This past year, I spent a good portion of the prime running months sidelined with a very unhappy foot. Throughout this time, I tried very hard to just be thankful that it wasn’t something worse. I wasn’t very successful most of the time. The runner brain kicked in and all I could focus on was the fact that I couldn’t run, that I couldn’t train, that I was going to lose fitness, etc.
But as the time went on, and the injury wasn’t getting any better, I found a shift in my attitude for the most part. I started to be thankful for the mornings the foot wasn’t too sore to get in a slow, easy run. I was thankful for the gym, for opening at 5 a.m. so I could at least go for a swim. I was thankful for the people in my life, who would call to check on me, who would find ways to make me laugh and to get my focus to change from what I couldn’t do…to what I still could do.
But there were other things to be thankful for this year. Here is a small list:
I am thankful for my family, who I don’t get to see often enough. I wish I could come visit every weekend, because living so far away makes me feel like I am missing so much. I have seven nieces and nephews…and every time I see them, they’ve grown up more and have changed so much. It’s so hard. But through the distance and over the years, my family’s love and support and constant phone calls and texting have seen me through both good and bad times. I am nothing without my family.
I am thankful for my secondary family…my roommate (Cathy), and her immediate family…Amanda, Judi, Janet, and Richie. For dinner’s out, movies in, and always being up for an adventure. Oh…and for letting me cook for you.
I am thankful for my job. It may not be what I want to be doing, but I am really good at it and I get a lot done. I know I can complain a lot about it, but it’s just because I’m a perfectionist and, as in life, the job isn’t always perfect.
I am thankful for my friends, those I can see on a regular basis, those I can see a few times a year, and those I rarely get to see…because without friendships…life is lonely. And whether we see each other always or never, the fact that you are always there and a part of my life means the world to me. Friendship is one of the single most important things in life. If you find yourself lacking friends, go and rekindle some you thought you lost…or go make some new ones.
I am thankful for the ability to cook. Because nothing makes me feel happier than being able to take a few fresh ingredients and turn it into something new and something, hopefully, delicious. I used to set things on fire when I tried to cook…but when I moved here, it became something I needed to learn. I caught on fast.
I am thankful for fresh foods, and good gluten-free products. Being a gluten-free vegetarian is hard. Add being an athlete to it, and it becomes even more of a challenge. That being said…changing my diet has been a challenge, both budget-wise, and health-wise. But it’s important and it had to be done. I’ve gotten some help this year when I signed up for Cuisine Cube…and thankfully, fresh fruits and veggies are always gluten-free…and are two of my favorite things in life.
I am thankful for each year I can travel up to Minnesota and see my family there. Moments with my grandpa are my most cherished.
I am thankful to be able to travel. Sometimes it’s not far. Sometimes it’s not even somewhere people would call fun or interesting…but nothing makes me happier than exploring somewhere new and stepping away from real life for a little while.
I am thankful to my friends who run…for inspiration, encouragement, and for just being awesome. You all know who you are.
It’s Thanksgiving Day. What are you thankful for?