The Fit and Fluffy Momma

embracing my 'fluff' while finding my 'fit'

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What the Turkey Trot means to me...

Sometimes you have to experience the inability to do something in order to appreciate having the ability, or even to have a desire to do it when you are able to.  That's what the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning means to me.

This morning I ran in my local Turkey Trot's 10K, and I literally almost started crying a few times along the course. Not because of discomfort, but rather from a place of deep gratitude. I grew up with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which meant that I was unable to be very active as a child, and definitely couldn't run because it affected my right knee the most. It would go into remission from time to time, but eventually it got to a point where I couldn't even walk without limping when I was in 5th grade. My parents thought I'd end up in a wheelchair. I was too young to think about long-term effects.  

By the grace of God, I have been arthritis-free for over 10 years now, which is a whole other story in itself. I took up jogging/walking as a form of exercise around that time, really just because I could. It was almost like a rebellious thing because I hadn't been able to for so much of my life. It didn't mean a whole lot to me then, but I found satisfaction in doing it and enjoyed reaching new goals, like making it 1/4 mile without stopping to walk. (In the beginning I could barely make it 20 feet!)  I did my first Turkey Trot when I was in my early 20's. It was the 1 mile course, and I had to walk a good portion of it. Over the past year I have become more aware of how blessed I am to have the ability to do the things that I was once unable to do, that I could have possibly never had the ability to do, and I have become increasingly grateful for the opportunities that I now have.

The 10K course of my local Turkey Trot has always passed my parents' street where I grew up. Last year was the first year that I did the 10K and they were at the end of their street watching me, as they were again this year. And as I ran past them this morning, I again felt overwhelming grateful that my parents, who thought I would end up in a wheelchair as a child, have been given the opportunity to watch me run a 10K in my 30's.

I run because I am able to, and I am grateful.  Which makes Thanksgiving my favorite day to run. And that is what the Turkey Trot means to me.

~*Do what you can, because you can. Somewhere someone is wishing they had the same opportunities. Don't waste them.*~

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