My older daughter Megan came home for Thanksgiving this year and her younger sister, Ryan, went with her boyfriend to his family gathering. As I baked the pumpkin pie that is Megan’s favorite and has come to be somewhat of a tradition when she comes home for the holidays, I pondered what all I was thankful for this year. Somehow, baking that pie makes me thankful for my wonderful daughter but also for all of the years I spent raising her, making plenty of mistakes mind you but to now be at a place of perspective to enjoy her company and look back on those years as ones well spent despite the stress of raising a family, working and somehow maintaining sanity in the midst of it all.
Having totally changed my life this year to go back and seek my doctoral degree, I am thankful for the opportunity to do so. I am also thankful for the extra time I have in my schedule now that I trained for and ran my first half marathon.
Given the opportunity to share a tradition that Megan has built with her dad of running the annual Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot was another experience for which to be thankful. Being in probably the best shape of my adult life, I was anxious to see if I could win my class in the race. I did place 6th out of 69 females in my age bracket and at the same time shaved a half-minute off my mile pace from the time I ran this same 5K, 13 years ago.
I attribute my success to my training since July but also to my applying my sports nutrition principles as a member of CPSDA to myself while training. I have been amazed at how quickly my body has adapted to my training with good nutrition and enabled me to achieve my milestones. It seems as if my thighs have no trouble covering ground at speeds and distances I thought I would never achieve physically. However, the big win was getting to spend this time with Megan and her dad and having Thanksgiving breakfast together at Denny’s afterwards.
Heading down to Georgetown to spend some time with my own mom brought another reason to be thankful. At the same time it was bittersweet because afterwards, I took Megan to Austin to help her look for apartments as she graduates from Southwestern University next month with a double major in History and Political Science. She is hoping to work as a legislative aide or lobbyist in the future.
We enjoyed our typical mother/daughter bonding of shopping, dining, talking and walking as she made plans for her future. It was with some hesitation that I dropped her back at school knowing that in the coming years as she becomes an established member of the workforce and possibly starts a family of her own, it may be more difficult to share another Thanksgiving like the one we shared this year. However, like all the years spent raising her, I will have the memories…and for this year at least, I can be thankful for pies and thighs.