Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Three Things Thursday - The Thanksgiving Addition

Thursday, November 28, 2013
It is officially Thanksgiving. There are turkeys in the oven and people traveling great distances to see family and friends. Of course there are also Turkey Trots and Gobble Wobbles of varying distances scheduled for this morning. I won't be among the race runners this morning. I'm heading off shortly for coffee and pie baking with Mom, followed by Thanksgiving dinner. 

Did I mention there would be PIE!!
Mmmmm, pie!

Pie aside, I will be running Sunday in a Cold Turkey 10k. I am hoping that it stays a "Cold" Turkey event and not a "Cold & Wet" or "Frozen" Turkey 10k. Fingers crossed!!

Of course, Thanksgiving is not really about food and races and shopping. It is supposed to be about gratitude; about giving thanks for the many blessing that we have - both the big ones and the small ones. Personally, I have a great deal to be thankful for; enough for me to write for days. I will spare you all that list and limit it to my top three of the day - after all, it is "Three Things Thursday."

#1 Family and Friends 
I am incredibly grateful for my family (both the blood and extended) and my friends. They have stuck by my side and supported me through a lot of my insane misadventures and even participated in some of them. We cheer each other on as we set out to achieve our goals and, should we fall short, we lift them up and encourage them to try again. 
2013 Army Ten Miler Expo
Photo courtesy of Michelle Klein

#2 The Gifts of Running and Yoga
I am extremely grateful for finding both yoga and running. 

Yoga taught me that my practice - whether it was my yoga practice, my writing, my art, and my running - is just that MY practice. It is not anyone else's . The only person that I am in competition with is my self and my own ego. 

Running has not only given me back my health, but also taught me that nothing is impossible. It has taught me that hard work and determination can help me reach goals that I once thought were unobtainable. Most importantly, running has helped me find myself. 

#3 Faith - Ishvara pranidhana - Surrender - ईश्वर-प्रणिधान
While I could have filed this under yoga, I felt it was more deserving of its own heading because it is far greater than just the practice of yoga. Yes, it is part of yoga, but I have great gratitude for it entirely on its own.
Ishvara prandihana is Sanskrit and comes from the Niyamas (the Dos) of yoga. In its simplest form Ishvara means a higher power, God, the supreme being, our higher self. Prandihana means to surrender or have faith in. 

Surrender to God. Surrender to the higher power.

It is not a concept that requires you to be religious in order to follow it. It is about giving ones self over to a moment or moments. It is about having faith in that higher power, in God, or in yourself. When I run, it is about having faith in the training, letting go of worry, and letting my body and mind carry me to where it is meant to be. When I am doing yoga, it is about surrendering to the pose rather than fighting it - allowing my body to be where it needs to be at that moment. 

It is not about rolling over and taking bullshit though. My favorite explanation for ishvara pranidhana was written by Deborah Adele in "The Yamas & Niyamas:"

"[Ishvara pranidhana] asks us to be strong enough to engage each moment with integrity while being soft enough to flow with the current of life."

For my religious readers, it is summed up in the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
So fight the battles that need to be fought and just go with the flow when the time calls for it. It will all work out the way it is meant to - not always the way we want it to but it will work itself out, just the same.

I will close with this...

Practice some surrender today. Give yourself over to the time with family, or to your morning run, or what ever it may be. Be grateful for all your have, no matter how insignificant it may seem - the roof over your head, the car you drive, the job that keeps your bills paid. What ever it is...give thanks. 
Happy Thanksgiving 

~ Theresa

1 comment on "Three Things Thursday - The Thanksgiving Addition"
  1. Beautiful post. I hope you had a restful Thanksgiving and don't freeze your giblets during Sunday's run!