I love kicking off the holiday season with Thanksgiving. It sets the stage for all things good: friends, family, food and gratitude. One of the things we love in Italian culture is to cook for people. It brings a feeling of excitement when someone eats the food you prepared for them. The feeling is incredible! Thanksgiving is all about people: those who came before us and those who are still with us. It’s the food and the people!
The other reason Thanksgiving is so special to me is that it is a time to reflect on how wonderful life is. Vision Quest has blessed me with great people. I am so thankful for each and every athlete involved with VQ (past, present and future!). The ability to be part of someone’s athletic journey is a gift that I appreciate. I also am thankful for having a great group of people with whom I work on a daily basis. The VQ team is a passionate one that wants the athlete experience to be spectacular. Their complete commitment to making VQ better inspires me every day. They are all big-time Givers. We are blessed and excited to do what we get to do each and every day.
Now, for us as athletes, there is a side to the holidays that can be tough. Many of us might feel stressed when trying to stay focused on exercise and proper diet. Understand that this is a struggle for all of us. This is a GOOD thing! Think about this: if you are able to keep your diet and exercise routine perfect over the holidays, you may be out of balance. Time spent with family and friends or helping out at local charities becomes way more important than getting all of the specific workouts in. At this time of year, eating and being social and present with others becomes way more important than that super strict carb restriction you are focusing on. This is one of those things where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The holiday season is the time to prioritize the things that mean the most. That might mean a slight gain in weight or a slight drop in fitness. That’s OK! It can be easily fixed with a couple of good weeks of training in January as long as the hole you dig is not too deep. To be honest a little extra around my belly and some loss in fitness reminds me that we all have a pretty good life! If you’re really worried about the food, maybe eat a huge salad before heading out to enjoy parties and events. That way, when the appetizers appear, you won’t feel like you want to eat the entire platter.
Looking to the new year, I am eyeing a return to normalcy once again. I’m coming off a crazy month that included a bit of a cycling spill that required surgery, Dave and his team have moved our Chicago location and we are overhauling our entire billing system. Life is busy, but you know me: I consider myself blessed to be busy!
Enjoy these next weeks. Keep your mind focused on the most important things and when you get a chance to train make the most of it. Watch your portions and make sure you smile and reflect often. Savor these moments–we never know how many we will have.
Thanks to all of you for another great year!