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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Loop with Thoughts of Gratitude

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           One of my Thanksgiving traditions is to run.  I bet you would have never guessed.  Smile  And so that is exactly what I did today.  I woke at 5:30 AM and hit the dirt about 6:40 on a cold Thanksgiving morning.  Usually, I try to not think when I run.  Today however, I dedicated my run to thinking about all that I am thankful for.  And there is so much – too much to put in a couple of pages.  First and foremost, I am thankful for being born.  And I am thankful for my husband and three wonderful sons.  I am thankful for my health.  And I am thankful for my mom and dad.  They taught me so much – one of the most important being to never give up, and also the importance of family – that we are here to help one another. 

As I ran down an empty Aliso Creek Trail bundled in gloves and beanie, I thought about how lucky I was to grow up with one sister, and now I have 5 sisters!  And they are all top-notch women.  In addition to my 3 great brothers, I gained 3 more – as well as another mother and father who also are quality, loving people.  For these people I am truly thankful.

I am thankful for my friends as well:  my writing friends, my running friends, and my friend friends.  I am especially thankful for one of most wonderful people that I have met on this earth, my friend, Bernadine Fraser.  Though we haven’t seen each other face-to-face in a few years, I still am affected by her overwhelming love and sweetness and great humor.  And to think, we met at a job that I was laid-off from many, many years ago (after putting in 9 years there).  Though I was devastated over losing that job, I could never say or feel that I wish that I never worked there.  I met many great friends at this company, one of them, Bernadine.  We laughed together, we cried together, we read great, great books together.  For these friends I am thankful for.  (I wish I could list them out, but I fear to do so because I am bound to forget to type a few names). 

I am also  thankful for my students.  They have taught me so much.  They taught me to smile even when I don’t feel like it.  They taught me the importance of kindness.  And they taught me that people learn in many ways.  (After getting laid-off from the job mentioned above I became a teacher – so I have to say that I am thankful also for getting laid-off from a long held job). 

When I turned down Wood Canyon this morning the ground was muddy and I was still alone.  The run felt effortless as I thought about my children – and though it’s tough, tough, tough being a mom, I appreciate each of their special gifts and especially their love.  I am also thankful for our middle son’s surgeries – not grateful that he had to go through them so much, but in a way, I suppose so, because they have made him who he is.  But I am more grateful that doctors could do something to save his life.  I am especially thankful for Dr. Louden.   And I am so thankful my boy has been seizure free as well, for more than a year.  But more than that, I’m thankful that if he does have another seizure or even surgery, we can get through it.  He is a strong boy.  We are strong, despite our weakness.

Aside from these very important aspects of my life, I am so, so thankful that I became a runner.  I hated running.  IN A MILLION YEARS, I would have never thought that I would HAVE TO RUN.  More than that – I am grateful that I stumbled, and I mean stumbled upon trail running.

I am thankful for Meadows Trail:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for green meadows and ridiculously steep trails (like Mentally Sensitive):SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am even thankful for snails, because I know they have some purpose (I just don’t know what it is):SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for the skies and mountain views:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful that I learned the patience to run long distances:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for reaching the top of a climb, and taking the time to take goofy, sweaty pictures, because I sometimes still can’t believe that I did it!SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for ocean views:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for Cholla cactus on Cholla Trail:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for breaking through countless spider webs on isolated trails like Wood Creek Trail:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for creek side runs:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for spotting deer in a grove of trees (and many, many other wildlife):SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am thankful for the final stretches, and also seeing that there are other psychos out there doing the same thing:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA


13 miles (20.92 km) run this morning:  Aliso Creek Trail, Wood Canyon, Meadows, Mentally Sensitive, Top of the World, West Ridge,  Cholla Trail, Wood Creek, Wood Canyon, Aliso Creek – this was my Thanksgiving 2011 loop.


  1. i think thanksgiving is my (new) favorite holiday because it makes us think of all the things we have to be thankful for! hope you and your family had a great thanksgiving!

  2. Very cool pictures, that looked like a great run! Thats what getting out there and running is all about...

  3. Thanksgiving is great that way Lindsay! Thanks for reading. And Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and your comment Ed. It's not Alaska, but it sure is lovely here in Southern California on the trails -- I really can't get enough : )