Family Traditions

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ¬†I hope some of you were able to get out and get moving before stuffing your faces ūüôā ¬†This whole idea of running a half-marathon on Thanksgiving morning is relatively new to me, but I don’t see myself doing it any differently in the years to come. ¬†It just takes a few hours of my time and my husband and I still manage to get a delicious dinner on the table. ¬†I definitely like the idea of being able to eat what I want with little worry.

As I reflect back on my childhood holidays, I have difficulty remembering my mother ever cooking a turkey. ¬†It wouldn’t surprise me if she never took on the challenge. ¬†She was far from domestic. ¬†I know that she would rather have been running than cooking. ¬†As I find myself in the kitchen, I realize that I am really not that great at whipping up these holiday feasts. ¬†My mother did not teach me how to bake an apple pie. ¬†I learned that when I lived for 4 months in the Bahamas while studying sharks (sounds silly, I know). ¬†If it weren’t for my step-mother, my poor husband would be forced to eat frozen dinners and take on a majority of the housework. ¬†My step-mother is the queen of domestic. ¬†She actually thrives on cooking and cleaning. ¬†She can’t go a day without grabbing the bottle of bleach. ¬†So, I guess I managed to get the best of both worlds.

Therefore, when it comes to family traditions, nothing really stands out pre-step-mother era. ¬†I am not one of those daughters who whips out the recipe passed down to her from her mother who acquired it from her mother. ¬†I don’t have those memories of smelling my mother’s apple pie as it bakes in the oven or helping her frost the cookies. ¬†Yeah, sometimes I get a tad jealous when I hear of my friends talking about their mothers in this way. ¬†I hope they are thankful that they still get to spend holidays with their mothers.

Yet, what I do have that most don’t, is the passion to run. ¬†That is what my mother passed on to me. ¬†It makes these Thanksgiving 1/2 marathons all the more special… similar to the feeling of nostalgia you get when baking that apple pie from your mother’s recipe. ¬† Not only that, but I have my own daughters now and I can pass along the family traditions that I think are worthy. ¬†Just yesterday, my oldest helped me make a pumpkin pie. ¬†Next year I will show her how to make “my” awesome apple pie. ¬†And why not get in a good turkey trot?

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Driven by a passion

Right at this moment, my husband is participating in his first Ironman Triathlon.¬† For those of you who aren’t familiar with those, it basically involves swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then running 26.2 miles.¬† Sounds crazy, right?¬† I used to think so, but now I am not so sure.¬† Would I be willing to do it?¬† Definitely not right now, but who knows what the future holds.¬† Until this moment, I didn’t realize how much dedication it takes to endure a full day of strenuous activity.¬† As I repeatedly search online for status updates regarding my husband, I can’t help but think “this is taking all day”¬†and I don’t mean that¬†in a negative way¬†but in¬†the “wow, incredible” way. ¬† It takes a lot of passion for someone to have that type of self-discipline.¬† Today I ran 12 miles and that only took 1/8 of the time it is taking my husband to complete this race.¬† He is covering 140.6 miles!

I always knew that my husband was the athletic type.¬† If you have been reading my blogs, then you know that I have been the inconsistent athlete.¬† When I met my husband he actually received the “most athletic” award for our group in the military.¬† He often talked about the workouts he endured during his college years.¬† I can’t believe that I even attempted to run with him when I “liked” him back in the day.¬† I had issues when I was in the military because I couldn’t do the stupid sit and reach portion of the fitness test.¬† Seriously, a runner doesn’t need to be flexible… thank goodness I know that now.

After we got married, my husband was kind of like me when it came to fitness… up and down.¬† I think he liked to blame the kids even though he wasn’t the one who had to get pregnant, gain weight and then lose it!¬† He would often commit to a race of some sort and then complain that he wasn’t ready… yet, he would easily overcome the challenge.¬† It actually made me sick.¬† He would barely train while I would attempt consistency and fail miserably.¬† Now I can FINALLY say that I am able to WHOOP him when¬†it comes to running.¬† However, he TOTALLY has¬†me beat with this Ironman stuff.¬† Get me on a bike and I will show you the best way to fall off.

Anyway, even though he doesn’t always think so, he has that passion within and I know that it will always be there.¬† I admire him for that and I am so thankful I married someone who could motivate me.¬† I did kind of inherit that competitive nature from him¬†(okay, some of that was already in there… but it has definitely been compounded by my intent to beat my husband at every race).¬† Now I have all of this passion brimming at my fingertips and I am wondering how I can best use it to help others.¬† Even though I am usually cursing at myself by mile 8, it just feels so good to be running.¬† And I am so PROUD of my husband for doing something that I can’t even imagine doing right now!