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You Can't Make Me Wear Running Tights On Thanksgiving

Have you heard of this "active holiday" trend? You know, where people get outside as families and recreate during Thanksgiving or Christmas?

They say it's wonderful. That the fresh air revives you. That you burn calories to offset a heavy holiday meal. That you bond as a family.


Turkey Trot? Yeah Right.

Take this Turkey Trot thing happening in communities around America. A 5K? IN NOVEMBER?

I can just picture my family running a 5k together. First of all, my husband doesn't even own running "bottoms" of any kind. I have one word for his uniform of camo shorts with utility pockets: chaffing.

I, of course, have plenty of "active casual" wear but generally prefer to be more "casual" than "active" in it, so that's an obvious problem.

Let's say that by some miracle we do manage to get dressed appropriately for this Turkey Trot and arrive on time. We register and get our plastic numbers--or whatever people do at these kind of things--and then work our way over to the starting line where we are greeted by minions of fit people in tights.

Tights, people. This means we can see their well-defined muscles from running, which is what we'll be doing shortly, minus the "well-defined" part.

The race will start. My goal will be two-part: a) to not lose my children in a throng of people, and b) to not die. The first will be difficult because obviously they can run in that irritating way young people do without getting winded. Which means they'll be WAY get ahead of me, among the minions in tights. Conversely, I'll be sucking wind after two minutes and walking like a hunchback while clutching my side. Progress will be slow.

Eventually we'll finish, or surrender--whichever comes first. I'll probably be nauseated, which frankly is counterproductive to the plan of EATING THANKSGIVING DINNER, which is the high point of the holiday in the first place.

Football? Ha!

Another idea people seem to think is fun is playing football. No, I did not say WATCHING football; I said playing it.

On the one hand, pick-up football has spurts of activity followed by a lot of meandering about. Thus chaffing is far less of an issue, and I'm not likely to get too winded. Which is all well except for two things: flying balls headed toward my face, and tackling.

Regarding the first - flying balls headed toward my face - I know that God helpfully provided me with two arms to shield my face from objects hurtling through the air but somehow I've missed the part where you learn how to use them TO CATCH THINGS. I will be hit squarely in the nose. It will hurt.

As for tackling, I don't care what people say about it being a "touch" game: when there are kids (and some middle-aged men - you know who you are), there will be tackling. And guess who is just the funnest person to tackle? Mom.

Thanks but I'll pass.

No You Can't Make Me Wear Running Tights On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday for gratitude and family. It's a time to share our thanks to God for all he's given us, and to share our thanks for each other.

Though I'm sure recreation enhances gratitude and connection for some families, it wouldn't for mine and I'm okay with that. The focus for our family this year will be good dinner conversation, some mutual sports cheering, passing around babies, making Christmas plans, and generally enjoying each others' company amidst a pile of food.

No tights required.


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Showing 11 comments
  • Beth

    Interesting perspective on thanksgiving morning exercise. On some level I totally get it. I am attempting to be active again after about 20 years of being very inactive. The run/walk that I have participated in benefits a community agency that assists people with homelessness. The race is marketed as a way to give back, to help others, to gain a perspective of true giving on Thanksgiving day. My family system chooses to participate as a way of saying hey we get the rest of the day together and the least we can do is spend an hour giving of our time and energy to help someone not as fortunate. So in a world that struggles to figure out how to give practically sometimes, how to see someone else’s need and put our own needs a little lower, I think walking or running for the good of others on such a day is a worthwhile effort.

  • Lisa

    I can’t relate. I love doing activities with my family. Eating an excess of food just makes me sad for the 800 million other people in the world who go to bed hungry. It seems like an abuse of God’s blessings rather than a celebration of the One from whom it comes.

    • Karen

      Agreed, well said.
      And, there’s nothing wrong with getting together to enjoy a meal OR getting together to do something active. Or both! But let’s be mindful and thankful about it. No need to be spiteful toward others who want to be active. Especially when that activity is benefitting others too.
      I’m not sure what the purpose of this post is. It sure doesn’t seem very uplifting.

  • Jessica

    I hate to say it, but I find this post a bit on the offensive side. I think it’s totally fine if you don’t like to run on Thanksgiving — it’s certainly not for everyone. But I don’t like the way you belittle those who embrace this tradition for all its wonderful pro-family benefits. The exercise is great, and it’s probably the most fun activity we do on the holidays. It brings the community together and supports charity. And I don’t wear tights. Based on your description, it doesn’t sound like you’ve actually ever participated in a Turkey Trot. Which is fine, of course. But please don’t make it sound like the rest of us are a bunch of idiots.

    • Janet

      I agree with Jessica. Usually LifeTree posts articles that promote healthy family interaction, without creating discord among readers. Let’s be supportive of each other as we find ways to practice gratitude in our families.

  • C Glazner

    This is hilarious! My thoughts exactly. 😂

  • Jen

    With you 100%! 😂 the people wearing Santa hats and running when it’s 5* out on Christmas morning are the ones that get me.

  • Erin

    I understand. The “running world” can feel unwelcoming and competitive if it isn’t your usual scene. I’m not offended by your comments but just want to say that it can be really fun to walk with a stroller or a dog or a friend and just enjoy being outside. Most of these holiday walk/runs are extremely casual and less competition focused. Everyone is more encouraging. Walking is accepted and encouraged! Sometimes a full third of the participants are walking. It can also be fun to prepare for these kinds of events with a friend by doing regular walks or slow jogs together. Just my 2 cents.

  • Jessica

    Made me chuckle. It’s nice to see something fun and light-hearted. There is so much to argue over these days. But a post poking fun at exercising and your own laziness/lack of coordination, surely no one can get offended by that… oh wait.
    God is good and we have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, however you spend your day!

  • Danielle J Bowen

    To each his own way of celebrating Thanksgiving, but I agree with you!

  • Tavvy

    I don’t think this is a place for sarcasm. Lifetree is a Christian entity and this post certainly does not portray Christian values. It says in the bible that we should not be gluttons, that our bodies are temples. That means we should try to stay fit and not gouge on food. I think gathering a family together for a turkey trot is a great idea. It’s also an opportunity to fellowship with others. The author of this post just sounds like she feels guilty about not being active and is trying to bring down others in order to bring herself up. It’s tacky.

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