Focus on Fitness: Holiday Traditions Not Based on *gasp* FOOD | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Courtesy: St. Pete Times Turkey Trot

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Raise your hand if you did a turkey trot yesterday!

I did! I woke up at 5 a.m. to run with 16-thousand of my favorite friends in the world. Yes, in my town, more than 16-THOUSAND people got up to run the turkey trot.

And I must say, standing in the middle of a sea of people for as far as the eye can see, all lined up to run on Thanksgiving morning always takes my breath away and makes me feel a little extra thankful.

I ran with people pushing jogging strollers, running with their dogs, running in full turkey, pilgrim, and/or Native American regalia, people in wheelchairs, wearing pajamas, old people and young people. There were bands along the route and an old guy gave me some beads as I ran past.

It was a 6.2 mile Thanksgiving party.

This was my third year doing the turkey trot and it’s our newest holiday tradition and I am all about traditions. My husband and I wake up at 5 a.m. My parents come over and my mom watches the kids and sticks the turkey that I prepped the night before in the oven while I am gone and she watches the kids while my dad, my husband and I get in a quick turkey trot. We come home, shower, I finish cooking and the rest of the family comes over at 2.

I was never aware of the turkey trot prior to my first one 2 years ago. To me, the turkey trot is Thanksgiving’s best kept secret. I would never in a million years have gotten up to run on  a  holiday much less go to the gym or exercise or anything like that. The holidays were for taking time off (and subsequently gaining 7-10 pounds that I’d have to get off myself sometime after January 1st.) That was my normal holiday tradition.

But now I’m finding that we’re building new traditions and I’m finding that they’re fitness-related instead of food-related (or maybe because of the food-related ones) and among them is the turkey trot. Now I can’t picture myself NOT doing a turkey trot on Thanksgiving day. NOT doing one now would just be weird. Because each year I strive to beat my previous year’s turkey trot time (I’m still racing for that holy grail of a 10k under 1 hour but I did beat my time by 15 seconds this year so that’s something.) And each year it’s a new way to bond with my family. And to burn a quick 600 calories at the same time. And I also find, too, that I eat a little bit less than I would have if I had not run earlier. Win win all the way around!

After the turkey trots are all said and done, there are, of course, the Jingle Bell runs and dashes going on and that, too, is becoming another holiday tradition for my family. Each year we pick a jingle bell run or a dash and we finish off the year with a 5k and we drag everyone we can along, from my dad to my brother-in-law. It’s the best-spent $18 this holiday season because, hey, we’ll get a tee-shirt, some other free stuff, and we’ll get to make a few more family memories not based on pie or cookies and holiday memories are really what the holidays are about anyway, right? Besides, an $18 5k registration also doubles as a pretty good Christmas gift!

Fitness-related holiday traditions of course don’t have to be based on 5k’s, 10k’s or even running (if that’s not your sort of thing.) You can head out for some ice skating (here in Florida, we do that inside), climbing hills to go sledding, get in a post-turkey flag football game or any other millions of things so my question to you is: how about you? Do you have any favorite fitness-related holiday traditions? Did you do a turkey trot yesterday? (If so, how did you do??)

Please share them here with everyone! We could all use a few new ideas for great new holiday traditions!

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