Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us!

(I couldn’t help myself) Sorry for the Seinfeld reference…I just really love that it’s still on ALL THE TIME and appreciate each episode mostly because I’ve seen all of them at least three times.

It's a Festivus Miracle!

It’s a Festivus Miracle!

Okay, WOW… the holidays have CERTAINLY snuck up on us this year haven’t they?? (What is it about this season that makes life feel like it’s moving at light speed??)

There are a couple traditions I have every year that make sure to let me know that the festivus is upon us:

The Mile High United Way Turkey Trot at Denver’s Washington Park.

Our 2013 Turkey Trot squad featuring a very special Aussie guest

Our 2013 Turkey Trot squad featuring a very special Aussie guest

My family has always participated in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day as long as I can remember. I never actually ever ran the full 4 miles until three years ago when I got my first running leg. After the loss of my leg, actually RUNNING and FINISHING the entire 4 miles (which is totally far for me…still) was pretty much a non existent thought. It’s funny the way that life takes its turns, and things that didn’t even take up space in your brain become a big part of your life.  The Turkey Trot is extremely special to me, because since I have been running it, my dad (my coach) runs it by my side the entire time (my brother, my mom and my other friends all go at their self-selected pace and we meet up at the end). Every Turkey Trot I am struck with the thought of how grateful I am to spend another day with my family, doing something that brings me so much joy especially coming from a place like having cancer where the likelihood of all of that seemed so grim just years ago. It’s just a cool feeling every year, to laugh and run with those who I love so dearly, then eat and absurd amount of turkey and then nap it out right afterwards. I love Thanksgiving.

Another important holiday event in my life is working The Colorado State Spirit Championship in different capacities for a decade now (jeeze). Each time I get the pleasure to judge cheerleading competitions, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of how grateful I am to still be a part of a sport that I hold so dear to my heart. I remember my first competitions, and thinking that the judges table was some unattainable area in my life. Like that table was Olympus and I was like just some ancient greek dude(tte) trying to prove my worth. I always felt like being really really good at cheerleading might never happen for me. Thankfully, my college career really solidified my confidence as a team mate and as an individual athlete, and I am so honored each time that throughout what I’ve learned in my career I get to share with other kids that may feel the same way I felt. Some of them will probably sit in the same seat I am in now when I give them advice and motivation to not only better the team but better themselves. (Which is totally cool!) I will always love cheer world because it is in that place where I knew I could push my athletic career beyond any boundaries that were set on me. (Plus, ANYTIME was a good time for an impromptu dance party)

Our most recent DU Cheer Alum get together

Our most recent DU Cheer Alum get together

Since these recent events have already passed for this year, I have just been going around feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my life in the state that it is now. I can’t help but feel so thankful for the people and opportunities that have made it all happen. Because of them, I have arrived to where I am today. I know from previous experience the amount of hard work and positivity that it takes to maximize my success in my new endeavors. This new journey I’m on isn’t sure and it definitely isn’t easy…but if life was sure and easy, how would we know what parts to appreciate the most??

Like hugs

Like hugs

I saw this Hellen Keller quote earlier this week, and it has really stayed with me especially in such a festive season:

“So much has been given to me, I have no time to ponder that which has been denied.”

Happy Festivus and all of the holidays from me to you.

(Just another absurdly cool thing I was honored to be a part of)

(Just another absurdly cool thing I was honored to be a part of)

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