A new perspective on Thanksgiving and life

  • This was printed in November of 2014 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 80th installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow and inevitably someone is going to ask you, “What

are you thankful for?”

You may come up with a few things off of the top of your head: Family, friends, good

health, running…

Stop. That list is tired.

Here’s a different way to think about the question: Think of all the things you “have

to” do throughout your day and change your perspective — realize that you “get to”

do them.

I have to run in the 5 a.m. cold and fog. No, I get to run at 5 a.m. with some of the

best running buddies anyone could ask for, and do it before my children wake up

and notice I’m gone.

I have to wake up at 7 a.m. on non-running days because my kids don’t know how to

sleep in. No, I get to wake up at 7 a.m. to see the smiling faces of the cutest kids on

the planet, with their crooked pajamas, morning hair and need for cuddles.

I have to clean up after my kids. No, I get encourage independence in my daughter

by teaching her how to pour her own bowl of cereal and milk, even if she spills a

little. I get to laugh as my son eats two Cheerios and then tosses a handful of them to

Buster — or in his 14-month-old dialect, Bud-tah.

I have to work. No, I get to edit the stories that you read in this newspaper. I get to

write about running each week. I get to pay my bills and buy new clothes for my kids

with my hard-earned money.

I have to cook, clean and do the dishes. No, I get to prepare healthy, delicious

dinners that nourish my family and myself. I get to live in a healthy, neat

environment. I get to let the dishwasher make my dishes spotless.

I have to put my kids to bed when I’m dead tired and can barely keep my eyes open.

No, I get to read bedtime stories to my children and tuck them into their beds, safe

and sound in the cozy house that I get to pay the mortgage on.

All of those are things to be grateful for — yes, even the bills and the mortgage.

Think of the alternatives.

Maybe if we all changed our perspective it would make us better, happier, more

grateful people.

Heck, maybe more people would run if they changed their perspective. I run

because I can, because I have a body that is physically able to. I’m grateful —

thankful — for that.

So thankful, in fact, that I’m starting my Thanksgiving morning with a run — the 8

a.m. Turkey Trot 5K race at Woodward Park in Fresno.

There is NO race day registration, but you have from 2 to 6 p.m. today to sign up in

person at Sierra Running Company, 9447 N. Fort Washington in Fresno. Click on the

Turkey Trot link at http://www.runsierra.org for details.

It’s an awesome way to run the Central Section Cross Country Championship course

that the Madera South cross country team floated over last week — the boys took

their sixth consecutive section crown, this time Div. I, and the girls won the Div. II

race.

It’s a challenging, hilly, 3.1-mile course — a perfect trek to make before devouring

your Thanksgiving meal.

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