Welcome to the Big Easy! Where you are a sweetie to everyone. I dig it. The FIT Project took me to New Orleans, Louisiana. I was really excited to be able to visit this city and state. This state is currently ranked No. 8 on the obesity charts. While I know one little visit won't change the stats overnight, I do know that every drop in the bucket adds up. New here and aren't sure what the FIT Project is all about? Take a quick read over here.

First of all, let me say that God is great. I was in dire need of a roof over my head for the four nights I was there. It's fun being a struggling athlete:). After every door was closed I finally Googled some churches in the city. What did people do before search engines?! Anyway, I picked up the phone and called the church. Surprisingly, the pastor answered. I told him my need and he said to email him. I did. I honestly didn't think I would hear back. Oh me of little faith! The next morning I received a phone call from a lady. She & her husband became my host parents for the weekend. I can't thank them enough. We will be friends forever.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing:).

I arrived Thursday night at 11. I always like seeing a city at night!

The next morning it was off to inspire some kids to sweat. I am helping Playworks in various cities. (If you haven't heard of them, I urge you to check them and support them!) I LOVE to talk to kids. Not just TO them, but WITH them. I knew this talk would be a challenge. I had four things stacked against me:

#1) It was Friday

#2) It was 11 a.m.

#3) It was early dismissal

#4) It was right after lunch

But anytime you get the opportunity to talk to kids, you take what you got. And that I did.

Mr. Wiggly worm ;)

Mr. Wiggly Worm closeup

I visited the cafteria before talking. The kids knew I was coming and they were SO excited to see me! Want to see what they were having for lunch?

And we wonder why the obesity crisis is high?!

For the record, they did have apples in the lunch. But you know where they went? In the trash can. So sad. One of my goals is to help kids learn about food, where does it come from and how it can either help OR hinder them.

Eating lunch. And smiling!

Then it was on to the classroom of two second grade classes. I was secretly wishing we could go run a few miles - they had enough energy to power a small town!

I like the art on the building!

Coach Brandon and the 2nd graders (if only you could hear them!)

Filling up the classroom!

The class was pretty rambunctious. It takes a special talent to keep 50 kids in order - or at least attempt too! Coach Brandon started off with an icebreaker. Then I had them run in place, do some jumping jacks, reach the sky, touch the sky and then sit down. I asked them if they felt their heart. After loud shouts of "YES", I told them that getting your heart pumping like that every day is a good thing. I then used the flashcards with my Inspire 7 Healthy Principles. They are:

  1. Eat Five Fruits & Five Veggies
  2. Drink Water vs Sugary Drinks
  3. Get 9 Hours of Sleep
  4. Sweat at Least 60 Minutes a Day
  5. Limit TV/Computer Time to Less Than 60 Minutes Per Day
  6. Smile/There is Always Hope
  7. Help/Respect Others

I have the kids hold the flashcards. At the start of the presentation I tell them I will pick the ones who are sitting still and listening. It usually works. Except when they aren't hopped up on sugar :).

Afterwards, we played one last game. And then goodbyes. I never like this part. Although I am only there for an hour maximum, I still become attached to them. One little boy (see below) would not let me leave. I told them I would come back and they can run a race with me:).

Devon & me. So cute.

This boy needed a friend

More lovely kids :)

It was hard to leave, but Coach Brandon is going to keep the kids updated on my journey. And I am planning a followup visit. Kids melt my heart.