Member of the Week: Les Scanlan

  1. What is your full name?  

Les Anthony Scanlan.  It is a good Irish Catholic name!  My last name is Irish, but my ethnic origin is Samoan.  My Samoan name is ‘Tasele’.  It was my grandfather’s name.  It is the name of a knot that is used for a shark’s noose.  Yes, we catch big sharks using a noose!  My last name comes from my great, great Irish grandfather.

     2.  What was your favorite activity as a child?

Both of my parents came from an island smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  My favorite activity as a child was fishing, clamming, picking opi, urchin, mussels, chasing and catching grunion.  I grew up in a beach town during the 60’s and 70’s, just north of Los Angeles.  My playground was (and still is) Mother Ocean. 

     3.  What job did you have in high school?

From 1974 to 1978 I had the following jobs.  Picking strawberries from 5 am until the late in the afternoon.  Flipping hamburgers at McDonalds (the burgers were made of real meat back then).   Gas station attendant when gas was 50 cents a gallon.  Toy department at Sears during Christmas season dressed as Santa Claus.  Landscaping in Malibu during the summer.  I had a few other jobs that I can’t recall.  But I do remember that I had interesting jobs.  Not to mention, the jobs paid much better than the allowance my parents gave me!

     4.  What was your most embarrassing memory?

I don’t know about this one.  Hmmmmmm……so many that I am too embarrassed to write about it.

     5.  What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

This is impossible to paint a picture with words!  Tahiti in 1995.  I was there for almost 2 months.  I flew to Papeete Tahiti to meet my girlfriend.  She had sailed from Mexico to the Marquises Islands, then to Tahiti.   We  hadn’t seen each other in months.  Back then, there were no cell phones or email.  Just good old fashion love letters.  The anticipation and a tropical paradise……pure bliss.  We were young and both madly in love with each other.  We had an adventure of a lifetime.  I came back with a tattoo!

     6.  What makes you laugh out loud?

My brother and my sisters.  They are pretty damn funny.  In the Polynesia culture, laughter is important.  Because if you can’t laugh at yourself and laugh at others, you would be considered pretty damn grumpy!  My favorite “laugh out loud” movie is Nacho Libre, starring Jack Black.

     7.  What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Besides being able to doing the crow pose!!!   My 10 year old son, Nalu.  Deep, deep, love right there.  Also, when I became a Police Officer in the 1980’s.  I was one of only 6 Samoan police officers in the SF Bay Area.  Kinda of a pioneer, I guess!

     8.  What advice would you give your younger self?

My advice to my younger self:  Gratitude is the attitude.  Cherish Love.  And always respect and thank your parents for advice!   I tell my son these things, but most importantly I try my best to live it.

     9.  What would you like people to remember about you?

I only hope that I can influence a positive change in someone’s life.  Whether it be a big or a small positive influence.  If someone remembers me for this, then it is a life well lived.

     10.  Why do you practice at Marin Power Yoga?

The Ohana.  Ohana means ‘family’ in Hawaiian.  The genuine kindness and love from all of the instructors, is what keeps me coming back.  I tell all of my friends and acquaintances about the greatness of MPY!  Thank you Amy and Jamie.  It’s all about the Aloha Love at MPY.

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