The Burn Before the Buns: 6 Reasons to Do the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot


“We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat…” –Nickelback, “Rockstar”

–Actually, we LOVE to eat around here. We won’t don’t like doing is feeling unhealthy and of not being able to fit those cool rockstar clothes. –Let’s face it; there’s nothing more rockstar than looking in the mirror and loving what you see, so keeping fit helps make that happen.

Notwithstanding all that, we love to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, collard greens, corn, and—you’ve guessed it—buns. (—I haven’t started talking about all the dessert goodies!) Because we don’t want to deny ourselves this large family meal, we decided once and for all, as a family, that we would earn the right to just enjoy all that meal-time goodness without the guilt. After being a reluctant spectator at the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for a couple of years, we decided that we would do something more fun, last year was the first time that we participate in the Turkey Trot that leads the parade down its route.

Here are our 6 reasons for participating in a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

1. Channel the performer in me. While I know that this is not the rest of the family’s reason for doing it, for me, it is yet another chance to don a tutu and be a performer, leading in the rest of the parade. (—Bruce reminds me that even when I was tortured by having to sit through the Thanksgiving Parade, I always admired often costumed runners at the front of the parade. They are entertaining and always look like they are having a hell of a time.) Therefore, any opportunity to participate in having folks think I am the spectacle that I am is a good way to spend my time. Yes, count me in!

Turkey Trot Tutu

2. Healthy family activity. Now that my kids are getting older—16 and 19—it is nice to have something healthy that we can do as a family. I suspect that this activity would have worked when my kids were not much younger—I see runners and walkers pushing jogging strollers, sooo…. Again, it is a nice way to re-enforce a fitness-minded activity while spending quality time with the entire family. Along with choosing a live tree every Christmas, this is one of those bonding experiences that I am sure my kids will remember long after they have move on with their lives. What I also hope sticks with them is that you need to incorporate fun, fitness, and fellowship in your holiday traditions.

Arriving for the Turkey at the Crack of Nothing

3. Outdoor fall activity. We have lucked out so far and there has not been any really snowy or terribly cold and wet mornings. Instead, our experience has been that participating in the Turkey Trot has been an excuse to enjoy the outdoors when it is cold WITHOUT being so cold. –After all, once you are out there trotting along, you will warm up. –Well, everything except maybe your fingers will be pumping, so you WILL NOT stay cold, if you are handling your business.

Turkey Trot 2016; In the midst

4. Running/walking outside is spiritual. While Bruce says that compared to running on a treadmill, running outside is a whole new level of spirituality and cathartic. That you feel a one-ness with nature and that each run is different and presents its own struggle and its own set of challenges that make you feel like a conqueror once you overcome them. Plus, the view down Woodward Avenue—toward the Fox Theatre—on a crisp fall morning is beautiful and made me feel like I was enjoying the beauty of the world that I had never experienced before. I felt closer to God and it was calming for my soul.

The family fellows getting pumped for the run

5. Personal physical challenge. The 5k walk alone allows me to challenge myself physically, so I believe Bruce when he says that completing the 10k by running—even faster than last time and living up to that goal—helps build personal resilience that carries over into other parts of our lives. In other words, we feel that if we can meet the goals that we set physically in the race that we will be able to meet the other larger goals that we have in other areas of our lives. Joining a specifically-timed race like this makes us more accountable to achieving these goals. –And it doesn’t hurt to have folks all around doing their best and yet others cheering us on.

6. mitigates future calories. As I mentioned before, we love to eat. What better way to be sure that the mac and cheese and sweet potato pie don’t follow us through to the New Year? By getting the fitness in ahead of the feast, we make it easier to simply enjoy the rest of the day with friends and family, but still feel in touch with our overall health and fitness goals. Getting it in early really is the key. We are home by 11 a.m. and have the entire rest of the day to be couch potatoes.

The NOT so good part about doing the Turkey Trot include that darned cold weather, wanting to sleep in, and the fact running/walking with people can be a pain—their behavior—stopping without notice, throwing down water bottles, and stopping to take selfies—affects your own focus on your performance. Considering all these factors still convinces us that it is better to get out and get walking/running on Thanksgiving morning, so that you get that calorie burn in before you eat those buns.

Showing off our Turkey Trot Medals

What family fitness traditions does your family have?

Please share below.

As always, wishing you love, peace, and chicken grease. Until tomorrow...

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