Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. --W.T. Purkiser
If I ran a mile for everything I am thankful for this year, I could run to California and back. There are specific years in my life that will always stand out as times I was specifically blessed. The year 2000, when I met my best friend who would later become my husband in 2004. The year 2004 is also when I graduated from college. The year 2007 when I gave birth to my amazing little boy. The year 2010 when my daughter made our family complete. Those years, plus many more, have had such events that undoubtedly made me feel like the most blessed person in the world. 

This year, 2011, hasn't had anything I would consider as monumental as past events. I turned 30 in April. While that was a milestone birthday, I didn't necessarily feel blessed so much as "Holy crap I'm getting OLD." Yes, I completed my first marathon in June, and while that's no small feat, it didn't change my life, flip it upside down and turn me into a new person, like becoming a mom did. 

Although running a marathon didn't change me as a person (aside from getting me in shape and in smaller pants), it taught me a valuable lesson. Running, and having the ability to run, has taught me how incredibly blessed I am, and how thankful I should be. Each and every step I take when I'm out running is a blessing. For me, running is simple - I don't have to think about it. I don't bat an eye at the thought of running 6 or more miles on a given day. I know there are people who wish they had that simple pleasure. People who once ran but now can't. People who have never even laced up a running shoe. Those people make me feel so incredibly thankful this year.

I obviously can't go out and run a mile for everything and everyone I am thankful for this year. However, before I go celebrate Thanksgiving with my family Thursday, I will take the time to dedicate a few miles to the people who inspire me to get out there and run. The people who encourage me to keep going when I want to quit. The people who wish they could spend a few hours a week with the wind in their hair and the road under their feet. The people whom I've never even met but who have touched my life in a way they will never know. For them, I am so very blessed and so incredibly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Take the time to think about why you're thankful this holiday season and share it with others!

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,

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