Before Egan Inoue won two racquetball World Championships, he almost quit.
For a year, Inoue traveled throughout the United States, competing in matches and losing every single one. When he returned home, he broke all of his racquets.
“I’ll never forget how hard that first year was,” he says.
But one night he received a call from the U.S. racquetball team’s coach with an offer to represent the nation in the World Championships.
Inoue would play as an alternate, but after a losing season, his confidence in his ability was low.
Then, his dad told him: “You dreamt about this all your life. Don’t give up your dream now just because of your ego.”
In the end, everything worked out. After other players suffered injuries, Inoue was able to play and eventually won the World Championship.
“You should never give up because you never know when the tide is going to change for the positive,” he advises.
Inoue, who appeared on MidWeek‘s April 8, 2009, cover, shares this story and similar ones regularly at his speaking engagements. Most people, he says, assume his life has been about only the many successes he has achieved.
The response he has received inspired him to compile his stories in a book that will be released sometime before Christmas. Titled Becoming Relentless, it is “a leadership blueprint to developing your world-champion mindset.”
The former MMA five-time world champ continues to train a few fighters, though the sport itself has never been his main focus.
“I never enjoyed fighting — I just don’t like it,” he admits with a laugh.
He remains heavily involved with fitness, and five years ago he began offering Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp in Honolulu, Kailua and Waipio. Each session takes place indoors, and every day of the week is devoted to a different type of exercise. Workouts are only 30 minutes long, which Inoue says has been shown to give the most “bang for your buck.”
Beyond fitness, boot camp participants receive nutrition consultations and are regularly checked on.
“It’s not just a boot camp,” he explains. “A lifestyle change is what we try to get people to do.”
His latest passion has been working with corporations to promote health and fitness. This, he believes, will not only lead to healthier employees, but also improved productivity and an overall positive working environment.
To say the father of five is busy would be an understatement. But, for Inouye, working with people and seeing their health and confidence transform has been more satisfying than any title he ever has won.
“It’s a different feeling,” he says. “I can’t even tell you how good it feels to help people out like that.”