An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving thanks.

A number of years ago, I was living on my own. My daughter was with me part-time, but not on this particular Thanksgiving day. I'd gone out for a run in Weyerhauuser, a wooded area close to the apartment I lived in, and was about 2 miles into a 5 mile run when I was just struck by something.

The morning was rainy, but not so bad as to be miserable. Light misting rain, a typical northwest happening this time of year. People in the midwest look at rainfall numbers and think it can't rain that much in the northwest -- total rainfall isn't that different. Well, it just doesn't fall as hard most of the time, just a constant drizzle. People around here really DO know the difference between partly cloudy and partly sunny.

Anyway, I was trotting along a path that paralleled I-5, with a very large field separating the highway from the trail I was on. I looked over at the highway, people headed out for family gatherings, and just had this epiphany moment, thinking of how much we take for granted in this country, the birthplace of Thanksgiving.

The U. S. of A. has become so car-centric that it's oftentimes considered risking one's life to run or ride a bike on the roads. People in cars tend to have the highest degree of self-importance, insulated in their boxes from personal contact. "We" are trespassing on "their" roads.

Instead of being thankful for the privilege and responsibility of owning and operating an automobile on roads paid for by EVERYbody, they feel entitled to their share, and damned-be any one who slows down their forward progress.

And as I saw the throngs of people zipping by at the speed limit plus 5 (or 10, or...), I wondered... How many people are stressed about getting a dinner ready for SO MANY PEOPLE? How many are hoping that their crazy aunt doesn't start talking about that time when they...? How many people were telling their kids "we'll get there when we get there" with ever-rising blood pressure, dreading rest of the over-the-river-and-through-the-woods to grandmother's house? How many people are actually setting aside the day to actually DO what the holiday was made for? Giving of thanks.

It was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, saying that we, as a nation, need to set aside a day to give thanks for the country we live in, the freedoms we enjoy, the resources we have at our disposal.

Enjoy the feasts of the day. Enjoy gathering of family and friends. Enjoy a run or ride, if you have time and opportunity. But also take a little time to give some thanks for being able to do these things.

I give thanks in this medium that I have the ability and resources to publish my thoughts, my health, at least enough that I can do the things I do, and that you all have given some time to indulge me.

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