Happy Thanksgiving! The holiday of Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to gratitude, family, and celebration. I hope your holiday is filled with those things, and so much more. A day away from work focused on what we are thankful for is just what the world needs. Today is the start of my favorite time of year, and one of my favorite holidays. Not only is the food excellent (thanks, Mom;) but the company is great and the theme couldn’t be better. Today has me thinking about everything I’m grateful for, and this past year especially, I am grateful for running. Not just the act of running itself, but everything it has brought to my life. Running has given me some of the most important lessons of my life, but most importantly: running has taught me to be thankful.
On a day filled with gratitude and thankfulness, I find my mind gravitating back to many moments during my runs. Running is unique in the fact that what we learn from it stays with us throughout the day, even when we are not running. Taking up this sport has left a tremendous influence on my life – it has literally changed my life. One thing running has taught me in a way that people have not been able to, is how to be thankful.
While I’ve learned my share about gratitude from friends, family, books, school, church – it’s nothing compared to what I’ve learned from running.
Running has taught me that my body can do amazing things; things I never thought it was capable of doing. Each time I set out to conquer a new challenge, I am thankful for the failures and accomplishments that lead me to success. I know that I would not be where I am today without them, and for that I am grateful.
Running has shown me the extremities of physical pain; such as mile 24 in a marathon, stress fractures, or heat rash. It has given me something to remember when I am healthy, reminding me to be thankful for the feeling of contentment. It helps me to not take those healthy times for granted.
Running has given me its fair share of failures. Those failures stick with me and make me even more grateful for the successes. Conquering obstacles in order to find success is humbling, and makes the feeling of accomplishment that much sweeter.
Running has introduced me to a diverse group of people. A group of people unlike any other; those who have conquered unimaginable challenges, with stories that bring strangers to tears. It has shown me the extremes of the human population, and reminded me to be thankful for where I am today. Every race leaves me with overwhelming gratitude for the fact that running is able to bring us all together.
Running has proved to be a meditation unlike any other. Nothing calms me when I’m anxious, excites me when I’m tired, and comforts me when I am scared like the act of running. This meditation reminds me of the power of our minds, and brings me gratitude for the fact that something as simple as running can help everything make sense.
Running has allowed me to experience the seasons and this beautiful world we live in. Each run outside reminds me how wonderful our world is, and how lucky I am to step outside and experience it firsthand. Each day when the leaves are changing, snow is falling, flowers are blooming, or the temperature is rising I am filled with gratitude.
Running is a sport that can be practiced alone or with others. I am reminded of the company I miss while running alone, and am thankful for those who have stuck by me through the terrible miles and the great ones. While running with others, I find myself feeling thankful for the uninterrupted time that running grants us.
Running, in it’s simplest form, requires nothing more than comfortable clothes and shoes. It is a sport practiced by those around the world, in any setting. It requires nothing more than for us to step out our door. With running, the possibilities are endless. Running has shown me how to dream, and for that I am thankful.
There is nothing more powerful in the world than gratitude. When you are feeling down on your luck, count your blessings. When you are feeling on top of the world, be thankful. Our lives are so rich, from the great outdoors, to the people we share it with. Enjoy your meal today, and don’t forget the true meaning behind this holiday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!