Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. These three things are paramount, year-round, but especially this time of year.
This has been quite a year, for us all. So many changes, and still so many unknowns. Yet, so much to be thankful for.
I've written previous Thankful posts (in 2020, 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 awesome family. 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!
|10-year photo challenge 2009 and 2019|
*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.
|2018 Chicago Rock'N Roll|
|2019 Credit Union Cherry Blossom in DC|
*Maxton McArthur. We adopted Max from a nearby animal shelter almost seven 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!), 43 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 year after a 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). A year later, I ran a longtime bucket list race, the Marine Corps Marathon (Washington DC) under dreadfully rainy conditions, and I have been smiling ever since. A year ago, I experienced my first-ever stress fracture. I had rallied back before, and I knew I could do it again...and I did. 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?
BTW...Are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
Yes! So many things to be grateful for!ReplyDelete
To me, there's a key sentence in your last paragraph: "I think of these things often". Thanksgiving is a nice tradition, but I fully agree with you that it's important to remind ourselves of being appreciative and thankful all year round.
Especially the lows (injuries, illness and worse still, death) remind us of how precious the good things in life are.
Enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving, Kim!
Thank you so much, Catrina ;-) I believe gratitude is EVERYTHING. It's far better to focus on the good than dwell on the bad...in everything.Delete
I've really tried harder to adopt an attitude of gratitude this year. I'm naturally pessimistic, so it can be hard, but I'm trying to pay attention to moments where I feel good, safe, and loved and acknowledge them instead of racing on to the next task.ReplyDelete
I will sometimes physically sit still and just repeat: I am safe. I am loved.
You're inspiring me to keep on with my 3x/week running habit! In this busy season of life (career changes, relatively young children), I don't feel like I ramp up physical activity as much as I'd like to, but seeing how you carve out the time for physical/mental wellbeing in the form of exercise is truly inspiring!
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I live in Canada so we celebrated a while ago (second Monday in October), but I'm loving all these gratitude prompts from south of the border :)
Oh, thank you ;-) I'm not a psychologist, but I think acknowledging you may have pessimistic tendencies is actually a positive thing for one's well-being. Being aware of it is far better than ignoring it because you can be more aware of focusing your thoughts elsewhere, to happier things. Good luck with the running! I look forward to hearing more about your progress!!Delete
You definitely have a gift for writing, Kim! What a great list if things to be thankful for!ReplyDelete
I'm grateful for my family and friends, for my pets and for good health. Also very grateful for a lot of local walking, running and hiking this year. We couldn't really travel due to Covid, so all this outdoors activity has kept me going! I've discovered so many local gems! I've made new friends through running and hiking! I've started the blog and discovered this wonderful running blogger community. I've done a bunch of 5Ks!
Thank you ;-) While Covid has been hard (and devastating for many), it has also given us many opportunities to appreciate the simpler things we may have taken for granted during easier times.Delete
There is definitely much to be grateful for in your life, Kim! Whenever I start feeling down, I try to turn to what I'm grateful for -- that always turns my mood around.ReplyDelete
Hugs to Max. :)
Absolutely!! Gratitude will brighten anyone's day ... if they allow it ;-)Delete
I am truly grateful for my running friends. I doubt I would be running as much without them. I also appreciate all those virtual ones. They listen and provide the support I need. It is even better when I get to meet them IRL.ReplyDelete
Running friends, truly, are the best. Yes, it IS fun meeting them IRL!!!!Delete
A very beautiful post: so many reasons to be grateful for.ReplyDelete
I am very grateful for the support of my family and for my running friends, some of which now are running in heaven.
And I am also grateful to the Harbour Master of the time when I was in the Navy Team who went out of his way not to let me be on duty the day before the races.
Awh, that's great, Stefano! Lots to be grateful for, now and in years past!Delete
I like "gratitude is a gift to give oneself." Life is so much better when you're constantly finding things to be thankful for. I love all the photos in this post- the ten year collage of the family is amazing, and Max is the cutest dog in the entire world!!! Hope you're enjoying the week!ReplyDelete
Gratitude is such a beautiful gift. It's not one to be taken for granted. And I have to agree...Max is the cutest dog in the entire world ;-)Delete
I love this! I love where you talked about being free to run "your way" . I'm finding myself in that same freedom and it's absolutely awesome. I'm grateful that we've been able to connect virtually and I love seeing everything you're up to. Plus I love your neat talent of drying a manicure while getting in a run or time on the elliptical!ReplyDelete
I spent so much time and energy (and oodles of frustration) trying to run like other people...high mileage, certain paces, etc. And it was just not worth it. I've learned that I thrive on moderate mileage and my finish times seem to agree ;-)Delete
You sure have a lot to be grateful for. I try to always remember how much I have to be thankful for. We certainly are blessed.ReplyDelete
I love all the running friends pics too!
Thank you, Denise ;-) I am so grateful for all of my dear running friends, even the ones I've never met in person ((yet)).Delete
Beautifully said Kim - even with all the tough days, there is so much to be grateful for. Like you, I never considered myself an athlete, so calling myself a runner is really special! I'm thankful for running, for this running community, and yes, for the family for putting up with it all!ReplyDelete
There is far more to be grateful for than negative stuff to dwell on. That said, I don't ignore the "bad" stuff, I just choose to focus my energy and attention elsewhere ;-)Delete
It can be easy to focus on the stress of daily annoyances and overlook all that we have to be thankful for. I am very thankful for our friendship! Means the world to me :)ReplyDelete
Love this! Its a good time to reflect on what we are thankful for, even in the midst of a challenging year.ReplyDelete
So so much to the thankful for! I'm definitely thankful for the ability to move my body - I never take that for granted. I'm also thankful for my family and friends, especially you #kimtwin!ReplyDelete
I share so many of the same things to be grateful for. I am grateful for our friendship through running and blogging! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete
LOVE, LOVE this post! Thank you for everything!!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post! There's a lot to be grateful for this year. I keep thinking how I'll never take a race for granted after 2020!ReplyDelete