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Weekly tips and encouragement to help you handle stress, stay fit, and find joy in parenting

A Hard Day's Night: The Place Character Is Revealed

Landing in LAX yesterday started simply enough. As I registered for my flight to Perth via Auckland I was asked if for $800 and a room for the night I’d be willing to postpone my flight by one day. Since my son is going to school near LA I thought that would actually be nice to stay and spend some time with him. They said they needed nine spots and I was the first volunteer so I should plan on staying. In the end, they did not need it so I canceled the plans I’d made with my son and stood in line to board, illogically feeling $800 poorer.

There were lots of children on the flight, all full of energy and excitement, though many had brought their wheel chairs along. I settled in and started watching My Sister’s Keeper...

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Easy Does It: How to Raise Children to be Healthy and Fit

Don't we all appreciate the person who makes life easier, even if it's a relatively small matter.  No wonder a well-known company likes to associate themselves with an easy button. I recently had a clerk in a store make my day by getting me in and out with a last minute errand that I had to get done in a hurry. Small act but deeply appreciated. On the other hand, some people can just suck the life out of you. Someone once explained it to me that people are either energy givers or energy takers. Try to be the former and avoid the latter and your stress level will go down immensely

I'm writing from the LAX airport waiting to fly to Perth, Australia for the ITU World Long Course Triathlon Championship and I'm both relaxed and excited....

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Lessons Learned from a Child

As I'm preparing to leave the house to teach a 5:30 am cycle class my usually quiet neighborhood is stirred by the sound of sirens. I look out the window in time to see a fire engine and police car streaming past. My ninty-two year old mother-in-law and my sister-in-law who suffered a stroke both live within a few blocks of us so I thought of them when I saw the emergency vehicles. I also thought that I couldn't very well call them that time of day and risk waking them up just to reassure myself that they were okay. So believing that they were fine I scurried to my class only to find out later that the rescue workers had indeed been sent for my mother-in-law. She's recovering from a mild heart attack and I'm rethinking my life.

Parents...

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A Boy, a Bike, and a Dream

Just before I left for Cycle Oregon a few weeks ago, I bought my grandson his first bike for his second birthday. No, not a trike, a real bike. His feet don't touch the pedals but when there is no one around to push him, he'll just contentedly sit on it. I was hoping that he was dreaming of the open roads I'd like to take him on someday; but my daughter pointed out to me that the only bike he really knows about is his dad's motorcycle. So who knows what he's dreaming that little bike can do.

The idea of sharing something you really love to do with someone you love has great appeal. Part of the allure of Cycle Oregon and the other rides like it are the friends you make and the group comaraderie that unfolds. It is possible to create...

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Family Fitness Fun

I'm happily living vicariously through my son who got up for the first time on a surf board today. I was raised on Gidget movies and always thought I'd surf someday but never got around to it. So I'm thrilled to think of him riding his first wave in. While he was doing that I was watching my grandson's eyes light up when he received his first bike today on his two year old birthday. He said, "wow, bike" and my day was made.

It's an amazing thing how happy a parent or grandparent can be when their children are happy. Next week I set out to ride my bike across Oregon and that's pleasure that is not vicarious but first-hand. In life, you have to have both: the happiness you get from enabling someone else to be happy and the happiness...

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It's a Mom Thing

I found a way to improve my prayer life. I sent one son to CA this morning and took the other out on the road, learner's permit in hand. Then I watched a graphic video of a car crash caused by texting while driving. Except for the grace of God.... We want to give them adventure, new experiences and freedom AND we want them safe and sound always.

Feeling the end of an era with Skyler off to college, I never felt closer to my oldest daughter, Jennifer, than today when she told me she cried at a wedding at the thought of her son some day getting married. He's two.

You have to love parenting and your children to understand the thrill of seeing them succeed and move on with their lives and at the same time feel the pangs of nostalgia as you...

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3-2-1 Blastoff!

Do you remember counting things down as a kid? You know, eight days till Christmas, four weeks until schools out, 364 days until my next birthday.

I bring this up because my son, Skyler, leaves for Pepperdine University in five days. In some ways it is filled with the excitement of Christmas, summer, and birthdays but I find myself tearing up unexpectantly nonetheless -you guessed it- even as I write this. Sky is fourth of six children so you'd think I'd be a pro by now but every child is so unique that their sojourns into the adult world hit you differently.

Exercising Values was written to help families instill values as well as healthy habits in their children. When the day comes for you to send your child into a new environment...

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Exercising Values: A Road to Health for Children and Adults

I recently completed writing the book Exercising Values so you can imagine how discouraging it was to learn that only ten percent of people who buy a book actually read it. I hope that I might beat those odds because Exercising Values is designed with your busy life in mind. It is a quick read with plenty of short-cuts so you can put it into action right away. The program includes children in workouts they will find fun while adults are both sharing a fun time with their children and they are getting an effective, fat-burning workout for themselves.   The program includes some character education and exposure to great childrenʼs literature for the children and a path to more energy and a smaller waistline for...

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Weathering Small Obstacles

A week ago on Bike Tour Colorado I had a collison but not the serious kind we all dread. This run in was with a tiny bee but a tiny bee that was ready to dive bomb near my eye and sting me for all the little guy was worth.  Isn't it these unexpected almost trivial occurances that remind us that every day holds the possibility of change , pain or ecstasy that is largely out of our control. Knowing this we learn to roll with the punches and laugh off little irritations.

Deep down we know that we do have a lot of choice and control. When we let go of excuses and exceptions we can chart a path to achieve most of our goals. We must persist through the "bee stings" in life. So if we want to lose weight we don't let a meal out or a social...

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Celebrating Family Life

The Fourth of July has come and gone and with it the bursting of fireworks and the special time spent with family. I love the enthusiastic somewhat excessive celebration of it all. At what other time to we literally blow up our hard earned money? But on this day we do so to commemorate our freedom and our way of life. We do it up in a big way and we do it together.

As we return to our routines I think it would be great to look for ways to also celebrate the people around us. Take a friend to lunch or extend the holiday by doing something special with the family tonight. Just hang on to a little of that enthusiastic excess and don't be measured in your praise or in your delight in those you love.

Raising six children has left me with a...

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