When I laced up my running shoes and headed down to Dana Point Harbor on Thanksgiving morning, I did experience a twinge of regret. No Thanksgiving at my house. A broken hot water pipe under the floor of my kitchen and dining room had turned my gorgeous wood floor into splinters. Restoration crews had already yanked out my cabinets and an environmental team was scheduled to show up the next day to break into walls and determine mold damage.
AAARGH! But as the sun rose over the mountains and broke into the cloudy morning, I thought about my assistant, Francesca, and having her first Thanksgiving without her younger sister who died in her sleep just weeks earlier. I remembered that I was running in this race with 10,000+ people to raise money for FEED America. I remembered 2 years ago when I ran in pouring cold rain and thought I would never complete the course. I remembered that I had just paid all my bills and whispered a word of gratitude that there was still some money left in the bank.
But it was the runners themselves who surrounded me and just made me laugh. One runner wore a complete turkey outfit. Her companion wore an apron and a big chef's hat and carried a turkey baster so she could constantly spurt water at her friend, “the Turkey”.
I saw many felt turkey carcasses on the tops of people's heads. There were people dressed like elves and Santas, reindeer and rap stars. It seemed to me that there were more costumes this year than ever before. I think an economic crisis has all of us looking for something that can make us laugh.
Laughter is indeed one of the hallmarks of resiliency. Here are just some of the pictures: a father and his 2 daughters running as the Indians from the 1st Thanksgiving. The next 3 men came as mustard, ketchup, and a hot dog. I can't believe they actually ran in costume the entire time. And of course, I'm not quite sure what this man had on his mind with his get-up. I think it was called "throw it all together".
Strangers waved to each other and shouted happy Thanksgiving. Bystanders hollered “Run, Turkey, run!” Babies waved their arms from jogging strollers. And as I crossed the finish line, an active-duty Marine put a medal around my neck and I was able to shake his hand and say, “thanks for your service.” Wow! What a day.