Advent is here!! My 4 weeks of “holiday time” begins to enjoy the warmth of a renewed self while I prepare for the Christmas season taking Thanksgiving and being Thankful for all the blessings that surround me. And the blessings that I can provide. Though I probably ate the least amount of food I ever ate on Thanksgiving (with probably only 3 slices of turkey to boot), I was surrounded that day by a few close friends and most importantly, Gina, enjoying the 75 degree weather outside. After a morning racing in the Turkey Trot 8K as Rita’s Ice Guy, where I ran faster and more efficiently to a 33 minute top 100 out of some 3000 folks, I had mad fun “cream icing” some turkeys since I didn’t actually eat much of any. Kristina Fisher and her beach soccer teammates came out to race too and was fun to get the group to represent Rita’s. It was also the first day Gina and I had off together after a consecutive week+ of work, and since the commercialization of the holidays has us practically working through it, we just “savored” what was around us, not caring really how much we had on our dinner plates (though she did make an awesome sweet potato bread and chorizo balls). Our REAL plates were full anyway and a little quiet time was stuffing enough to make us content. And some wine of course.

The weekend before Thanksgiving was also the final 5K race for the boys at Let Me Run. A great turnout of over 1300 boys from the Charlotte Area with their families and warm weather for them to race in. My crew at Dilworth Elementary had a fantastic race and all were elated to finish and get that medal. Special shout out thanks to Janelle,Maddy, Libby, Jack, and Stuart for all their help coaching the 18 of them this season. I was also able to see many a familiar face in fellow coaches and friends at the event, while Gina even helped volunteer a few hours at the Merchandise Tent with Jeri and Susi. That week was the start of the consecutive work streak for both of us where we didn’t get to see much of each other. Fortunately that ended at the Turkey Trot and we had the day.

However, since we both had to work long hours on Black Friday, we both called it an early evening on Thanksgiving. That’s was it for us on that holiday. Save the big bottle of sangria for Saturday. Oh yeah, and our boy Holmes turned 10 this week!!

But now for me, the REAL holiday starts – ADVENT. Yes, the preparation to this point has been great. The adjustment to shorter, slightly colder days have been completed. I have started compiling the new MC Mental Ipod playlists thanks to pounding album releases by Skillet (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzw6A2WC5Qo) and Metallica. The seek, find, and conquer of this darkness within has been played. Now I truly “shine” some light on it and welcome with open heart the Christmas time. People can shop all they want. Sales will always be there. Go crazy wackos. But each year at this time I just have to “pay” more attention to the details around me. Find the “discounts” that are often unmarked, and simply give back in my savings for others to enjoy. Donate it. Recycle it. Challenging yes, and when people ask me “What’s your next race?” I think they wouldn’t quiet understand it when I say “Advent”. I would even tell them it’s my toughest race each year. Each and every year. A win-win though in the end.

So I wish everyone blessings this holiday season. Be Thankful. Greet the Season truthfully. Embrace it and those around you. The star above and your heart within will lead you home. Yo.

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