Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Every run is different

Coming off a really nice run with Ken yesterday, today I went out on my own for 13KM's. The route I do is so familiar I could probably run it blindfolded. Even though I have done this route over one hundred times in the past 2.5 years each time out is different. Some days the Westney hill is tougher than others while other times the run from the corner of Hwy 2 and Harwood to Rossland, seems to go on forever.

I'll usually pass at least 1 or 2 people walking and another half-dozen people waiting to go to work in the bus shelters. Each time I pass by them I always wonder what they are thinking. I hope that some of them decide to become more physically active as a result. I know that whenever I don't run and I see other people run it inspires me to run so hopefully I'm having the same effect on them.

Lately I've been seeing plenty of rabbits early in the morning and as crazy as it sounds, I even had one rabbit run beside me for a few metres one day (of course I let him

You would think that running the same route over and over would eventually get boring. However, the great thing about running is that the one variable I have no control over is the weather. Unlike running on the treadmill, which I won't do, when you run outside you are forced to deal with the elements. There are some conditions which make my 13K run very difficult such as strong winds or others when the temperatures are in the mid teens which makes it great for me to run in.

For those just getting into running outside, try to not to focus too much on the running itself and just enjoy the fact that you are outside getting an amazing workout. Most of the really good runners that I know are the ones who block out the fact that they are running and try to think about anything but running while they are out there pounding the pavement. I know that if I had to think too much about running the same route everyday it would eventually get to me as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


After running alone for most of the past three weeks, mostly because I've been watching my two boys, I was able to run this morning with someone who helped introduce me to running. I took his clinic and still remember many of the things that he taught me and use them regularly during my own running. He ran with me last winter as I trained for the 2007 Mississauga Marathon.

While I have enjoyed running on my own for these past few weeks, it was nice to actually talk to someone for a change.

When I look back at all the people I've been able to meet since I started running it truly is amazing that so many people share the same passion for running that I do. There are some who just run for fun while others are trying to reach a particular goal such as qualifying for Boston or trying to improve their speed.

Listening to Ken talk this morning was helpful and I know that I'll eventually pick a goal race sooner than later. I think that my "burnout" phase is slowly fading so don't be surprised to hear that I've picked a race to train for. As it stands now, I'd like to run the 50 Mile trail race in Sulphur Springs in May of 2008. I may pick a 10 Mile race in December and a 1/2 Marathon race in February/March to use as training.

Running this morning brought back memories of my training last Winter where I would do tempo runs on Tuesday mornings at 6 AM and then eventually some track work as well. Even though I didn't achieve my goal at the 2007 Mississauga Marathon, I'll never forget the training that I did and I know that it made me a better runner because of it. Sometimes we all need a little push now and then to get us over the hump.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Supplements for runners

I typically don't recommend supplements to my clients until I have a good grasp of their current eating patterns and exercise routines. There are so many supplements on the market today and consumers are left very confused by all that surrounds them.

I do believe a multi-vitamin can help ensure that you are getting at least the minimum amount of vitamins such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, and B-Vitamins. For runners who typically run at least 3-5 times per week, these are very important. The Calcium/Magnesium minerals are important in the regulation of muscle contraction and anyone who has suffered from cramps, as I have, can understand the importance of that.

Ever since my cramping at the Mississauga Marathon, I've been able to run cramp free with the help of a liquid Magnesium supplement. I have also been using HEED, which is a post-run recovery drink made by Hammer Nutrition. Immediately after a run I've been using 1 scoop of this and unlike E-Load which tends to be too sweet for me, this literally has no taste and I'm able to get it down with no difficulties. Along with the important electrolytes like Sodium and Potassium, it also contains 25 grams of complex carbohydrates. What I like most about this product is that it contains no artificial sweetners.

Another popular post-recovery drink that I recently saw at my locoal Wal-Mart is Accelerade. This drink has the perfect carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1 and the protein is comprised of Whey Protein Isolate which is the highest form of protein you can get. I've been waiting for this product to make it's way to Canada so I was very happy to see it on the shelves the other day. This drink should be used if you plan of doing a run of at least 1 hour.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rest vs Rust

I think that the hardest thing for me to do is take time off from running. Although I know the importance of rest, running is such a big part of my life that when I don't run it's as though my day isn't complete. Sometimes I feel that I've cheated myself by not running, like I did today and I'll do again tomorrow. What makes it worse is seeing people running when I'm driving in my car. I tend to slow down a little to see if I know the person (there's a very good chance that I do).

My plantar is finally starting to heal a little bit and it's been a tough go the last few weeks but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and taking these next two days off should help.

Whenever I take two consecutive days off from running I'm always worried that I won't be able to pick up from where I left off. Taking time off, though, is something that I'm getting better at but it's taken me this long to finally understand the importance of it.

My long term goal is to be able to run well into my 60's or 70's and for me to accomplish that goal I'll have to run smarter instead of running with reckless abandon as I've done in the past.

During my day off today I was reflecting back on the amount of races I've done in the past 2.5 years (well over 30). I was talking to a client this afternoon about goal setting as she has recently started running herself. I asked her if she was going to train for a race and just as I said that I thought to myself that the fact that she's running at all should be an accomplishment in itself. It was amazing seeing the look on her face as she was telling me how much she enjoyed running and it reminded me of when I did my first trail run in the Greenwood Conservation Park. The feeling I got as I returned home from that run is something that I'll never forget. I only wish I could bottle up that feeling and pass it along to others.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An interesting week of running

This has been a very weird week of running as I've had to deal with so many things.

It started with my decision to run in the afternoon on Monday instead of my usual early morning run. This was a bad decision as I felt very sluggish during the run and it was a challenge to finish.

On Tuesday it was raining outside but those who know me realize that this is my favorite weather to run in. However, just before my run I dropped my Garmin GPS unit. Despite numerous attempts at trying to get it to start it wouldn't. Fortunately I was able to borrow my sisters and I made it through the run. I wish I wasn't so addicted to that device but it's been with me ever since I started running and I really can't imagine running without it. Those who have one know what I'm talking about.

I contacted Garmin and tried to reboot the unit but nothing. I was thinking about sending it in to get fixed but I really couldn't imagine being without my Garmin for that long. I decided to purchase the Garmin Forerunner 205 unit which was an upgrade from my last one (Garmin Forerunner 201). This unit will serve me better when I'm running in the trails as it won't lose sattelite signals as much as the 201. Even though I'm very happy with my new toy, it was sad to say goodbye to an old friend.

On Wednesday I had my first opportunity to run with the Forerunner 205 and I'm already impressed. What I wasn't impressed with was how cold it was outside. Instead of wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt like I did on Tuesday, I had to wear a thicker long sleeve shirt, gloves, skull cap and my cwx tights. Running with all this extra gear took a little getting used to and I already miss the warm early morning weather.

Today the weather was pretty much what it was yesterday although I started my run at 5 AM instead of 6. It's amazing how quiet the roads are at this time and although getting up at 4 AM take a little getting used to, I'm happy that I don't have to worry about running into many cars along the roads.

I'll probably run again tomorrow and possibly Sunday and will do some weight training on Saturday. I wonder what the weather will be like next week?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Here's what you need to start running!

I get asked by so many people how I'm able to run. The reality is you only need two things :
1. A good pair of shoes
2. An even better attitude

Yesterday my gym was shut down for a few hours in the morning. There were at least a dozen or more people who were unable to workout as a result. Inside of me I knew that I had my workout in as I had run 11KM's in the rain yesterday. I wanted to tell the people that they should go for a run instead of working out but I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over too well so I refrained.

I've yet to meet a weather challenge that will prevent me from running and I'm not alone as I know that there are plenty of others who do the same as I do. During the gym shutdown yesterday I decided to go to the Pickering Running Room and when I was there one of the customers was getting her gait checked.
Getting the proper shoes for running is so important and you need to make sure that you go to a store like the Running Room so that you can find the right shoe that will provide you with the best support.

Once you have the proper shoes the next part is creating a positive attitude. Without a doubt I would say that running is more mental than physical. When you are out there pounding the pavement or trails, your mind will start questioning what you are doing. Eventually if you don't have a good mental focus then it can be easy to talk yourself out of going for a run. Try to remember that the main reason you want to run is because of the enjoyment you will get from doing it. Relax and take it slowly. The Running Room offers a Learn to Run clinic and they are great place to get started. I was fortunate enough to teach one of these clinics and it was one of the best experiences I've had.

Now that the weather is starting to turn cold I find this the hardest time for me to run. I'm fortunate that this will be my third year running in the winter so I'm prepared for what's to come but that doesn't mean I enjoy it. Today I was all bundled up and it took me longer than usual to get warm. Eventually though I found a good rhythm and got through it ok.

The trick to creating a positive attitude is consistency and confidence. Once you go out for a run and realize that you can do it, make sure you "bookmark" that feeling. The more often you can call upon those feelings the more likely it will be that you will talk yourself into going for a run instead of talking yourself out of it.

When you realize that only a small percentage of the population runs outside, then you should take pride in the fact that you are doing something that most people won't do. I will never talk anyone out of running if they really want to do it and will encourage them to get started immediately by getting a good pair of shoes. I'm a perfect example of someone who never thought he'd be running and here I am, 2 years later still pounding the roads and trails.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Passing my "gift" on to others

One of my favorite weather conditions to run in is the rain so I was lucky enough to experience that this morning. I love seeing the look on the faces of the people who I run by who are bundled up in bus shelters. I'm sure they are probably thinking that I'm nuts.

Ever since my 50K trail run in Haliburton, I seem to be more relaxed during my runs. After doing so many races over the past two years I'm enjoying just running for fun again. I've come to realize that running itself should be it's own reward. I know that eventually I'll get back to doing a few races but for now it's not on my radar.

What has been exciting me recently is the number of people who have told me that they have started to run because of me. This is obviously very overwhelming and much appreciated. I know that I wear my running "badge" with pride on my sleeve and that when I talk about running my enthusiasm is hard to contain. I realize the gift that I was given by an amazing runner a few years ago and if I can encourage more people to take up running then I'll be more than happy.

With so many people trying to run for a specific time, it's important not to get too caught up with that if you are just starting out. Running, at whatever speed you feel comfortable with, should be enough. I always tell new runners that if you start breathing too heavily you're probably going too fast so slow down, control your breathing and try again. There's no harm in taking a walk break if you need to and it's probably why I enjoy trail running so much. During trail races walk breaks are expected so you never have to feel like you are doing something wrong by taking a break.

I'm so proud of the many people who have started running and I only hope that you find the same satisfaction that I have found.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'll stick to running in the morning

Today I decided to get an extra 1.5 hours of sleep and went running in the afternoon instead. After the run I know I won't be doing that again.

Throughout the run I felt "heavy" and each step seemed like a challenge. After taking the past few days off from running I was expecting a better result. I'm so accustomed to running in the morning, even if it's 5AM, that I believe my body best responds to running during the AM instead of the afternoon or evening.

I also realize that I need to purchased a new pair of running shoes. I can usually tell when I need a new pair as my plantar starts to act up as well as my right knee. Both were sore during the run today.

I was happy to gut out the 11KM but when I turned the corner and headed for home, I was very pleased that I was finished.

Not every run/workout is going to be a piece of art but you have to keep plugging away and eventually you will reach your goals. One of my favorite sayings is "Pound the Rock." What that means is that if you envision your goal as a huge rock and each workout/healthy eating choice as hammer then try to imagine yourself taking a swing at that rock each day. Some days you may not see the rock move but eventually if you keep pounding away, eventually it will crumble and you will reap the benefits of your hard work.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hang on to YOUR belief system tightly or else......

This past Friday night I was watching Larry King Live on CNN. His panel of guests were Dr. Mehmet Oz from Oprah Winfrey fame and Gary Taubes who is the author of a controversial book called "GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES."

Both men appear to be intelligent but both have contrasting views on diet and exercise. If you get a chance check out the transcripts from the show:

Taubes claimed that exercise can contribute to obesity by causing us to eat more because we are hungry afterwards. He claims that eliminating carbohydrates is the way to go.

Meanwhile, Dr. Oz preaches portion control and while they agree on the point that simple or white sugars need to be eliminated, they don't agree on much else.

Their debate between who was right and who was wrong went on for an hour and at the end of the show nothing much was accomplished except for one thing, confusion. I was glad that I have my education to stand behind me but I thought about the millions of people watching that show who don't. I'm sure the sales of Taubes book went skyrocketing right after the show and the cynic in me figured that that was the point in the first place.

I thought about my clients and hoped that none of them was watching the show. I then realized that they are faced with this confusion on a daily basis from TV, radio and magazines. One of the things that I stress during my consultations is the philosophy behind what my program is all about. If I cannot get them to understand it or to challenge their own belief system then it won't matter what kind of plan I put them on.

There really is no secret to losing weight. It takes a committment to exercise and healthy eating and a small change in your current lifestyle. If these things are not done on a consistent basis, then losing weight and more importantly keeping the weight off will be difficult.

Whatever plan you decide to follow I hope that you realize that you must committ to following it for the rest of your life. I don't offer any quick fixes but I do offer a program that is safe, easy to follow and one that will maintain your weight loss forever.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting started is usually the hardest part!

As I woke up this morning at 5 AM to go for my run, I thought about how nice it would be to sleep in for just a little longer. I ran two days in a row so why not take today off and just relax?
Then I thought about how much I'd regret the decision if I didn't run today.

I went through my normal morning pre-run ritual which included having a cup of tea and a small piece of a banana. Even as I laced up my shoes, I had a little bit of aprehension but off I went anyway. I tried to find a good song to start off with and I decied to use "Soak up the Sun" by Cheryl Crow.

I'm sure the weather change and the fact that it is still dark when I left my house, had something to do with my mood this morning. I already miss seeing the sunrise during my morning runs.

I didn't feel "right" until about the 5 KM mark and then the feeling that comes over me, most times when I go running, hit and I knew that I had made the right decision.

During my run I thought about the constant battles we go through within our own minds which prevent us from doing what we know we should do. So many of my clients go through this on a daily basis. It's so easy to come up with an excuse as to why you shouldn't choose the right course of action. Sometimes we look for others to provide us with help and guidance but if we rely too much on them then it doesn't allow us to develop our own defense system.

As I finished my 13K run I looked up to the sky, pointed straight up and gave thanks. It's been something I've been doing recently. Some of what or who I'm giving thanks to doesn't really matter and I'll keep that private, but most of what I'm giving thanks to is the ability to finish another run.

People love to look at all the negatives that occur within their lives but forget to acknowledge the positives that are happening as well. The ability to overcome our own obstacles is a huge accomplishment and it needs to be celebrated.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

As long as your goals are important to YOU then that's all that matters

The Ontario Ultra Series (OUS) came to close this past Saturday with the Vulture Bait trail race. Unfortunately I didn't participate in as many races as last year, but I was able to fulfill my goal of completing a 50K trail race in Haliburton.

As the weather starts to turn cold and the races become harder and harder to find, I have to set my goals on other things besides races. Sure, there may be a race or two that I'll do between now and the Spring but they'll mostly be for fun. I realized this past summer that I truly belong running trail races as I don't have to worry about how fast I'm going. The competitive side of me will always want to try and do a little better than the previous year but if that doesn't happen it won't bother me.

My goals are just to be able to run, injury free, at least 5 times per week. I'd like to average between 60 to 70 KM's per week and work on improving my endurance. By next spring I'd like to complete a 50 mile trail race, most likely Sulphur Springs, and that will require an increase in training mileage after the New Year.

During my run today I realized that I won't be able to run much longer in just shorts and a long sleeve technical shirt and that always tends to bring me down. As much as some of my running friends prefer to run in this type of weather, I actually hate it. My hands tend to get cold almost immediately and I'm bundled up like the Michelin Man where all you can see is my eyes peering out from under my thermal headgear.

This will be my third year running in the winter and as much as I hate the cold, if I can keep running 5 days per week then I'll be happy.

Whatever your goals are, all that matters is that they are important enough to YOU to keep going hard after them. If you are ambivalent about your goals you will never achieve them. I like to vocalize my goals to whoever will listen to me as this helps to keep me focused. You also have to realize that your achivements should never be measured up against anyone else.

You don't have to achieve a certain time goal to qualify as a "runner" and I think that's what so many people get caught up in. Shouldn't the fact that you run be good enough? I'm using running as an example because it is something that I'm familiar with, but this same theory can be applied to just about anything. Don't be one of those people who are afraid to take on your goals because you don't think that you measure up to someone else. In the end, the only person that it matters to is yourself.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sometimes things just work out

First off, my computer crashed on me this week so I haven't been able to update my blog in days. It's too bad because plenty has happened but I'll skip ahead to todays events.

I decided on Tuesday morning, after a great trail run with Ken, to do the Vulture Bait trail race 25K. This is a race that I've done twice before so I'm very familiar with the course.

I ran on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then took Thursday and Friday off to prepare for the race. Normally I have a race all picked out but this time it was a spur of the moment decision.

This morning I got up at 5AM and left the house at 5:45. After making a quick stop to fill up on gas and some steeped tea and a blueberry bagel (Thanks Tim Hortons) I made my way to London.

I arrived at the race site, which is a beautiful conservation park (Fanshawe Conservation) at just past 8:00 AM. This gave me plenty of time to get ready for the 9:00 AM race start.

As soon as I entered the grounds I knew that I had made the right decision to run today. I was greeted by so many familiar faces and to top it off I won a door prize before the race even started. They must have known that I was a nutritionist as the prize was a bottle of electrolyte supplements called HEED.

The race started prompty at 9:00 AM and there was definitely a chill in the air. I decided to wear a long sleeve shirt with some dollar store gloves I had purchased the day before.

My strategy for this race was just to enjoy the experience of being in the trails. There were times that I would speed up while other times where I just ran at a comfortable pace.

For whatever reason, I felt very strong today and was able to run the race with just two minor stops for under a minute at each time. I used only one gel as well as some E-Load and Gatorade which was provided by some amazing volunteers.

As per usual, I had two falls and my bright yellow shirt from this years Around the Bay race, was covered in dirt on the the front. I can't wait to see the finishing pictures of that one.

I managed to finish the race in 2:13 and just now realized that I had run the race 3 minutes faster than last year. I guess it helps not to put too much pressure on myself.

It was amazing to know that so many people share the same goal of just enjoying running in the trails as opposed to running in road races. There always seems to be this time pressure associated with road racing and while it can motivate some, I think it truly has turned me off of them for a little while anyway.

For those of you running in the Toronto Marathon this weekend I wish you the very best. You all have trained remarkably hard and I hope that you all have an amazing experience.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

There is light at the end of the tunnel

As a nutritionist I don't always get to see the impact of my work until sometimes months or years down the road. Unlike personal trainers who see their clients improve with each workout, my satisfaction lies in the ability of my clients to overcome huge obstacles on their way towards a healthier lifestyle.

Whenever I get a chance to share these stories with others you can only imagine how it not only fires me up but also helps to inspire others.

This is one of the most committed individuals that I've ever seen and when she sent me her before and after pictures today, I told her that I would be posting them on my site. Thanks Karen, you truly are an amazing woman and I felt like a proud papa today showing off your pictures to all of my clients.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thanksgiving tips

Thanksgiving can be a difficult time for those trying to stay on a healthy eating plan. This can be especially true if you are travelling to a friend/families house where your food choices are limited. What you have to remember is that your goal shouldn't be to deprive yourself of the things you want. If you do this then eventually you may actually create a situation down the road which is even worse.

Try to remember what your "typical" eating pattern is like during Thanksgiving. Now try and do a little better this time. If you usually have 2 pieces of pumpkin pie then try to only have 1 this year.

You can enjoy the holiday without go overboard with regards to your eating. If you are really worried about you eating then one of the best things to do is to have a protein shake one hour before leaving for your Thanksgiving dinner. Protein, and specifically protein powder, will help to keep your blood sugars from dropping too low and as a result you won't be craving those sweets. Don't make the mistake of not eating up until you have your dinner as you will drop your blood sugars too low and then when dinner comes you may find yourself eating too much stuffing etc.

Most of all have a happy Thanksgiving and whatever choices you make don't beat yourself about it. Just get back on track as soon as possible....remember Christmas is only 11 weeks away!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Don't take any shortcuts when trying to achieve your goal

Whenever I run from my house in Ajax, I have 5 different routes that I can take. Each of these routes is anywhere from 11 to 14KM's and I try not to do the same route twice in the same week.

During my 13 KM run this morning at 5 AM there was a stretch which was poorly lit. My choices were to do that stretch anyway and hit my goal of 13 KM or go an alternate route which would have come up about 1KM short. I knew that if I took that shortcut that it would bother me for the rest of the day. I had only a few seconds to decide and I decided to go the longer route.

While I was running today I thought about how we are faced with making healthy eating choices daily. Do you eat the salad with chicken for lunch or order a pizza with the rest of your colleagues at work?

There is no "trick" to losing weight. What it takes is hard work and determination. You can take all the fat burners etc. that you want but if you don't have a committment to eating healthy and exercising the majority of the time, then chances are that you will not be successful in achieving your weight loss goals for the long term.

Clients who come to me expecting drastic results immediately are shocked when I tell them that I want to see 2 pounds of weight loss per week. Anything more than that tells me that they are not following the guidelines I have set forth for them.

Do not look for quick fixes when trying to lose weight. Instead, make eating healthy and exercising a priority in your life. You'll be glad that you did.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Change something or don't expect results

There are a few things that are absolutes in this world (death and taxes) while the rest is up for debate.

For example, you can have two brilliant scientists argue about a topic. Each of them presents compelling arguments and it's up to you to decide who to believe.

When I first meet with a new client I go over with them not only their eating habits but their "life" habits as well. If I can get them to change just one thing in their life then I feel like I have had some success.

Too many people, however, are reluctant to change their behaviour for fear of the unknown. Even when a plan is laid out in front of them and they are explained the science behind it, they don't want to change. This becomes the hardest part of my job. Trying to convince someone that by doing "X" they will achieve "Y" is difficult when they want to change the equation. I've yet to give up on a client and as long as they have the desire to change their lifestyle I can help them achieve their goals.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My source of inspiration

There are times when I'm feeling down about myself and I have to draw upon the strength from someone very special to me.

She was someone I met while I in College in Ottawa. She was studying child care while I was studying Recreation. She had an amazing spirit even though she suffered from Sickle Cell Anemia, a crippling blood disorder. She had a smile which would light up even the darkest rooms.

After completing my Diploma, I decided to move to Toronto to go to Ryerson for their Nutrition program. When I left to attend Ryerson, I thought that I would never see her again.

Then, without notice, I found out that she had moved to Toronto and we were able to connect again. It was one of those friendships which was amazingly strong and we both knew that the time spent away was not going to break our bond.

During the summer of 1990 she went into the Hospital for a hip replacement surgery. We both agonized over this decision but the Sickle Cell disease had eaten away at her bones and it was decided that it was something that needed to be done.

While working as a Dietary Aide at Sick Kids Hospital, I received a phone call from her Mother and headed right over to the Hospital. During the surgery, the Doctors had punctured her subclavian vein and this resulted in blood developing into her lungs. She fell into a coma for 10 days and I was with her every day and night during this time.

I remember going to stay with her Mother at her house and had one of the most amazing dreams I have ever had. We were both happy and running in some grass fields. I remember the sun being the brightest it’s ever been. At that very moment, the phone rang and it was the Hospital on the other end. By the time we both rushed over there it was too late and she had died.

We flew to Barbados to bury her and I had to be one of the people carrying her coffin. It’s a memory that is still clear today as it was 17 years ago.

During my run today I felt her presence and there are times when I know that she is watching me. I’m not an overly religious person but I do know that she is in a much better place now. We were destined to be married and I look back and think about how my life would have been different but looking back serves no real purpose. Instead when I see someone smile I think about her and how truly remarkable she was.

There are times when I need to draw upon my own inner strength and the memories of her certainly help. The experience I’ve had to go through has literally changed my life and I sometimes look at the trivial things in life and remember about how hard she fought off her illness and suddenly my issues don’t seem so tough anymore.

I decided to write this today, not because I’m looking for sympathy, but rather to share my story about what I use for inspiration. We all have experiences which we can draw upon for strength during times when we need them most. When I start to doubt myself I think about what she would do or what she would say to me and eventually I start to turn things around.

As tragic as this story was I wouldn’t have traded the experience I had with her for anything and I realize that there will be a time when we meet again.

Thanks Ingrid