Category: Walking Group


I Feel Fat

It’s Spring break and my whole family is home. It’s great, but I’m completely off my regular schedule. I haven’t gone out to walk in over a week and it’s been about the same for ChaLEAN Extreme. I was about halfway through Push Circuit Week 2 so I’m going to just start that one over…soon. I’ve been pretty consistent for a while now so why have I suddenly turned back into a couch potato? Good question.

I think it finally started to bother me that no one had joined the walking group. I was going to bed early, giving up time with my husband at night, to get out and walk at 8:15. Why 8:15? I thought (actually I know) there are a lot of moms who take their kids down to the bus stop and don’t run off to work afterward. I figured they’d like to go walking soon after the bus leaves since they’re up and outside anyway. Guess I was wrong. That’s fine, but I no longer see the point of sacrificing time with my husband if no one is going to join me.

I miss walking so I’ll start going again soon. I also miss working out. With the boys home (including my husband) and only one TV there haven’t been too many opportunities to push play. It’s amazing how quickly we lose what we don’t use. Even though I weigh about the same, I feel fluffy. Kind of like a big blob. When I was working out regularly I felt strong and, well, not fluffy. It is a good reminder why I started working out to begin with. It is possible to lose weight by simply cutting back calories, but that’s really only part of the equation. To be healthy and fit (a much more important goal than simply being lighter) you have to change your lifestyle…permanently. It’s a matter of eating healthy food, building muscle and increasing cardio endurance. You can lose weight eating nothing but candy as long as you consume less than you burn, but you’ll probably end up worse off from a total health standpoint than if you hadn’t lost the weight at all.

That being said, I’m going to go make some Shakeology. I love knowing that I’m getting all that good-for-you stuff like wheat grass, spinach, spirulina, etc. while drinking a shake that tastes like I’m being bad. 🙂 If you want more info about it, there’s a link on my facebook page. I’d love to make it easier by linking it here, but this blog site doesn’t allow those kind of links. Oh well. 😉

Maybe I’ll get out and walk today. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll start my food journal again today. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll workout today. We’ll see. Not exactly the drive and determination I’d want to hear from the people I’m coaching for sure. I think I need to spend some time whipping my brain back in shape so I can have the right attitude toward my life and doing what I need to do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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The past few days I’ve been staying up late with my husband (til at least 3am) and sleeping in til almost noon minus the hour or so I’m up getting the kids off to school. On one hand it kind of makes me feel like a slacker because I haven’t been taking my walks (no one was showing up anyway) and I’ve gone a couple of days without doing my ChaLEAN Extreme workouts. But it’s been great spending quality time with my husband. I know I need to get back into the habit of walking and working out (if you don’t use it, you lose it…and gain some weight back), but I’m seriously thinking about changing the times I do everything.

I may have the opportunity to start some Fit Clubs in area community centers as part of my fitness coaching business and the evening is probably the best time for that anyway so I’m seeing a shift coming. And hopefully if I change the walks to later in the day more people will come. At this point I’m not sure if no one is coming because they’re not interested at all or because 8:15 is just too early.  I guess we’ll find out.

Oh, and I’ve been taking a break from my food journal (maybe not the best idea, but it is what it is) because it was kind of driving me crazy to pay such close attention to what I was eating. I realize that not paying close attention has, in a big way, gotten me into this situation of needing to lose a lot of weight so I’m probably going to have to just suck it up and do it anyway. Once I’ve come to terms with this fully I’ll start posting the journal again.

Not exactly as planned

No walk today which means no photos. I planned on doing my workout, ChaLEAN Extreme Push Circuit 2 or 3 (can’t remember right now), and then heading out for a walk. However, something rare and wonderful happened. My husband stayed home instead of going in to work at the elementary school. I’ve got nothing against him being there…they need all the help they can get…but it’s supposed to be his vacation. We ended up hanging out together at home all day (well, at least until 4 when he had to leave to go do his evening job). I can’t remember the last time we had so much alone time. I was wonderful and worth missing all the usual stuff I do.

I hope you get to spend some quality time with the people you love today. And if not, then plan something soon. It’s pretty great. 😀

Once again, my son missed the bus. Turns out there’s been a sub who’s been following the schedule a little more closely than the regular driver. I’ve enjoyed the extra time with him while driving him to school, though, so it’s been a good thing after all. My mixed up schedule allowed my to walk with another friend today and catch up. Our conversation reminded me that relationships aren’t guaranteed. When we get married, the plan is to stay together forever, but so often that doesn’t happen. My own marriage has come extremely close to ending on more than one occasion. Relationships that last take work and both people have to be willing to put in the effort.

My husband doesn’t ask for much really. Just a few simple things that make his life a bit easier and less stressful, but sometimes I let those little things slide because I don’t always see them as being as important as he does. I’m thinking, though, that those are the things that make or break a relationship. It’s so easy to get caught up with what we’re doing and working toward that we forget that our goals include and are often for our spouse or partner and family. But if we don’t take the time to do the little things that mean so much to them and to stay connected, even if it means scheduling time to be alone together, all our work could be what causes the relationship to end.

That being said, I’m going to post the photos I took while walking today (which aren’t that many since I was thinking more about the conversation than what we were passing) and do some of the things I know will make my husband happy…not because he deserves it, though he does, but because it’s my job to actively love him no matter what. And while I’m on the subject, let me just say that The Love Dare is an incredible book that can help any marriage be better whether it’s already pretty good or about to end. I know this from personal experience.

Same trees as yesterday, looking up which I’d never done before.

There’s no time like the present to do something special for the people we love. What will you do today to let someone know you love them?

My son missed the bus this morning because he wasn’t moving very quickly (don’t you just love the time change?) so I ended up walking a little later than usual. I considered just skipping it because I’ve got places to go and people to see. There are still things that need to get done for the first weight loss/fitness challenge meeting tonight which I’m very excited about. Even as I’m sitting her typing this, I’m looking at the time trying to figure out the fastest way to get everything done. So no long, rambling philosophical thoughts today. I got most of that out of my system last night finishing up an earlier post I’d started last week. I spent some of my walking time planning my day, but most of it I just enjoyed the sunshine taking photos of things I liked…just because.

Ok, maybe I will get just a little philosophical. I passed lots of people this morning, some twice, and most everyone was enjoying the day. Many, like myself had removed their jackets by the time we met the second time around. It was definitely feeling like Spring and I started noticing trees that I never had before because now with their new, tiny green leaves, they look completely different. There was one man, though, who was missing it all. As he walked, barely able to keep his footing, he stared down at his cell phone as he frantically pushed buttons with a look of frustration on his face. He was too busy to enjoy everything around him. I think that if he had stopped a moment to focus on what he needed to take care of he wouldn’t have been having so much trouble and then he could’ve appreciated the gorgeous morning. He probably thought that by doing two things at once he was making his busy life easier, but it seemed pretty clear that he wasn’t succeeding. We all have stuff we need to take care of, but there’s a way to do it so we can still enjoy the truly important things like walks on a beautiful morning, uninterrupted conversations with our family and friends, and time to just relax and think about the things we’re thankful for.

Here are the photos I took today…

Of course, the tree. I like this angle because it looks like it’s clapping.

Love these trees with their white bark. Never even noticed them before.

High water from yesterday’s crazy downpour.

Seriously, how did I never notice the giant heart on this tree before? It’s even the only one leaning out toward the path as if it’s trying to get the attention of anyone passing by.

I thought maybe it was carved by someone, but close up it didn’t appear that way.

Another tree I’ve never given much notice to.

Shout out to my happy sculpture peeps!

I always notice these trees. They look like exploding fireworks to me. Can’t wait to see what they look like once they’re not bare.

Puddle was still there from a while ago. No raindrops disturbing the surface today, though.

Tree getting its leaves, but only at the bottom. Thought it looked pretty cool.

If you need some latex gloves, there’s a whole bunch outside the south entrance of Autzen Stadium. Just sayin’.

YELL – O!!!!!!!! 🙂 Or it could be a ‘d’ for Ducks…that works, too.

One last photo of some trees that also have white bark and I also love.

I hope that you will take some time from your busy lives to enjoy the simple things around you today. At the end of your life you don’t want to look back and wish you’d spent more time with people you love and less time doing things that in the end don’t really matter after all.

Oh, so many opportunities to photograph “droppings” presented themselves to me this morning, but I resisted. I am talking literally, but noticing poop and deciding whether to take a picture has become symbolic, too. Yesterday was quite the roller coaster ride of emotions as it started great, went a little downhill, plummeted down into the depths, got a bit better, then back to great and ended with uncertainty. This morning I got the answer and while it wasn’t what I hoped to hear, it wasn’t the end of the world, either. Anytime we work toward a goal we’re going to encounter setbacks. The question is, when we look back on the tough days will we laugh or cry?

If we give up, we fail, and may always look back on that time with regret and tears. But if we push through and succeed, we can look back on the hard times and laugh…or at least smile because we overcame.  We are who we are because of what we’ve been through and how we’ve chosen to view each situation.

As we go through life we meet all kinds of people, some who are impressive and some not so much. What I’m learning is that everyone has a story and we need to try to be understanding when we have to deal with people who aren’t necessarily the easiest to be around. Instead of just assuming that a person is mean-spirited or obnoxious or unintelligent, we should remember that there’s usually a good reason for their behavior. If we knew the story of their lives, we’d see why they are who they are.

As I walked along, I started noticing things that made me wonder what happened to make them that way.

I’m sure even “the tree” has a story. I’ve walked past it many times and taken its picture from many different angles, but until this day I’ve never wondered why it is the way it is. How many times have we done that with a person we’ve known to be a certain way for as long as we can remember? At one point, the tree was young and full of life just as the people who seem to have given up. It’s too late for the tree, but not for people we can take an interest in and help to find new hope for happiness.

Every time I’ve walked under this bridge, even months before starting the walking “group”, there was a pillow up on the ledge. I even took a photo of it for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Refuge. I’d never given its placement much thought until it was gone. Once it was no longer there, I had to wonder how it got there to begin with (because there was no visible way to easily get to the ledge), who took it down and whether they were using the filthy thing to rest their head on as they slept.

Sometimes the question isn’t so much how, but why. I didn’t fully capture the angle of the slope, but one wrong step getting on or off the bench and you’d be the top story on the evening news.

It began to rain…a lot. But I remembered a section of the railing further up the path that I had always wondered how it got that way. The path isn’t big enough for vehicles to drive on so I pondered how a person on foot or riding a bike could’ve possibly done this.

It’s amazing how much damage people can do, either intentionally or without thinking. It can come in the form of abuse, bullying, teasing, or simply standing by and doing nothing while another does the damage. While it’s up to the victim to decide if they’re going to let the experience break them or make them stronger, we can be there to support them so someday they can look back and laugh because they’ve overcome.

I remember one of many incidents in middle school (back in the day it was called junior high) that made me feel completely humiliated. There was a dance coming up and since no one had asked me to go with them I decided to write a note and invite what I thought was a nice boy to go with me. As I entered the auditorium where we all hung out after lunch, a roar of laughter rose from the large group of kids already there. In the hands of one of the more aggressive boys was the note and he was reading it…loud enough for everyone to hear. I’m sure my face was as red as my hair and if my best friend hadn’t been there with me, I probably would’ve cried making matters worse. Needless to say, I did not go with that boy to the dance. While I can still remember the pain and embarrassment of that day, I can laugh about it now because I see things from a different perspective.

As I headed back, I stopped for a few minutes under the bridge to take a break from the downpour. That’s when I saw this tent. Under normal conditions it probably would’ve been protected from the elements, but I’m sure it was getting soaked. Here was a person who certainly had a story. What were they like as a kid and how did they get here from there?

We begin our lives with a few tendencies and characteristics, but as we come in contact with others we start to react and change. If we can take all of our childhood experiences and teach our children to come through difficult situations stronger and to be the ones who lift up those who have been pushed down, then everything we went through was worth it. Even though there will always be abusers and bullies, we can do something to minimize their impact by showing our kids a better way to treat people.

Some of the most kind and compassionate people I’ve ever met have experienced pain because of others’ insecurities which may very well have been caused by someone who hurt them, too. It can be a vicious cycle, but some, because they don’t want others to experience what they went through, break that cycle by choosing to make a difference. They look for ways to be supportive and caring. They have no tolerance for behavior that would hurt another and teach those around them by example, including their children. Though they went through things that no one should have to, they make the world a better place because they chose to overcome and that is a beautiful thing.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Walt Disney

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”             Booker T. Washington

I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever finish this post and I finally got the inspiration I needed from witnessing an act of kindness performed by an elementary school student at a basketball game which led to a brief converastion with his dad which finally put all the pieces together in my head. Just goes to show the little things really do make a difference. 😉

Vulnerability. Not a comfortable concept. Even the word itself if hard to say. All of us have to face it to some degree or another. This morning I was so excited to get out in the sunshine and walk. I had high hopes of finally meeting the woman who’s husband said she’s been wanting to walk in the mornings. I even took the stairs instead of the elevator because I didn’t want the usual mess and occasionl smell of PineSol to ruin my mood. But by the time I burst through the exit into the great outdoors, the sun was covered by clouds and the woman was nowhere to be found. I stood there, alone again under a grey sky, waiting…hoping she would appear.

After a few minutes passed and there was still no sign of anyone coming to join me I headed for the tree despite the overwhelming urge to turn around, crawl back in bed and forget the whole thing. And by the whole thing, I mean the walking group, the weightloss challenge (which hasn’t even started yet), this blog and being a coach. Each and every one of the things on that list makes me feel vulnerable and this morning it was almost too much. My success depends not just on what I do, but also on other people and their willingness to trust that I have their best interest at heart. I can do all the right things, but ultimately they have to take that leap of faith.

In some ways it was easier to go to a job each day that paid well, but deep down I knew I was wasting my time doing something I wasn’t meant to be doing for all the wrong reasons and it was making me miserable. Too many times I’ve taken the safe route, the path that appeared to be the best choice when looking at it logically, but failed to take into consideration what it is that motivates me to be the best I can be. Now I do something that I love, but the very nature of what I do makes me vulnerable.

As I walked along, thinking about how we rely on others for support and encouragement and are often times let down, I starting noticing things all around me that are also vulnerable.

The worm was completely unprotected, relying on the world to first notice it was there and then be kind enough to avoid squashing it. The bird was also vulnerable and clearly saw me as a threat, but had a back-up plan. It protected itself by flying to the top of the tree, out of reach, where it could see when the danger had passed. Some people are like the worm and expect too much from others, putting themselves in situations where they can be easily hurt not realizing that they are at least partially responsible for the consequences. Others are like the bird. While they don’t put up defenses like a blackberry bush, making sure no one can get close without getting hurt, they recognize the possibility of danger when putting their trust fully in the world around them. They know that they can protect themselves by going higher which gives them a better perspective.

As a society we’ve put certain rules in place to protect us from each other. For example, traffic laws. We trust that other people will follow the rules and stay in their own lane or not turn right in front of us. Even though they’re perfect stangers, we trust the other drivers with our lives. However, once we’ve experienced the consequences of someone breaking the rules we become distrustful and even angry. I know that while most of the time I’m a pretty relaxed driver, there are times when another person does something that makes me wonder if they’re paying attention and it makes me angry. Some people have been hurt so many times, they’re constantly on the defensive, ready to lash out at any moment.

I’ve been a worm before. And I’ve been an angry driver. I don’t want to be either. I purposely walked along the road in front of Autzen Stadium because with the way I was feeling I knew I needed a better perspective. The Xs and Os in front of the stadium have quotes engraved at the bottom and I figured someone had decided to put one on there that would help me find the determination to keep moving forward.

Mentally, reading those helped me get the perspective I was looking for. Emotionally, I was still feeling down and discouraged. The batteries in my camera were just about spent, but lasted just long enough so I could photograph the one thing that made me smile as I headed home.

It reminded me that even when the people closest to us let us down or we allow ourselves to feel judged because others don’t seem to have faith in us, there is only one who has the right to judge us and chooses to love us unconditionally. There is only one who knows the number of the stars and every detail of every flower and always notices us…every hair on our head and every thought inside it…and never hurts us, but takes us higher so we can see life from a different perspective.

I’m not going to lie, even as I’ve been sitting here writing this I’ve received news that on another day would’ve been somewhere around a 7 on the disappointment scale, but today feels like 1,000,000. One more thing I was excited about, not just for me, but even more for the other person…gone. Over before it even began. Leaving me wondering why they didn’t trust me to come through for them or why they didn’t talk to me before making the decision final. Part of me, a big part, wanted to say screw it, delete what I’d already written and close up shop. Obviously, I chose a different way of handling it. Perhaps that means I’m growing. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but for now it hurts and that is the reality of being vulnerable. But if we close ourselves off and never take risks we will never live up to the full potential of our lives, robbing those who may have been helped if we had been willing to get hurt along the way.

Oh yeah, can’t forget the tree.

Originally, I was going to title this one Get In, Get Out & Get On With It because it was raining again and I just wanted to get to the tree, take the photo and get on with my day. Here’s a reality check…as “responsible” adults, sometimes we’re going to have to do stuff that we just plain old, flat out, DON’T want to do. I’m learning that the best way to deal with these situations is to just deal with it and move on. No point in wasting time dreading it if you know you have to do it sooner or later. Forget later…sooner is better. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t dreading my walk this morning. I just had a feeling it wasn’t going to be one of the more enjoyable ones I’ve taken. (Although, I suspected it would still be better than the train incident.)

Turns out I was wrong. By the time I got to “the tree” the outside of my sweatshirt (which was a gift and I love because it’s from a place my mom and I visited years ago and the color makes me happy) was definitely getting soaked, but I was still dry.

My glasses were also showing the effects of the rain and I realized I could probably see better without them even though my vision is horrendous.

The challenge I posted on facebook earlier in the morning popped into my head. Do something new today. Well, I’d never taken my walk without my glasses so I slid them into my pocket and continued on. Pretty much everything was ridiculously blurry and I wondered how I was going to take any more photos. Then something caught my eye. I had no idea what it was so I took a picture hoping I’d be able to figure out later what it was.

It’s bright and colorful so I’m thinking some kind of wrapper.

As I continued on, I started taking pictures of only the things that stood out in the otherwise dark, blurry and mostly green and brown surroundings.

Beginning to see a pattern here?

If I was surprised the day before that I hadn’t noticed the trio of posts, my discovery of many more left me dumbfounded. How did I miss these on all the walks I’ve taken this way before? Even though I didn’t have my glasses on it was becoming clear that something used to be there, other than just some random posts. I wondered, as I moved along taking more photos, if the bench from the day before would also catch my attention as it had before.

Yep, it did, as well as the bright orange construction sign farther down the path.

Did you figure out the one thing that they all had in common? Whether it was the shiny wrapper, the neon mossy stuff on the trees (which is even brighter in real life), the bright yellow of the paint and banners, or the pure white whatever it was, they all reflected the light. The dark path, the web of branches, even the deep green leaves absorb more light than they reflect.

If we want to get people’s attention we have to reflect light. What does that mean? It’s not about thinking we’re the greatest thing that’s ever graced the earth with its presence. There are plenty of people out there who do that and end up making fools out of themselves. They may get attention, but not the kind that actually helps anyone. I’m sure we can all think of an example of just such a person who’s sadly getting a lot of attention right now.

To get the kind of attention that helps the people around us we must first spend time around positive influences. That could be reading books that teach us how to live more effective, powerful lives (might I suggest the Bible) or studying the lives of people who are truly successful (we may all have a different definition of success). By beholding we become changed. The more time we spend focussing on something the more we see that thing in ourselves and reflect it to others. If we want to be positive, helpful, successful people we need to spend less time focussing on negative things/people and more time looking at those who have achieved what we hope to.

Maybe you don’t think you have what it takes to stand out in a crowd. Even if you think you don’t have much to offer or have been rejected and discarded, to a person who’s hit a rough patch and can barely see how they’re going to get through the day let alone the possibility of having better days ahead, something as small as a smile or kind word will shine brightly in their otherwise dark existence. So let your light shine! Be a reflection of the all the good that surrounds us so others can see it, too.

Every once in a while something happens that causes us to take notice and reminds us that we could be paying a little closer attention to what’s happening in our lives and to the people around us. Sometimes a reality check comes unexpectedly like the reminder I got that I’m not as young as I think I am when I popped my knee, not working out, but shifting on the couch. It hurt so much I had to put my head between my knees because I was starting to pass out. Sometimes we know those reminders are out there, but we avoid thinking about them like the scale sitting there waiting to let us know where (or how heavily) we stand. And there are some reality checks we purposely set up to make sure we’re headed in the right direction like a list of goals we want to achieve.

As I walked with a friend and we talked about this and that, she said that there are people who, when they see her, cross to the other side of the street or pull their children closer or clutch their purses a little tighter…even though she herself is walking along with her own children. Not only have I never experienced anything like that, but because it’s not part of my reality it hadn’t occurred to me that that kind of thing still goes on regularly. I realized that it’s too easy to live in our own little bubbles, not paying attention to what’s really going on around us. It’s so easy to go about our comfortable lives and never see the injustices and tragedies happening around us. Maybe that seems a bit melodramatic, but only because many of us are fortunate enough to have never experienced prejudice, poverty or violence firsthand.

Watching the news isn’t the same as seeing the world up-close and personal. Growing up, I’d seen footage of starving children on TV and always felt sorry for them, but it wasn’t until I had the privilege of going to Africa on a mission trip and interacting with children just like I’d seen on TV that it really hit home. We may not all be able to go to another country, but it’s not necessary. There are people suffering in one way or another right around us. We just have to pay attention. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with people who need our help. And please, while it does take money to help people, just giving a donation here and there is not the same as getting involved.

Making a difference could mean volunteering at a homeless or women’s shelter, or at a school (don’t even get me started on the subject of our school system), or at a food bank. Another option is to adopt a “grandparent” at a local nursing home or retirement center. Or adopt a soldier overseas who doesn’t have anyone supporting them. Or it could be as simple as deciding to smile at every person you come in contact with each day. You never know, you could be the only one who showed kindness to one of those people you encountered and what a difference that would make.

Even though it wasn’t an official walking group day, I headed out for a quick stroll around the neighborhood before taking my son to his basketball game. Since I was staying pretty close to home I wasn’t sure if I’d find too many interesting things to take pictures of. I don’t normally enjoy photographing buildings and I was surrounded, but was pleasantly surprised, though, that several things caught my eye. I guess I shouldn’t have been since we always find what we’re looking for if you’re paying attention. For example, the grass not two steps outside the door to our building.

Or the flowers already blooming on the tree…

…five feet away from the tree that was having a hard time letting go of its leaves.

Nature was spreading out and taking over, forming a canopy of intricate branches and deep, vibrant green.

Didn’t notice the almost hidden view of the stream until after I had passed it. Once my brain registered what I’d seen out of the corner of my eye, I back-tracked to see if I could get a good shot. This one’s not perfect. Maybe I’ll try again next time.

Another sign Spring is just around the corner.

Love these trees. They’re everywhere around here and each one is different.

Happy with the images safely stored in my camera and realizing it was almost time to leave, I headed back home. That’s when I saw him. He was sitting on the sidewalk next to a medical building across the street from our apartment, surrounded by his backpack, other bundles, and a sign that said FOOD. My initial reaction was to immediately turn left and cut across the parking lot to avoid him instead of continuing on past him. Just as quickly as the desire to escape an encounter with him entered my mind, so did a pang of guilt. I’ve been talking about treating people, even the ones society has forgotten or looks down upon, with respect and kindness and have even stepped way out of my comfort zone to interact some of them.

So why was my first reaction to this man to go out of my way to avoid interacting with him? Perhaps it was a hint of fear because I wasn’t used to seeing homeless people so close to my home and he didn’t appear to be fully capable of making wise decisions, but I know it was mostly because I didn’t want him to ask me for anything. Even though telling him I didn’t have anything would’ve been the truth, I knew I’d be uncomfortable. Yet there he was in my path, a person just like me, so I kept going. He did ask me for something as I approached, something I could give. Instead of asking for food or money or a cigarette, all he wanted was directions to the nearest place where he could get a cup of coffee.

It was a good reminder that it’s much easier to tell other people what they should do than to actually do it ourselves, but if we want the respect of others we must talk the talk AND walk the walk. We are an example to everyone we come in contact with, especially if we have kids. They hear the words we say, but ultimately imitate what we do and if those don’t match up they won’t respect us or embrace the values we want so much to teach them. Each and everyday we need to look at ourselves and make sure our walk is in line with our talk. Not an easy task, but like most things that push us outside our comfort zone, worth the effort.