health to impact lives at the time, but the key lesson Hilo has taught me which I carry to this day is simple: how to love people. I am not a product of self-triumph, but rather the product of an ohana of wonderful individuals who placed their time, love, and knowledge into me.

I am the product of Hilo and Hilo will always be apart of who I am.

In return, I knew whatever I am to do, I will love others in the same way the community of Hilo loved me and I would serve and impact other communities so they could understand what it feels like to grow up in my rainy, caring town.

The Fitness Compass

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Nearly two years ago, I approached my mentor, Chuck Hewett (who also so happens to be a professor of Kinesiology, professional endurance athlete, and all-around amazing human being) to discuss my dream of starting a health and wellness company that had the ability to reach individuals around the world. After over a year of hard work Chuck and I launched this dream, The Fitness Compass, in October 2016.

In the short time since then, we have trained nearly 50 clients from a multitude of places from Hawaii to Northern California to Georgia and Minnesota through our online personal training program. We reached and cultivated thousands of listeners from 18 different countries through our weekly Podcast “The Fitness Compass Podcast,” equipped our community with such tools as our ebook and official t-shirt, had the opportunity to give health and wellness seminars at prestigious companies such as the geotechnical engineering firm Engeo, and collaborate with dozens of brilliant health care professional and clinics from around the country.

This journey has been nothing short of miraculous, and I would not be where I am today if it were not for the values and lessons of my home, Hilo, Hawaii.

My dream is to now give back so much of what Hilo has given to me, and that is to inspire, educate, and guide the community of Hilo to a healthier tomorrow! I will be featured in a weekly post to give you scientifically proven ways to live a healthier and happier life as well as give you wonderful resources we are putting together at The Fitness Compass!

If you wish to learn more about my company, what we do, and want to be trained by us, you can check out our home page at:

Also get more valuable knowledge NOW by going over to listen to The Fitness Compass Podcast, a weekly show where we break down controversial and misunderstood health topics in the fitness world!



Mahalo for your time, go out and be the best YOU today!

Ricky Kuntemeyer

CEO & Co-Founder

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  1. What a great post and an inspirational journey, Ricky. It’s wonderful you were above average in self-reflection and in motivation to turn things around. You remind us of all the reasons why raising our children in Hilo gives them a solid foundation, especially in compassion, which seems in short supply in other areas. Looking forward to your future posts!


    • Thank you so much for your kind words! It is an honor to help inspire those in my community to live a healthier life! If you ever have any questions about our program or feel someone you know would benefit from our program, feel free to contact me at:

      Have a great day and keep striving to be the best you that you can be!


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