When I was a kid, my family was one of those race families, We did a bunch of 5ks, fun runs, and relays – maybe because my parents were trying to instill a love of fitness in us, or because we were young and they were hoping to burn some of our energy off – but at some point as we got older, the races stopped and running itself stopped being fun. I ran because I had to during field hockey season and that one time in high school I actually went out for track, but I definitely did not CHOOSE to run in my spare time. Ugh running.
Since I’ve gotten older, there have been running spurts sprinkled in with the yoga and strength training but I’ve never felt great about it. When it came to Thanksgiving, as my sister said “Thanksgiving is for eating not running”. We would wake up and have a big breakfast before my mom kicked us all out of the kitchen, then start drinking bloody marys while we waited for my grandparents to arrive. We’d munch on various dips with our drinks all day and then switch to wine when dinner was ready. And of course ended the night with slices of pie (there were usually 5 variations to choose from). That routine definitely led to some sluggish feelings and food regrets! I tried one year I was home from grad school to get everyone to try a Turkey Trot with me but I ended up running by myself (which by the way, was not very fun) and my sister had eaten all the bacon before I even got back home.
One year I was living in Florida and unable to come home for the holiday so I decided to put myself first. My boyfriend at the time was definitely not going to run with me, but Jacksonville had a huge yoga scene and there was a big Thanksgiving yoga class put on at a store downtown. I seriously almost did not make it due to some heavy drinking the night before but I am so glad I did. It was a 75 minute yoga flow put on by various instructors from the community. The place was packed! The post-workout feeling afterwards was amazing and I knew it was a tradition I wanted to start for myself. Plus it really made the meal afterwards that much more rewarding.
When I moved back to Virginia, my family definitely still was not interesting in running and there weren’t any big yoga events in the area that I could find. Instead of giving up like I did last time, I took it upon myself to just get up and go for a run in the neighborhood – baby steps right?!
Since K and I have been together, we’ve started the tradition of running in the town’s Turkey Trot – finally someone who’s willing to workout with me! The first year we did it, it was just us two. Last year, we convinced K’s little sister to run with us – she’s in high school and we figured she would be the easiest to drag along! This year we had a ton of additions!! K’s sister joined again, plus our nephew, my cousin, K’s best friend and his dad and sister. We all met up beforehand for some pre-race shots (minus the 2 underagers) and pep talks. It was a great run (thanks to all my Orangetheory workouts) and I had a goal of keeping up with the youngins which I was able to accomplish – though my lungs were burning from that final sprint at the end.
I feel incredibly thankful to have the ability to use my body how I choose, and to get to start my Thanksgiving holiday with some of my favorites. I still have one more day off work to enjoy with my friends and family, give thanks for all I have, and possibly do some more shopping.