Full Circle Run

I live in suburbia, just outside of NYC, in a waterfront town that is a great place to raise children. I have lived here long enough to have watched the kids grow from our play-group days to being ready for "the talk." I have also seen many women take the journey from working professionals to bleary-eyed new moms, trying to lose baby fat, to finding themselves once again.

Every Thanksgiving, our town (like many others) puts together a Turkey Trot run. Ours is a challenging 5 miles that draws both the fastest runners around and families who want to spend time together in a healthy way. This year, my almost 11-year old asked to run it for the first time. While he's going to run the actual race with his dad, I have had the pleasure of doing his first "training" runs with him.

A few weeks ago, we ended up running together in our old neighborhood, where we lived until he was 18 months old. As we started, I remembered that I used to run this exact loop with him as an infant, pushing him in the purple baby jogger, singing nursery rhymes to keep him occupied and happy. 10 years later, I find him running stride for stride with me at about a 9-minute mile pace, covering that same ground. I can almost fit into his sneakers. This just doesn't seem possible and, yet, it does. Running along, crunching through fallen fall leaves, I thought about who we both were at that time. Me, a somewhat "lost" new mother, not knowing anyone in town, whose 3.5 mile loop was a saving grace in an otherwise baby-led day. Him, just a little guy, content to bounce along, listening to Mom, as she pushed forward. Sweet simplicity.

Fast-forward all these years, and I have just completed my first marathon and he has just completed his first race of any kind. I set a PR at that Turkey Trot and he ran it faster than his goal. I watched him running to the finishing line next to his dad, looking like identical twins. I saw him, after he finished, holding his medal, looking down at it. I wondered what he was thinking. Now, he says he's proud of himself and looking forward to the next challenge.

That baby jogger saw many more miles in a new neighborhood, with his little brother tucked carefully inside. Even though he's now 6, it's been years since he fit, and it's rusty and filthy from being outside, it's still on my deck. Long-ago, I read an article about runners being attached to old sneakers, because of the memories and miles and the physical endorphin high associated with them. I guess the same is true for my jogger. Whatever the reason, I know I need to let it go, and it finally feels like the right time.

With much gratitude for all the blessings I have...my children and all those I love topping that list, I wish everyone a Happy (belated) Thanksgiving. The playlist below is from my annual "Burn Off the Turkey Ride" on the day after Thanksgiving. It's inspired by both the old and the new...family, friends, and experiences. It grew to 2 hours this year and I am also so incredibly thankful to all of my students who continue to support me and my classes, week after week, year after year...

1. Sweet Surrender (DJ Tiesto Mix)/Sarah McLachlan
2. Apologize (Workout Remix)/Power Music Workout
3. Krazy Day N Nite/Mash-up of Pitbull, Lil John, Kid Cudi & Crookers
4. Walk On/U2
5. Machine Gun Shelter/Mash-Up of Commodores & Rolling Stones
6. Chasing Cars/Snow Patrol
7. Here Comes the Lovestepper/Mash-up of Lady GaGa & Ina Kamoze
8. Bad Romance/Lady GaGa
9. Say Hey (I Love You)/Michael Franti & Spearhead
10. Wizards In Winter (Instrumental)/Trans-Siberian Orchestra
11. Maggie Mae (Edit Version)/Rod Stewart
12. Save Esteem/Mash-Up
13. Eminence Front/The Who
14. Legs (Dance Mix)/ZZ Top
15. Sexy Chick (feat. Akon)/David Guetta
16. Better in Time (Reggae Mix)/Mash-up with Leona Lewis
17. I Can See for Miles (The Who-GHP Brighton Breaks Mix)/The Who
18. Feeling For Luxurious Love/Mash-Up of Black Eyed Peas/Gwen Stefani/Jason Hates Jazz
19. Joy To the World/Three Dog Night
20. Everlink/Mash-Up
21. Falling Stars (Canis & De Santos Mix)/Pulso Da Vida
22. Sympathy For the Devil (Full Phatt Remix)/The Rolling Stones
23. One Thing/Finger Eleven
24. Step To Silence (DJ Matt Hite Mashup)
25. Country Roads (Extended)/Fcdeejay vs. Destino featuring The Vain Boy
26. Who Says/John Mayer
27. Peaceful Easy Feeling/The Eagles
28. Maps (Live)/Yeah Yeah Yeahs


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