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Kyle Quilausing

Kyle Quilausing has gone from triumph, to tragedy, and back again. A sequence of events that touches on a recurring theme for our show: resilience. How we each find our way out of a dark place and the belief that it is never too late to become the person you are meant to be.

You are one decision away
You are one decision away

You are one decision away

Ep
156
Sep
29
With
Kyle Quilausing
Or Listen On:

It’s never too late to become the person you are meant to be.

Once in a while we come across a story that we believe is worth sharing, even though it might not fit within the topics we generally talk about.

Kyle Quilausing’s story is one of those. He’s gone from triumph, to tragedy, and back again. A sequence of events that touches on a  recurring theme for our show: resilience. How we each find our way out of a dark place and the belief that it is never too late to become the person you are meant to be.

Kyle’s message is simple: you are one decision away from living your dream or nightmare life. Either way, you get to decide.

Hosted By
special guest
produced by
edited by
music by
Appearances

Episode Transcript

Chris:

Every once in a while we come across a story that we think is worth sharing, even though it doesn't fit within the general topics we typically talk about. Our guest today has gone from triumph to tragedy and back again. It touches on a recurring theme of resilience, how we each find our way out of a dark place, and that it's never too late to become the person you were meant to be.
Kyle's message, you're one decision away from living your dream or nightmare life. You get to decide. You choose. Word of warning, part of Kyle's story might be tough to hear. There's some stories that deal with crime, violence, self-harm, and live inside of prison. So if that kind of stuff bothers you, you may want to skip this episode.
Everybody that's tuning in today, you're going to be in for a real treat. I met this inspirational young man. He told his story. And it's so powerful, it's so moving. So this is one of those ones where I think you're going to get so much value in just hearing his story. And for our people who don't know who you are, Kyle, can you introduce yourself please?

Kyle:

Aloha. Aloha, everybody. Aloha, Chris. My name is Kyle Quilausing and I'm from Hilo, Hawaii.

Chris:

Now, Kyle, you're in a different mental, spiritual state today, but that wasn't always the case. Can you take us back to the story you shared with me before about how you were a rising star in the world of professional golfing? Can we take the story back to there?

Kyle:

Yes. So I was raised in Hilo, Hawaii, right next to the golf course. I lived on the sixth hole at the golf course. And my grandfather's name was George Martin, he was the chief of police. And my grandfather taught me a lot of things growing up. He taught me love. He taught me respect. He taught me etiquette. All the good things that a child needs to learn. Well one awesome thing that he taught me was the game of golf. He taught me golf at the age of three. And by the age of 10 years old I was already a state champ. And I golfed against Tiger Woods until I was 17 years old. I won six state titles and at one point I was ranked fourth in the world.

Chris:

Wow. That's amazing. When you were ranked fourth in the world, how old were you and what year is this?

Kyle:

When I was ranked fourth, I was 10 years old at the time.

Chris:

Holy cow.

Kyle:

Yeah. So every year-

Chris:

So you were som kind of golf prodigy then?

Kyle:

Yeah, golf prodigy. And I was going to put Hawaii on the map. I had a very bright and promising future and I put plenty of work into golf. And at 10 years old is when I one my first state and when I qualified to the Junior World Championships, where I first played against Eldrick "Tiger" Woods for the first time. And that's when I came fourth. Tiger came first. And when I came back to Hawaii, I sat on my grandfather's stone wall looking into the golf course, at 10 years old. And I made a goal for myself, at 10 years old. I told myself that I was going to win everybody. I was going to go to college. I was going to graduate college. I was going to turn pro and then I was going to buy me a mansion. So at 10 years old I already had a goal set for myself.

Chris:

Wow. So people can't see you right now, so I'm having a hard time imagining a 10 year old being able to let alone hold a golf club and swing and to be able to compete, but are you abnormally large and tall for a 10 year old?

Kyle:

No, I was actually small for my age at 10. But it's just I was passionate about golf and just so happens I lived next to the golf course. So every morning before school I would walk onto the golf course and I would play a few holes, until I heard my grandpa or my mom yelling to me, "Come on, we got to go to school." And then I would go to school, then as soon as I would come home from school I'd put my backpack down, I'd grab my golf clubs, and I would walk onto the golf course until the sun went down. I put in the work.

Chris:

I see.

Kyle:

I've put in the work. Yeah. And I was doing it.

Chris:

Yeah. Wonderful. So what year is this for you? You're 10 years old. What year are we?

Kyle:

1984.

Chris:

Okay. So this is some time ago? Okay, this helps everyone to get context as to what's going on in the world. And when you competed against Tiger Woods, how old was he?

Kyle:

He's one year younger than me.

Chris:

Oh my gosh.

Kyle:

Yeah. He was one year younger than me.

Chris:

Okay, so two prodigies here.

Kyle:

Yeah. Every year there's a state tournament in every state. And the top two from each state qualify to Junior road in California. And that's where they battle. And every year I'd represent Hawaii and he'd represent his state, and we would see each other every year. He used to call me pineapple, just because I'm from Hawaii.

Chris:

Okay, you're competitive. You have visions of the future.

Kyle:

Yes.

Chris:

What was your relationship like with the other golfers? Was it a friendly rivalry or we're all in this together? Or is it out for blood? What are we thinking here?

Kyle:

It's out for blood.

Chris:

Really?

Kyle:

It's out for blood. And if you ever met Tiger woods ... well I only know young Tiger Woods, and he was competitive too. I have an older brother and he instilled all kind of stuff in me too, and competitive nature was one of them. You win. You win. And I still have that competitive drive.

Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). You play to win.

Kyle:

You play to win.

Chris:

Yeah, absolutely.

Kyle:

And if you do lose, you do what is necessary to win the next time.

Chris:

Yeah. That's like the mentality of a champion. That's the path towards mastery. You're not here to show up and have a good time. You're here to win.

Kyle:

Here to win.

Chris:

And you do what you got to do. Okay.

Kyle:

Here to win.

Chris:

All right. So you're doing great. You have a very promising future.

Kyle:

Promising.

Chris:

Take me to the next part of the story. Where are we at the next part?

Kyle:

Okay, so in junior golf I was beating everyone. I was beating everyone. And I accomplished that goal as a junior. Then I went to high school and I was winning everybody in high school. In my high school years, I was getting numerous college ... I was a prospect and I had a lot of opportunities to go play golf anywhere in the nation. And every letter that I got in the mail just made me prideful. It made me arrogant. And growing up, I wasn't arrogant. I wasn't prideful. I was an honor roll student all the way to my senior year in high school. And I started getting arrogant.
And one big school in the nation flew down to my school, which is Waiakea High School in Hilo. And six months to graduation I met him and he introduced himself. And he said, "Kyle, we've been watching you. We would like to give you a full-ride scholarship to our school."

Chris:

Wow.

Kyle:

I stand up ... I knew this day was coming. I knew this day was coming. And it was there in front of me. So I stand up in my principal's office. I shake his hand and I said, "I'll see you in six months." He said, "I'll see you in six months." Boom. Remember the goal that I made for myself at 10?

Chris:

Yep.

Kyle:

That was one of the goals. So I'm doing it. I'm doing it. And once I left that office my head got so big. And that's when I became prideful and arrogant. And I started disrespecting my teachers in school. They used to tell me, "Kyle, you better relax or you'll never graduate yet." And my mindset was telling them golf will do. You're just a teacher. I'm going to be a millionaire. And my pride got the best of me and got kicked out of high school. I got expelled because I did something really bad to a teacher, which kicked me out of high school.

Chris:

So you got expelled out of high school for doing something, misbehaving?

Kyle:

Real bad. Yeah, to one male teacher. It wasn't anything violent, but it got me kicked out. I tell you right now, all I know is golf. All I know is golf. I don't know nothing else, because that's all I put into my life was golf. And now I got expelled. I live on an Island, Chris. And before I got expelled everybody was looking at me like, "You see that kid, Kyle? He's going to put Hawaii on the map. That kind of going to be somebody one day."
So when the word got out that I got expelled, wherever I went people would come up to me and they'd tell me, "Kyle, we heard what happened to you. Are you dumb, yeah? You missed your ride, Kyle. Are you dumb, yeah?" Wherever I went, that's what everyone was telling me. And I just turned 18 years old and it was overwhelming for me. I couldn't handle cope with everybody's negative remarks towards me and I packed up my bags, two backpacks, and I left. I told my mom, "Mom, I got to get out of here. I cannot handle all these people telling me this kind of stuff. I got to go." And she said, "Where you like to go son?" And at that time of 18 years old I thought Alaska was my answer, because Alaska is totally different from Hawaii and the farthest space I could think of.
And I said, "Mom, I'd like to go to Alaska." She said, "Who do you know in Alaska, son?" I said, "Nobody. I just got to go, ma." And she said, "Are you sure about this, son? I'm going to buy you a one-way ticket, you know? And you better not call me that you're stuck. You understand, son?" I said, "I understand, mom." She bought me a one-way ticket. 18 years old. I had two backpacks. And I left. I left everybody behind. I left my state behind. I left my family behind. And I left. And yeah I was in Alaska for five years, not knowing anyone.

Chris:

Did you have money saved up?

Kyle:

Nope. I had nothing. I had $30 in my pocket and I left.

Chris:

So where do you even sleep? Where do you go? What do you eat? How do you survive?

Kyle:

So when I first reached Alaska was ending of July, I think. Because I got kicked out in ... So it was ending of July. I was 18 years old. I left to Alaska with two backpacks and I was at the airport for almost 18 hours, just at the airport. Stranded and stuck and not knowing what to do. And at one point I was getting scared because this is the first time I away from my home. I was sitting on the curb with my two backpacks. I was debating if I should call my mom that I made a mistake. But I heard my mom's voice playing in my head, "Kyle, you better not call me and tell me you're stuck. You understand?" So I was sitting on the curb debating what I'm going to do.
Next thing you know and one man walk up to me. He was from Hawaii. I guess he knew I was Hawaii just by my appearance. He came up to me and he said, "Brother, are you all right?" I said, "No, bro. My name is Kyle. I'm from the big island. I'm stuck. I don't know nobody, bro." He goes, "What?" I said, "Yep." He said, "Bruh, we go." And I grabbed my bags and I went with this guy. His name is Orlando, and that's my friend. To this day that's my friend. And I stayed in Alaska for five years. I had three beautiful kids while I was up there.

Chris:

Wow. Okay. So Orlando sees this kid. He recognizes that you're from Hawaii.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

He's like, "Come with me." And you go with him.

Kyle:

I go with him.

Chris:

What do you do in these five years?

Kyle:

I just live. I still good. I still am not drinking. I still am not into drugs. And I have three boys. Just living. Just living life. Just alive. And one day I woke up and I look at the girls at the time and I said, "I'm going home." She told me, "You're having a bad dream, I think. You're home." I said, "No. No. I'm going home. Hawaii is my home. I'm going to take my kids and I'm going home. And when you're ready, you come to Hawaii. I'm going home." And she backed me up and she said, "Okay." And I left. My little sister flew up from Hawaii and helped me and my kids. And I came back home.
And when I came back home to Hawaii, it wasn't the same. I had land right into the crystal meth epidemic. And I don't know nothing about ice. I don't know nothing about drugs. Nothing. I'm still sober and good. And wherever I went in Hawaii, all my friends I saw was all crystal meth addicts. Everybody that I knew was on crystal meth. And everybody was high and running amuck in Hawaii. And I was just tripping out on everybody. And everybody was offering me crystal meth, the drug. And I was telling them, "No. No." Because drug's just not my thing. And you only can say no so much. And the day came where I did crystal meth for the first time. And when I blew out that crystal meth smoke, I instantly became an addict. And I terrorized my home, which was Hawaii. And I did what was necessary to fuel my addiction.
And I've been labeled many things while on my addiction. I've been labeled Hawaii's most wanted. I've been labeled a one-man crime wave. And I did plenty of bad things, Chris, here in Hawaii, just to fuel my addiction. And I live on an Island.

Chris:

I want to ask you about that.

Kyle:

Go ahead, Chris.

Chris:

So your dreams of being the golfer that's going to put Hawaii on the map, competing against people like Tiger, there's one part that I don't fully quite understand. That as a professional athlete, do you need to have a high school degree or a college degree? Can't you just play golf?

Kyle:

Shucks, I'm not sure about that, Chris. When I got expelled, I just left. I just left.

Chris:

I see.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

Okay. So you come back to Hawaii. Coming back from Alaska, which is probably the strangest place you could land, coming from Hawaii.

Kyle:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris:

It's like 180 degrees difference. And you come back and everything's different. There's an epidemic and you do your best to stay away from the drugs, but eventually they pull you in. And then you said you did whatever you needed to do to support your drug addiction.

Kyle:

Yes.

Chris:

So I'm assuming you stole, you committed crimes just to make money?

Kyle:

Yes. When I came back from Alaska to Hawaii I was 24 years old. I was 24 years old and I did everything but murder and rape. I became a thief. I became a liar. I became manipulative. I became exactly opposite of how I was raised. And I live on an island, and it was just a matter of time before the law would catch up with me. And I was one of the hardest people to catch, here in Hawaii. So they put me all over the news. Every week they'd put me on the news, if you see Kyle Quilausing call the 9-1-1, need the public's assistance. And yeah.

Chris:

Wow. So they knew who you were. They knew you had committed crimes. And you were just hiding out.

Kyle:

They knew. Yeah. For four years of chaos.

Chris:

Wow.

Kyle:

Four years of chaos. And I brought plenty of shame to my family. I brought plenty of shame to myself. And it was just a matter of time before they caught me. And when they caught me, on the day they caught me, after three high speed chases later they caught me, finally. And when they caught me I was 98 pounds, full-blown crystal meth addict. And when they caught me and they took me into custody ... I never did get in trouble in my life, Chris. Now they caught me and the police department, they put me back on the news. And they wanted to let the public know that I got apprehended. So the police department had a party. The public felt a sigh of relief because I was in custody. And now I'm at the Hilo jail. Right on the side, by my house, there's the Hilo jail.
And now they put me in the Hilo jail and all I did was eat and sleep. For the first three weeks I ate and I slept, because that's two things that I didn't do while on my addiction. So now I'm in jail. I'm healthy and I'm strong again. But the addiction was strong and I needed to smoke crystal meth because crystal meth was calling me. So I planned one of the biggest escapes. And one night came and I put the plan, my escape plan, in motion, and I did it. I planned one of the biggest escapes and I escaped. And now I'm free again. I am free again. But this time, now I was an escaped fugitive.
And I found crystal meth once again. And it was on, and I'm free and I'm high and I'm terrorizing the community once again.

Chris:

You break out of prison?

Kyle:

Yep.

Chris:

How do you even do that?

Kyle:

You know-

Chris:

It's a crazy story here.

Kyle:

Yeah. So at the time, the jail was packed because of the crystal meth epidemic. So they put me in this big room with 40 other inmates. And at the top of the ceiling there's a skylight right at the top. So I told my friends in there ... Had 40 of us in this room, crammed in the room. I said, "You see that skylight?" "Yep." "I'm going to escape tonight."
And they said, "How you going to get up there?" I said, "You guys going to make one rope out of the bed sheets. You guys are going to braid them up. You guys are going to ..." My friends is called [inaudible 00:18:08] in Hawaii. So I told them you're got make one rope, you're going to lasso that light and I'm going to climb that rope and I'm going to grab that light and I'm going to climb that cable. I'm going through that wood. I'm going to make my way. With my elbow I'm going to bust out the glass. I'm going to jump off the roof. I'm going to run. I'm going to steal me a Toyota truck. And I'm going to get high.
They told me, "I don't believe." They said, "Watch this." Boom. And we did it. And I was free.

Chris:

Wow. How many guys got out with you?

Kyle:

Two. Me and this other guy. The guy who left with me was supposed to just tie the sheet on the top and come back in. But as he was coming back down the rope the guards heard the commotion and then I started climbing the rope and I kind of forced him out. And me and him was on the roof and I jumped off.

Chris:

I see.

Kyle:

Yeah. It was kind of crazy.

Chris:

So you're jumping off a roof too?

Kyle:

Yep. Jumping off the roof-

Chris:

And how is it that your legs aren't broken?

Kyle:

It was perfect. It was raining that night. In Hilo, it rains a lot. And it had a grass slope. So I jumped off the roof onto the grass slope and it was like a slide. I slid more than I impacted.

Chris:

Yeah.

Kyle:

And God is good. God is good.

Chris:

Wow.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

Did you know that there was going to be a slope there? Or you just-

Kyle:

I kind of knew, because every day when they'd let me out I would case around the prison.

Chris:

I see.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

Yeah. So you did plan your escape then, yeah.

Kyle:

Yeah I did.

Chris:

Okay. I see this in movies a lot, where if you stop a drug addiction cold. For those three weeks, were you having withdrawals?

Kyle:

No. I just wanted ... my body was strong. I was strong. I was physically strong.

Chris:

Okay.

Kyle:

But just my addiction, my urge to smoke was strong.

Chris:

Yeah. But you weren't having the shakes and vomiting and all that stuff?

Kyle:

No.

Chris:

Okay. So you escape prison.

Kyle:

I'm escape prison.

Chris:

You steal a truck?

Kyle:

Yep. I steal a truck from right outside of the-

Chris:

Were people chasing you two?

Kyle:

Yep.

Chris:

Wow.

Kyle:

Steal a truck and I drove to the other side of the island. And I was free on my escape for 12 days. Like I said ... I say this a lot of times, I live on an island. And it was just a matter of time, because the island is a circle. They was chasing me for 12 days back in a circle. And the day they caught me again, 12 days later, recaptured. They put me back to the Hilo jail. They put me in this little room. The next day, they shackled me up with chains, head to toe. They sat me down at a desk and they called this prison called Halawa Correctional Facility. It's located on Oahu. And they call Halawa Correctional Facility thunderdome because all they do in there is fight.
So I'm sitting at a desk and they call the prison on speakerphone. I hear somebody's voice on the phone go, "Hello." The guy said, "We got a guy named Kyle Quilausing. He's a punk over here on the big island. We want to send him to you guys. He just had escaped. We just got him and we cannot handle him." And the guy on the other end said, "Is Kyle there? Can he hear me?" He said, "Yeah, he can hear you." And I heard the guy's voice on the phone say, "Kyle." I never answer. The guard on my end said, "Bruh, you better answer." So I said, "Hello." They said, "Hey. Kyle. I heard you on punk, bruh. On the big island and you're coming to see us today. We've been waiting for you, Kyle. We see you soon." And he hang up.
And right after that phone call they put me in a van. They put me on a plane by myself. And they flew me away to Halawa Correctional Facility where I was met by six big guards and they said, "Kyle, welcome to Halawa Correctional Facility. Let's go." And they walked me, escorted me, to this place called the SHU. It's called the special holding unit. And they put me in a 7x7 windowless cell, by myself, where I'm going to stay for the next three years.

Chris:

This sounds like solitary confinement?

Kyle:

Yes. It's the hole.

Chris:

They drop you in the hole, immediately?

Kyle:

Immediately. Right from the van, open the gate, right into the hole, for three years. And once you go into this prison, everything they do is what they do. They're going to do whatever they like to you in prison. And people say that's illegal. People say that's inhumane. But once you go in the prison walls, it's on them and they do what they do. I was in that 7x7 windowless cell for three years. I took a bath in my cell. I ate in my cell. And all I did was pace back and forth, back and forth.
And, Chris, I don't care who you are, you spend that much time in isolation, things will start taking a toll on your mind. And the solitude and the isolation was taking a toll on me.

Chris:

Okay. So do they let you outside to walk?

Kyle:

Nope.

Chris:

You're in there 24/7?

Kyle:

24/7, because I the punk from big island.

Chris:

Right.

Kyle:

So they had special plans for me and treatment for me. All I did was pace in my cell. My cell was 7x7. All I could do was three steps. Three steps forward. Turn around. Three steps back. I did that all day and all night. All day and all night.

Chris:

So what happens to your mind?

Kyle:

My mind was going in a very, very dark place. A place that I never thought was even possible. And I was yearning for human ... just to see one human or hearing a human. I was yearning for hearing a human. So two years maybe, I don't know exactly because I couldn't keep track, every time they would bring me my food through the little trap door, I would try and talk to them, "Hello. Hello. Who's out there?" Just so I could hear somebody. Because after a while, like I said, you yearn for hear someone. And they wouldn't answer and I tried a new tactic. I tried swearing at them, in hopes that somebody would swear at me back. So every time my food would come to me or my toilet paper would be squished through my trap, I would swear at them, "Eff you, eff you," in hopes that I could hear somebody swear at me at least. Nothing. Nothing. The door would close.
And I knew I was in there for a while. I could see my beard growing on my face. And I started to lose the pigmentation from my skin, because I didn't feel the sun. And I was in a bad place, Chris, mentally. And one day ... God is good. God is so good. One day I woke up ... this was a special day. One day I woke up and the voices in my head were so loud, bruh, and were so clear. And the voices in my head was telling me that day was, "Kyle, you was a six time state champ. You was ranked fourth in the world. You golfed against Tiger Woods. You had a beautiful upbringing. You lived beautiful. You had barbecue, you surfed. Look where you stay now. Look where you stay, Kyle, in a 7x7 windowless cell, by yourself. All you do is pace. Ram your head in the wall, Kyle. Ram your head in the wall, Kyle." That voice in my head was so loud and clear, Chris.
And at that time in my life, that sounded like a beautiful idea, bruh. So I started talking back to this voice. I said, "Okay. Yeah. You're right, bruh. Whoever talking to me, you're right. Let's do it." I backed myself up as far as I could in my cell, and I was ready to lunge forward and bust my head against the wall. I was ready to lunge forward and bust my head into the wall. But I couldn't. I couldn't. I got frozen. I got frozen against my wall. And the only direction I could go was down, bruh, down to my knees. And God wasn't instilled in my as a child. That's one thing that wasn't instilled in me as a child, for some reason. And right after those voices disappeared in my head, images of a TV show that I had watched as a child, of one guy, he was on his knees and he was asking this guy named God for help. Those images started flashing through my head, flashing through my head really quick.
And I was already on my knees, yeah. So all I did was copy what I saw in my head. And I said, "God, my name is Kyle. If you're out there, help me. Help me, God. I sorry for everything that I did to all those people. I sorry father God. I sorry for everything that I did. Help me, bruh. I need help, bruh. I need help, God. Help me." Boom. I felt him. I felt something through my whole body, Chris. My whole body, bruh, felt warmth. All I felt was warmth through my whole body. And that's the day I surrendered. And that's the day I got saved, in that 7x7 windowless cell. And that's the day a miracle took place.

Chris:

So you asked God for help even though you were not raised in religion.

Kyle:

No.

Chris:

And you felt something answer back?

Kyle:

Yep.

Chris:

What did you do next? Where does your life go now?

Kyle:

I stood up and I felt different. I felt different. And when my food came the next time, the very next meal I said, "Hello. Hello. Hello." And I head a voice, bruh, for the first time. I heard somebody go, "What?" Oh, I break down in tears, Chris. I broke down in tears because it's the first time I heard somebody's voice. And the first thing I did was apologize. I said, "Bruh, I don't know who you are up there. I sorry for yelling and swearing at you. And I just want to first say sorry."
And the guy's voice back to me was, "Bruh, you all right or what?" I said, "Yeah. I all right. Thank you for responding. I just want to first say sorry. And I got a favor for ask." He said, "Oh, favor. What you like?" I said, "If it's possible, could I please have one paper and one pen?" He said, "I'll see what I can do." I said, "Thank you, bruh. Whoever was outside, thank you." And he shut the trap bar. Yeah.
A couple minutes later, the trap door opened, my plate came sliding in, and I heard the same voice behind the door. And that voice said, "Kyle, look under your rice." I grabbed my plate, the trap door went closed. I moved my rice bowl on the side, had a little Ziploc bag under my rice. Had a little bendable pen. Was three inches long. It was bendable so you cannot stab yourself. It bends in half. And one little pice of notepad paper, 3-4 sheets of notepad paper, little ones."
The reason why I asked for that, inside my body the emotions were so strong. And I needed to get them out. I needed to write out how I felt inside. And I started writing. I started writing and writing, front and back. Front and back. Front and back. Front and back. And the whole time I was in the hole I never had no reading material, no writing material, no nothing. Just me and my thoughts, and my state issued soap and my toilet paper. That's all I had. And receiving that bendable pen and that piece of paper was like Christmas. And I started writing. Do you want to hear what I wrote, Chris?

Chris:

Yes. Do you still have this piece of paper?

Kyle:

It's in me.

Chris:

It's in you, okay.

Kyle:

It's etched on my heart. And it goes like this, "I have a friend and we're like two peas in a pod. It just so happens he's an awesome God. I'm thankful for the bond that is shared between us. Please let me take this time to introduce Jesus. My friend I have is like no other, because the relationship we share is closer than a brother. Love and compassion, he would never lack. And my friend Jesus would never turn his back. Some things about him you probably heard, you can read more about him in the book called the word."
"If you open your Bible you see what I mean. And if you don't believe me, go to John 3:16. Accept my friend to be your savior, and watch your life get a whole lot better. He gave sight to the blind and he cured the lame. And he'll answer your prayers if you pray in his name. He'll clear your path so you won't stumble. And if you ask, he'll make you humble. Jesus will be there at any cost, because he's the one that got nailed to the cross. He was ridiculed and tormented and his ways were rejected, but all that changed when he resurrected. Jesus has the power and the authority to save, and my very best friend even conquered the grave. Jesus has the ability to heal and mend, and I'm proud to say that he is my friend. So turn from evil, and sin no more, and heaven will await you an open door. The glory of God I want people to see, so they can experience firsthand what my friend did for me."
That's what came out of me. That's what came out of me in that cell. And I'm just grateful and I'm blessed for this opportunity that I had to go to the hole where I could be alone, so I could have this conversation with God. God is so good, Chris. If God never allow me for addiction, he wouldn't allow me to go where I went, if got never allowed me to have that escape, the biggest escape, I wouldn't have went to the hole in isolation, where I turned to him, where he broke me down, where I came to the point where the only way I could go was down on my knees. And I knew he was waiting there for me, because once I prayed that first time, I felt that warmth. That's when I knew he was waiting, because I felt him instantly. I felt him instantly. And God is good, Chris.

Chris:

Time for a quick break, but we'll be right back.

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Chris:

Welcome back to our conversation.
So you have this tremendous spiritual awakening. You capture your thoughts.

Kyle:

Yes.

Chris:

How do you spend the rest of your time in prison?

Kyle:

So my cell door, my isolation cell door finally opened. I was in there for a total of three years and two weeks. So the door opened, the two guards looking at me, I looking at them. I never see any human in three years and two weeks, man. I looking at them and they're looking at me. And they told me, "Kyle, you all right?" I said, "I all right." They said, "You know how long you was in here?"
And they told me how long I was in there. And I was like, "Wow." He said, "Come on. Let's go." I said, "Where I going?" He said, "You're going to the high, bruh." "What you mean, the high?" He said, "You're going to one high custody prison, bruh. It's your first time in prison?" I said, "This is my first time I ever came to prison." "And you did three years in the hole?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Whoa. You're going to a high custody prison, bruh."
"And I'm going to give you a fast tutorial," he told me. "The people that you see kill people on the news, they go to one high custody prison because they're high rise. Gang leaders, they go to high custody prison because they get plenty influence on the other inmates. So we put them in a place called high risk. We're going to put you, Kyle Quilausing, in a high-risk facility because you had the biggest escape. We're going to put you in high risk with them."
And I was looking at them like, "What?" He said, "Let's go." I had a wagon. And in my wagon had my toilet paper and my soap. It had my towel. And they was pushing me up this hill. I was pushing my wagon. It was going up to one hill, to one high custody facility. So I reached the high custody facility and I see 179 guys looking at me. Everything is glass so the guards can see into the pod. It's called a pod. The housing unit is called a pod. So I'm looking at 179 guys looking at me. They're all tattooed, had no more teeth. And they're looking at me.
And you got to be there for see how these guys look at you, so you can feel them, bruh. You can feel these guys looking at you. And they're looking at me. I can't even look at them. And I put my head down. And this big metal gate opened, boom. And a guard tell me, "Go in." And once again I was stuck. I couldn't go. I was scared. So they gave me a little nudge, boom, and I go in and the door closed. And when that door close it echos the whole building, boom. A big metal door. Boom. With that door booming like that, everybody look at the front because they like to see who coming in. And they look and they saw me. They saw me.
My cell was cell nine. So I'm pushing my wagon, looking for cell nine, not trying to make eye contact with anyone. And I see cell nine. I walk in cell nine and I'm in cell nine. Not even three minutes ... 3-4 minutes into my cell, three guys run into my cell, lock the door behind them, and beat the living crap out of me. They beat the living crap out of me. They black my two eyes. They knock out all my front teeth. And they leave me there in my cell. I woke up in my cell, I was on my back. I was feeling my top teeth with my tongue and they was gone. And I couldn't see, because my eyes was busted. And they left me there.
That was my first experience, five minutes into a high custody prison. And the reason why they did that, I found out later on, was they wanted to find out if I was a prey or a predator. And you know what they found out, Chris, really quick?

Chris:

What's that?

Kyle:

They found out that I was a prey, bruh. Because all I did was cover up into a ball. I never did get into one fight my whole life. I never get into one fight my whole life. That's not how I was raised. And they found out real quick that I was a prey. And if you go through prison, everybody get one cell mate. And my cell mate at the time, his name was big Bill. This guy is a quadruple lifer because he had called family. He had tied them around a tree and he'd set them on fire. That's my cellmate. He came into the room, he kind of helped me out. He showed me the ropes.
Every day I got beat up, Chris. Every day. They took my rice ball. They took my shoes. They took my bread. They took what they could, because I never did fight back. And at the time ... I told you about my bunkie, big Bill. When the door closed at night we talked. In prison you no share your story to too many people, but I shared my story with big Bill and I told him how I raised, against Tiger Woods, and how my upbringing was beautiful. I get beat up every day. And one day he called me, I was outside my cell. He called me. He said, "Kyle," and he waved. He motioned me to come and he brought me to the room. He said, "Sit down." He closed the cell door. Just me and him. He told me, "Sit down." I sit down. He walk up to me and he slapped me in my face as hard as he could.
And big Bill was called big Bill because he's a big man. And he slapped me so hard, right in my face, that I was in a state of shock because I thought he was my friend. And he said, "Kyle, I cannot see these guys doing this to you, bruh. I know you're a good guy. You got to fight, bruh. You got to fight, Kyle." And I told him I never get into a fight in my life. And he said, "What? And you're here with us?" I said, "Yeah." "How long more yet?" I said, "Seven more years." He said, "Kyle, you cannot live like this, bruh. You got to fight, bruh. You got to fight. You understand?"
Then he slapped me one more time as hard as he could, right across my face and he said, "Kyle. Look at me." I look at him and he said, "Remember where you stay. Remember where you stay, bruh. You're in prison. You understand?" I said, "I understand." He turned around, he walked out the room and he closed the door and I was in my cell contemplating and thinking what this man just told me. And I took his advice. I took his advice. The next day somebody came at breakfast to try to make my rice ball. And if you get into a fight or you fight somebody, you take them to the room, your cell. That's where you handle your business.
So when the guy tried to take my rice I said, "Bruh, come to my room, 'cuz. We're going to scrap." And he was like, "What?" And my bunkie was standing there and he said, "Bruh." He told the guy, "You better go to the room." I was already in my cell and I was scared, Chris. I was scared. The guy came in, one big man. He shut the door. Just me and him. And I wasn't ready to fight for my rice ball, Chris. I was fighting for my life. I was fighting for my respect. I was fighting for everything, the seven years that I get ahead of me. And it was on. I got into my first physical altercation, and I won. But that wasn't my last. And I had to do that a couple more times. I was saved by God, but he had allowed me to go through all this because he had plans. He had plans for me.

Chris:

So big Bill taught you something to survive. When he slapped you was to wake you up to that you're not going to survive if you continue to sit there and not stand up for yourself?

Kyle:

Right.

Chris:

So he shocked you, but it was actually an act of love. He cares about you.

Kyle:

Yep. It was.

Chris:

And it's shocking to hear that a man who's in there for four life sentences, who had murdered and burned people before, that he still has humanity inside of him.

Kyle:

Yeah. I grateful. I grateful for him. I wrote him a letter when I came home.

Chris:

What are some of the other things that you had to face and see inside prison?

Kyle:

Oh, bruh. I wish you could see my shirt. I have a shirt that says, "Stay humble. Pray," on top. It says, "Stay humble. Pray." And that was my mantra that I used in prison. After a while, when I got comfortable in prison, I had a routine in prison. You wake up. You eat breakfast. You exercise for combat. You exercise to fight. You exercise all day long and you workout all day long, because you got to be strong, because you got to react. In prison, you react. And I was done exercising for the day, working out. I didn't fight for the day. I'm good. So now I'm relaxing and I'm playing cards. That's how you relax in prison, you just relax and you play cards.
So say me and You, Chris, we playing cards, we relaxed. We're unwinding. Because for the day we finished exercising and we unwinding, me and you, Chris. And we unwinding by playing cards. So as we playing cards, six guys raping one guy, 10 feet on the side of us in the corner. And this grown man is screaming at the top of his lungs for help while six guys doing this to him. And I looking at you, Chris, and inside my body I'm an emotional wreck because that's not normal. That's not normal. So I look at you and I trying to read your energy. And you're looking at me like come on, let's play. You're not even tuned into what's going on.
So I glance around the whole part and I look around at everybody. Nobody even paying attention to what's going on in the corner, 10 feet away from us. And it was hard for me, sitting there, because I'd been raised to help somebody. My grandpa told me as a child, "If somebody ever need help, you help. You understand, Kyle? You help." You see somebody's car on the side of the road and they're pushing, you stop your car. You jump out and you help push. You see one old lady in the supermarket carrying a bag of groceries, getting a hard time, you help. That's how I was raised.
So this guy yelling and pleading for help, but I remembered that slap from big Bill. And that slap reminded me that I'm in prison. And in prison you mind your own business. You mind your own business. You do your own time. Maybe that guy getting raped did something to somebody's daughter. Maybe that guy getting raped did something bad to somebody's mom and he's paying his price. You let things happen, bruh, in prison. You let things happen.
So I'm trying my best for play cards with you, but I cannot. It's overwhelming. So I tell you, "Chris, I come back. I'm going to my cell, going to use the bathroom." I go to my cell. I close my door and I tell myself, "Stay humble, Kyle. You got six years left. This is temporary. It's not your home." I reminded myself. I dropped to my knees and I pray, "Father God, thank you for the breath of life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for everything that you do. Please protect me and guide me. Amen." I wiped my tears, open my door. I go back, sit down with you, and I play cards. That guy's not yelling anymore. He's done, the yelling stage. That's the first time I ever did stay humble, pray. That's the first time I ever did stay humble, pray.
Months go by, we watching a movie. Every week they play a movie where everybody can watch them together. The guy in the front row, watching TV, one guy come around the corner with a shank. Coming around the corner. Everybody see the guy coming, except the guy watching TV. But you mind your own business, bruh. You do your own thing. Maybe that guy going to get shanked did something bad to his daughter. You know what I mean, yeah? So you let things happen.
So everybody watching this guy come around the corner. Next thing you know that guy poked the guy right in his neck. The guy dropped to the ground. The guy tried to yell for help, but he's choking on his own blood, bruh. Everybody just moved. They just move on the side a little bit. They're worried about getting blood on their shoes, bruh. "Oh my shoes. Watch out." And everybody just moved on the side. They continue watching the movie while this guy choking on his blood. I try my best to compose myself. I sit there. But I cannot. I tell everybody, "Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. Watch out, I got to go." I go to my cell, I close my door. I take a big breath, "Stay humble, Kyle. You got five years left. This is temporary. This is not your home. Remember that." Drop to my knees, "Father God, thank you for the breath of life. Thank you for everything that you do, Father God. Please guide me and protect me. Amen."
Wipe my tears. Open the door. And I'm back out again, watching TV. Stay humble. Pray. Stay humble. Pray. Stay humble. Pray. Thousands and thousands of times, Stay humble, pray, Chris.

Chris:

Okay. So there are some atrocities that you have to bear witness to. But you have to keep in mind that you have to do your time and everybody's paying for their crime, I suppose.

Kyle:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris:

So seven years turns into five years. What's it like when it's getting near when it's time for you to be released?

Kyle:

I was grateful, bruh. Grateful. So I did my whole 10 years and my time is up. They flew me away. I forgot to mention that they flew me away. I did five years in Halawa Prison and they put me on a plane and they took me to Arizona, Saguaro Correctional Facility, where I finished my five years. Because if you get sentenced over 10 years and above, they fly you from Hawaii to Arizona. So I did-

Chris:

Why do they do that?

Kyle:

Get so much islanders there's not enough room here on the islands. So in Arizona they built a mega-compound just for us Polynesians. It was just for Hawaii inmates, and get 3,000 of us up there in Arizona.

Chris:

I see.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

So you finish out your time in Arizona?

Kyle:

Yeah. And they flew me back home to Hawaii. My time is up. And I did it. I survived 10 years. I've survived three years in isolation and seven years in high custody prison. Thank you, Jesus. So they flew me back to the prison that I escaped from and they put me in a room. And this time this room I could see into the parking lot. And I looking at cars, bruh. I never see cars for 10 years. And I'm watching these cars drive back and forth. Voom. Voom. Voom. And I'm watching them. Mind you that I'm completely covered in tattoos. When I went to prison I didn't have no tattoos. I'm covered now, head to toe. And I'm missing all my front teeth. Just for a picture and visual of how I look.
So I'm waiting for my mom's Honda Odyssey van. I'm waiting to see her van. And I see them. I see them pull in. I look back at the guard and I say, "Bruh, my mom's van outside. Open the door." He said, "Kyle, you got until 2:00. Right now it's 1:58. I got to let you out at 2:00." I said, "What? Bruh, open the door." He said, "Kyle, if you can do 10 years in prison you can wait 120 seconds more, bruh." I looked back at him. I said, "You're right. You're right, bruh. Let me know when I can go."
Okay, "You ready, Kyle? Five, four, three, two one. Go." The door went pop and I run out. And I remember the sun. That's the first thing I felt, boom, hit my face. And I see my mom and I embraced my mom right in the parking lot. And I remember she had stopped hugging me and she had taken a step back. And the first thing she told me was, "Son, what happened to your teeth?" And I was looking at her like what. And she started rubbing my arms, my tattoos, because nobody in my family get tattoos. She was just looking at me. And I said, "Mother, I'm free." She said, "Okay." And I said, "Ma, let's go." I told my mom, "Let's get out of here, ma."
We jump in the van and was driving up the road to my home. And I reached at the A/C, my mom's A/C. I turned off the A/C and I roll down the window. And I told my mom, "Mom, I tired of being in A/C." And I stick my head out the window like a dog and I was feeling the wind hit my face. And that was the best feeling I felt, Chris, was freedom. And it was beautiful. It was beautiful. And I free. Now I free.

Chris:

The 10 years that you were in prison, were your family allowed to visit you? Was there any communication with them?

Kyle:

Video conference. Not while I was in the hole though. Only when I was in the high, video conference once a month, for 10 minutes I would have a video call with my mom.

Chris:

Right. And so she could see you changing, right? Your physical appearance?

Kyle:

Yeah, she could see. But just seeing me in person, I guess was kind of overwhelming for her.

Chris:

Right. Yeah. Did your mom give up hope on you?

Kyle:

No.

Chris:

To see you descend from ... Well to see your ascent into the golfing world, to see your descent, getting kicked out of high school and then running with people, and then doing drugs and committing crimes and all these kinds of things? How was your relationship with your mom through all of this?

Kyle:

She never did give up hope on me. I got one letter every day. When I came out the hole I had a big bag of letters from my mom. And she continued writing letters. Every day for 10 years I got a letter. Small, simple letters that helped me and said, "Kyle. Be still. Kyle, I love you. Kyle, stay strong. Son, boom. Son, bang." Letters of hope and inspiration. Even though it was just a few words, it would help me. Because in prison plenty of people, no more nothing. And my mom's love, it helped me.
So exercising and working out is a big part of my life. So the first couple days out of prison was the transition. I had to transition back into society. And in the beginning it was rough, transitioning. You know what was rough, Chris?

Chris:

Tell me.

Kyle:

Before I went to prison I was one of the most hated men, hated person in Hawaii. And when I left to prison I left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouth, bruh. But nobody saw what happened. Nobody saw the three years of isolation where I got saved. Nobody got the stay humble prayer that I did in high custody prison. Nobody saw what I went through and the emotions that I went through in prison. Nobody saw that. So now I am free. Just people's opinions and perceptions about me was still negative and still wasn't good. And it was rough. It was rough being transitioned back into a community that hated me.

Chris:

You had changed physically, on the outside. But the real change was the fundamental change on the inside. It's hard for people to see that.

Kyle:

Inside. Do we still have some time, Chris, to talk?

Chris:

Yeah. I think I have another 10, 15 minutes with you.

Kyle:

Okay, 10, 15 minutes. Perfect. So now I'm working out, I'm into Crossfit. So I'm at the parks and I'm jumping on the picnic tables and I'm jumping on the branches. I'm doing all kind of exercising. And I meet one of my friends, my childhood friends. And he saw me and he said, "Oh Kyle, when you came out of prison?" I said, "Last week." He said, "Wow. You look good, bruh." And my friend, he knows my upbringing, he knows me. And he said, "Bruh, Kyle, I don't know if you know, but I speak to schools right now and I'd like you to come with me. I get one school next week. Come with me, bruh Kyle." I said, "For what?"
He said, "Tell them your story, bruh. Just tell them your story, how you golfed with Tiger Woods, how you went to prison, and now you're free." I said, "Nah. I don't like ..." He said, "Come on, Kyle. You got to, bruh. You got to come with me and share your story, bruh." So I went home, I pray. And next week, one week later I went with my friend to my first school. Had 2,000 kids inside.

Chris:

Wow.

Kyle:

And I put the shackles back on. My friend said, "What you doing?" I said, "I'm going to show the kids one visual of a bad choice, bruh." So he introduced me, "I brought my friend Kyle. This guy golf with Tiger Woods and this and this. Six time state champ. Welcome him." The whole school started clapping. I walked through the door with my shackles, no shirt, bare back. And I walked in. The whole gym went silent, Chris. Silent. You could hear a pin drop in there because the kids never expect to see what they saw.

Chris:

Right.

Kyle:

And I walked to the mic and the first words ... I don't want a script or anything. I went to the microphone, still shackled without my shirt. And I look at all these kids and I said, "One bad choice put me in this situation. One bad choice." My friend came, took off my shackles. I put my shirt back on, put back on my shoes, put on my hat. Boom, it was on. It was on. I shared my story. I shared everything. And before I left that school I told the kids this. I said, "Bruh, if you guys know anybody out there, remember guys, you guys get me. My Instagram is @stayhumblepray. Don't hesitate, reach out. See you guys later." And I left.
Bruh, Chris, that night my phone went off the hook, bruh. Messages from kids, "Uncle, my mom was in prison because of drugs. Because of what you told me today, I'm never going to do drugs. Thank you, uncle." Next one, "Uncle, I graduate this year. Because of what I heard today, I'm going to make the right choices. Thank you, uncle." Message, after message, after message after message, bruh. It blew my mind, bruh. Blew my mind, Chris.
And I went to one more school and one more school. And schools started reaching out. You need one job, bruh, Chris, for live, for eat, for live. I'm not in prison anymore where they bring me my meals and they wash my clothes. I got to eat. So being the most hated man in Hawaii, it was hard for me to find a job. Applications was torn and ripped right in my face, bruh, telling me, "Get the eff out of here." I would go and get applications, "Oh, hi. My name is Kyle. I can have application?" "Oh, Kyle. You know what, bruh, get out of here." Then right there I'd think to myself I probably did something bad to him.
I had the hardest time finding a job, Chris. I got help through my mom's husband. He found me one job. And I go to that interview and the guy told me straight to my face. He told me, "Kyle, I know about you. You did something bad to one of my friends and I'm not doing this for you. You understand that, Kyle? I'm doing this for your step-dad." It kind of crushed me, but I needed a job. I need income, Chris. So I got the job and I was grateful. I looked back at the guy and I said, "Thank you for this opportunity." As soon as I get this job, bruh, I get an invitation to speak at every school on the island of Kauai. It's going to take me three weeks to do that.
So I got the invitation and I'm thinking to myself, I just got one job. I got to survive. These schools is not giving me anything. I got to pay my own airline ticket. I got to find where I going to stay. Boom, the choice came easy. I walked back into that job and I look at the guy in his face and I said, "Thank you for the opportunity for work, but I quit." He said, "What?" I said, "Bruh, sorry. I quit, bruh." He said, "Get the eff out of here." And I left.
The next thing you know, my mom called my phone. She said, "Kyle, I heard you quit your job. You know how hard for you for find that job? You know what John had to do for find you that job? The school's not going to pay you money, son. How are you going to live?" You know what I told my mom, Chris?

Chris:

What's that?

Kyle:

I told my mom, "Mom, if God can provide for a bird that fly in the air, he going to provide for me because he loves me way more than a bird." And my mom was quiet. She said, "Son, follow your heart, son. Follow your heart." That's when I dedicated myself, Chris. That's when I dedicated myself to help as many kids as I can, and educate them about the power of their choices, and to remind them that they are once choice away from a different life. Because every time I go to one school, Chris, I see me in there. I see one good kid, bruh. And I don't like anybody go where I went with my addiction, being labeled, going to prison, losing your teeth, watching guys get killed, watching guys get ... I don't like anybody go where I went.
And long story short, I was free for seven years now, Chris. Seven years of freedom. And in that seven years I spoke to 95% of the schools here in Hawaii. And I did them for free. That's how I give back, bruh, to the community, to the state that I once destroyed. People think I crazy, "What, you do this for free?" I said, "Yeah, that's how I give back." And when I came out of prison, Chris, I came out of prison with prison slipper, prison shirt, and prison shoes. That's it. Not one cent to my name, bruh. But I cam out saved. And to me, that is worth more than any amount of money in the world. And I'm not saying that because I don't want money. I just say that because that's how I feel. That's how I feel. And God never bring me this far for nothing. And I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for God.
And you know what, Chris, here in Hawaii I was the last person that anybody thought would be sober, including myself. And now I'm out and about, speaking to these schools, speaking to these kids. People talk to me all the time now, at the beach, at the store. And they tell me, "Kyle, thank you for what you do. Because of your story, Kyle, because you got better, I get hope that my son can get better. Thank you." And they hug me and I hug them back. Next person, "Kyle, I appreciate what you do for the kids, bruh, giving back. Because of your story I get hope that my daughter can do good. Thank you, Kyle."
And it's amazing how at one point everybody hated me. It took me a while, but I wasn't doing it for prove myself to anybody. My intention is for helping as many kids as I can. And as of right now, Chris, I feel like I'm complete here in Hawaii. I did ever school in Maui, Lanai, Kauai, Oahu. I couldn't be bad if I wanted to. If you ever come to Hawaii, Chris, I will take you to any island. And we could just go to any beach. You're going to see the kids just gravitate, "Uncle, you came to my school, I'm not going to prison. Thank you, bruh. Uncle, you know what." Uncle this, uncle that. And I feel like my mission here in Hawaii is complete. I feel like I'm done.
So I pray. I pray every day and I ask God to plan that people that I need in my life so I continue helping kids and bringing hope to people. And this call with you is a prayer answered, because I know people out of Hawaii going to hear this story. And I just give back. I give back and help. That's what I like to do, Chris.

Chris:

Beautiful, Kyle. Thank you for sharing.

Kyle:

Thank you.

Chris:

Man, there are so many powerful lessons in here. But I love how, at the end, when you came onto that stage ... and you've been listening to your heart and following your faith, and it's been guiding you. Once you found God I think you've made a series of much better choices.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

And when you went on stage that first time and you said, "You're one bad choice away from this." And this transcends drug addiction. It transcends crime and everything else because we are what we act upon. Every morning we get to wake up and we get to make a choice in our life, what am I going to do today with my life. And it's a tragic story of how such a young, bright, promising golf prodigy lost his way. But in a way, I think you said this, where everything was necessary for you to find your way back. Because if you don't mouth off, if you don't go to solitary, if you don't have this moment where you nearly go crazy, maybe you don't find God. Maybe you don't find this message, this credo that you live by. Then you don't share this message with all these kids.
And I'm sure you feel this way, where you know somewhere there's a kid out there who might've made a different choice, but hearing your story saved one young person somewhere. And that's powerful stuff, man.

Kyle:

Thank you, Chris. I write poetry.

Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kyle:

I know our time is limited, but can I share you a short poem?

Chris:

Yeah, please.

Kyle:

Thank you. This poem is called A Seed of Gratitude.
My life I once lived was ripped in half. Now I'm very appreciative for everything I have. When I was free, I used to laugh and play. But now I'm just grateful for each passing day. I learned to live with perseverance, because coming through prison is a humbling experience. I recollect my thoughts from in my cell. My highlight in life is to receive some mail. God has blessed me with faith and hope. I look forward to receiving my state issued soap. I am grateful for the shoes that I wear on my feet. I appreciate the food I am able to eat.
This time away is only temporary. I learned to appreciate some simple stationary. Letters and poems to my loved ones I send. I never thought I'd be so grateful to receive a pen. So much I've learned and so much I've seen. One of my main concerns is to receive my hygiene. Many things to me are now sentimental. I'm very grateful for my basic essentials. A seed of gratitude in my heart I planted. I will never take anything in life for granted. My feelings I share with words and syllable. What I'm trying to say is I miss life in general. I was too naïve to actually see the things I neglected when I was free.
And this is one of my favorite poems. It's called A Seed of Gratitude. And now that I'm free, I learned to not sweat the small stuff in life. When little things come my way, I just let them roll off my back. Because bruh, you just got to enjoy it. Enjoy what we get and be grateful what we have. Some people get plenty, some people get a little bit. We just got to be grateful. We just got to be grateful on what we have, and work with what we get. Thank you for letting me share that poem, Chris.

Chris:

Beautiful. I have two quick questions for you.

Kyle:

Yes.

Chris:

How long have you been sober?

Kyle:

17 years. 17 years of sobriety and seven years of freedom.

Chris:

Congratulations.

Kyle:

Thank you, Chris.

Chris:

Do you ever feel the temptation, the urge?

Kyle:

Nope. And we live on an island and I got plenty of friends who are still bad. And I see crystal meth wherever I go. And nothing. Nothing in my body stirs. I told my mom ... I got 10 out of 10. I'm the first inmate that you're going to meet that got denied parole on non-violent charges. And my mom, I had to give her this analogy.
I told her, "Mom, if you work with clay and you make a cup and you put the cup into the kiln. If you remove that cup before the kiln is done, the ceramic is not going to be ceramic. It's going to be weak. It's going to be brittle. But if you leave it in and you take it out when it's done, it's going to be solid, ma. And it just so happened, mom, my kiln time was 10 years. God had plans for me. If I got paroled in three years and four months like everybody else, I would've went right back to crystal meth. I wouldn't be here talking to you, ma." I told her. "But God needed me for be in here 10 years, and that was my kiln time." That's the analogy I gave her.

Chris:

Yeah, that's a really wonderful perspective. I want to ask you this question, since a lot of this you've sorted out on your own. The three years and two weeks that you were in solitary confinement, do you think that you went into some kind of transcendent, meditative state?

Kyle:

I know I was at the brink of insanity and suicide. And I guess the praying part, when I surrendered, that could be like meditation. But it was prayer. And I just grateful. I grateful. I grateful, Chris.

Chris:

Yeah. Because having that much alone time with your own thoughts, I think for some people that's meditation. And to come up with your message of stay humble, pray. The story, the narrative you tell yourself about this is not your home. Because if you accepted this to be your home, it changes your identity.

Kyle:

Right.

Chris:

You kept telling yourself, you know what ... You got to remind yourself of your humanity, about who you are and where you belong. And you don't belong there. But I also like this idea where you've come to accept all the things in your life as to being necessary to forming who you are. So you had said if you had gotten out on parole earlier than you were ready, you probably would've relapsed.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Chris:

And that is a very mature, self-aware state, to say, "You know what, this was all necessary. It was my path, my journey to take. And I had to take it." That's powerful stuff, Kyle.

Kyle:

Thank you. You know, when things happen now, I don't try to understand why things happen anymore. When bad things come my way, negative things come my way, I compare to that as a storm, because storms will come. And my faith is through the roof. I just endure because I know the sun going to shine once again. My faith. My faith. And I just follow my heart, bruh. I just follow my heart. Yeah, Chris.

Chris:

Beautiful. If there are people out there who are listening to this and they want to have you speak or they want to find out more about the programs or this incredible person that I've been speaking to for the last hour, what's the best place for them to reach out to you?

Kyle:

I have an Instagram called @stayhumblepray. It's easy, stayhumblepray. And there's a link on there in my bio. And you press that link and it goes to everything. @stayhumblepray.

Chris:

One last question for you.

Kyle:

Yes.

Chris:

Is your grandpa still around?

Kyle:

No, he died. He died.

Chris:

He died when you were in prison or after?

Kyle:

No, before I left to Alaska he already died.

Chris:

Oh, I see. Did that impact you in a way?

Kyle:

Yes. Yes it did. Because when we was golfing, just me and him, yeah?

Chris:

Yeah.

Kyle:

When he was gone it was like I felt him there. And I set new goals for myself. I'm 47 years old. I golf Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And I won a Tom Watson tournament two years ago in Kahoolawe, on this island. I'd like to do the senior tour again. I'd like that chance to redeem myself with Tiger.

Chris:

Well I hope you're able to do that as well. It seems like you're tying up a lot of loose ends. You've rehabilitated your image, your reputation, from being the most wanted man on the island to someone who is uplifting young people, who are giving parents hope, who are giving people who are addicted, also hope and faith that they can heal and they can be better than they are today. I also see that you're very active, physically, because you talked about, in prison you eat, you exercise. That's pretty much what you do. I see that you're doing ... what is that? Spartan races.

Kyle:

Yeah. I won a Spartan race. 2,000 people, I came first.

Chris:

Wow.

Kyle:

I do marathons, triathlons. I've paddled my canoe from Molokai to Honolulu, the Molokai Channel. Everything is glory to God for turning a 98 pound crystal meth addict into what I am today. Only God can do that.

Chris:

Beautiful. And on that note, I want to thank you, Kyle. And to all our listeners who are following the arc of this person's story, this man's story, from triumph to tragedy to transformation, it's been an honor. Thank you for sharing your story with me, for being so vulnerable and so transparent, Kyle.

Kyle:

Thank you, Chris. Aloha. My name is Kyle Quilausing from Stay Humble Pray, and you are listening to The Future.

Greg:

Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new, insightful episode from us every week. The Future podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. Thank you to Anthony Borrow for editing and mixing this episode. And thank you to Adam Sanborne for our intro music.
If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor by rating and reviewing our show on Apple Podcasts. It'll help us grow the show and make future episodes that much better. Have a question for Chris or me? Head over to thefutur.com/heychris, and ask away. We read every submission and we just might answer yours on a later episode. If you'd like to support the show and invest in yourself while you're at it, visit thefutur.com. You'll find video courses, digital products, and a bunch of helpful resources about design and creative business. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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