This has been quite a year, for us all. So many changes, so many unknowns. Yet, so much to be thankful for.
I've written previous Thankful posts (in 2019, in 2018, in 2017, in 2016, in 2015 and in 2014), and I honestly don't know if I could say it any better. Bear with me, I'm going to go with (mainly) what's been said before, but tweak some of it to make it more current.
* My family. I am so absolutely in love with my husband and three amazing kids. They don't usually run with me (though the youngest daughter ran her first 20K in 2018, and the hubby joins me at a few races now and then), but they put up with me and my running. They don't complain too much about the running shoes scattered throughout the house or the occasional icky toenail. And, on occasion, they do ask me about my running...without my having to prompt them. It doesn't get much better than that!
*My faith. I'm not gonna get all high and almighty on you, but my faith is my cornerstone. It's my humbleness, my perseverance, and my strength. It's my everything.
*My running friends. I have an abundance of awesome runners in my life. I appreciate all their kind words, messages and hugs. Some of them are just as crazy as me, and have been known to run Ultra's overnight, in the heat (and humidity) of summer...complete with lightning, rain, and Christmas lights. Some of them drive (and fly) crazy distances to run marathons with me. Others have hopped on airplanes and met me in Chicago, Las Vegas and Washington, DC. They make me smile and feel warm & fuzzy.
|Credit Union Cherry Blossom in DC, 2019|
*Maxton McArthur. We adopted Max from a nearby animal shelter almost six years ago. I didn't grow up with a dog, and our family had never had one. I totally didn't get the "dogs aren't pets, they are family" thing. Well, I totally get it now. This adorable little guy has wormed his way into my heart, and everyone else who has met him. He makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, too.
*Freedom to run "my way." I don't have to run fast. I don't have to run every day. I don't have to run excessive weekly mileage. And I don't have to love every experience in my running shoes. Most importantly, I don't have to answer to anyone other than myself. Running has liberated me like nothing else. It has shown me just how strong my endurance really is, and it has kept me humble on many occasions as well. It's my reality check.
*My virtual running buddies. There are so many wonderful people who have become dear friends, and most of them came to me via this blog, Instagram, and my running page, Running on the Fly. There have been countless messages, well wishes, (virtual) high-5's, and many laughs shared through our computer screens. And, there have been some tears and sniffles, too. I have met some of these fabulous peeps in person, and look forward to meeting many more.
*The racing community. I don't consider myself a competitive racer, but I love the atmosphere on race day. There's something about an entire bunch of strangers, all running towards the same finish line, that makes me feel at-one with all others on the race course . Nothing is better than the final 100 feet of a race...the finish line fanfare is intoxicating.
*The gift of running. Having spent most of my life believing I was not an athlete, I am so humbled (and proud) to call myself not just a runner, or a marathoner, but an Ultra Marathoner! It's never been my intention to impress people with my athletic prowess. Instead, I hope to inspire others to violate their own comfort zones. I now have nine marathons under my belt (two of which are ultras!), 41 half marathons, several 20K's, a few 10-mile races, and countless races of other distances. If I can be an "athlete" (with my less-than-athletic body), anyone else can be one, too.
*The blessing of a successful rally-back. Being side-lined from running for three months in 2017 (following an emergency surgery) was tough. I rallied back, though, and ran the 2018 Cannonball Marathon (Greensboro, NC). Last year, I ran a longtime bucket list race, the Marine Corps Marathon (Washington DC) under dreadfully rainy conditions, and I have been smiling ever since. Just recently (August) I experienced my first-ever stress fracture. I have rallied back before, and I know I can do it again. I am ever grateful for the journey running has taken me on, and all the highs and lows, and lessons learned along the way. I don't take any run (short or long) or race (easy or tough) for granted.
Anyways, those are just a few things I have been reflecting on this week. I think of these things often, but with Thanksgiving on deck, all the gratefulness has been front and center. Honestly, gratitude is a pretty simple gift to give oneself. It's yours for the taking...enjoy!
How about you? What are some things you're grateful for?
A lovely post, Kim!ReplyDelete
The appreciation for running after rallying back from an injury is something wonderful. I can relate, as I was also away from running in July/August this year.
I'm so happy for you that you are easing back into running again. What a great way to close on 2020!
Even the simple act of walking is pretty wonderful when it hasn't been an option for a couple of months ;-) Yes, rallying back feels so good...nothing is taken for granted!Delete
Happy Thanksgiving Kim! Yes these are strange times but it's a wonderful world filled with so much joy.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is a wonderful world!! There is much joy out there if we choose to look for it and not dwell on all the ugliness. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, too ;-)Delete
There truly is just nothing like the atmosphere at a race! And I hope you get to experience that again soon. My faith leans more on the spiritual side, and my family in general is not very religious -- but for me there is absolutely a belief in a higher power. Even when times are difficult.ReplyDelete
As I ask some of my family who don't have that, seriously, isn't it more comforting to believe? Have a great Thanksgiving, Kim!
I SO much agree with you on the comfort and security of having faith in a higher power. I have several family members (and some friends) who shun the "faith thing," too. At least we can pray for those who won't pray themselves, right? Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving to you as well!Delete
So many wonderful things to be grateful! I am still bummed that we have not met IRL at a race yet but I hope that changes! Your commitment and hard work has always been so inspiring to me! Have a great Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Janelle <3 I hope we can meet in real life someday as well. Happy Thanksgiving ;-)Delete
Being able to run is the best gift of all and when you get injured and can't run, we are so much more appreciative.ReplyDelete
We have met IRL and hope that we can meet again.
I will be so grateful and REAL races return. You need to come to NYC!!
I want to come & run in NYC someday! Yes, running is such a gift that I truly appreciate ;-)Delete
What an inspiring post, Kim! You have a lot to be thankful for - what a beautiful family. Aand it looks like your kids grew up, but you didn't change a bit! I am so grateful for my running friends (real and virtual) too. Sometimes you need to talk to someone who gets you and runners always seem to be there for each other. Glad we belong to such a supportive community. Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete
We certainly have a kick-buttocks network of runners ;-) Enjoy your Thanksgiving ;-)Delete
I miss the races too, but am still grateful for being able to run, for all the reasons you've noted. what a feel good post. Running is the best.ReplyDelete
I've missed racing, like everyone else, but at least we're all "suffering" together ;-) Even without all the race day excitement, the fundamental sport of running is still alive and thriving!Delete
I love this so much, and yes, we certainly do have a lot to be grateful for this year despite a global pandemic putting quite the damper on 2020. I'm honored to be a part of what you're grateful for, and I count our friendship among my many blessings!ReplyDelete
I'm honored to have YOU as a major player in my blessings ;-)Delete
All great things to be thankful for! I have definitely appreciated out virtual running community more than ever this year. It's helped so much to feel connected to other runners when real life has been so isolating!ReplyDelete
Awhile ago, I got in the habit of writing down three things I'm grateful for every night before lights-out, and it's become a habit in just normal day-to-day stuff now. Our running group is pretty amazing ;-)Delete
The photo of you and Max just made me smile - so cute! I'm also so thankful for my running tribe, and that you're a part of it! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, #KimTwin ;-) It's been great having you as one of the vitals in my tribe of runner friends <3Delete
In a year like this one, it's really nice to stop and look back at all the good we have in our lives. Thankful for our friendship :)ReplyDelete
Honestly, there's usually far more good than bad, it's always best to focus on that ;-) I'm thankful for our friendship, too ;-)Delete
Such a great post. It's important to take the time to remember what we are grateful for, especially in a year like 2020. Most of us are so fortunate with what we have. I love the running community, running friends, both virtual and in real life. I really miss racing life and will be very grateful when we get to do that again.ReplyDelete
You always have such a grateful and positive attitude. We need more of that in this world. I'm trying to focus on all the blessings this year, even if they aren't as plentiful as in years' past.ReplyDelete
What a year this has been! So many things to be thankful. We are neighbors yet we have not met. Hopefully next year!ReplyDelete
I think this year more than ever has been a time to truly appreciate what we have - the simple pleasures in life, the people that surround us, hobbies or sports that we participate in, our pets. I think my post would have been very similar to yours!ReplyDelete
So many things to be thankful for, even in a tough year. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete