Tom Sorensen

Be thankful, and considerate, if your legs haven’t betrayed you yet

Being able to run in a race like Charlotte’s Turkey Trot is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted.
Being able to run in a race like Charlotte’s Turkey Trot is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

I love Thanksgiving, and I have a lot to be thankful for. But there are things for which I’m not thankful. Here are a few:

▪  Able-bodied drivers who park in spaces reserved for the handicapped. Who told you that you get to leave the house? If you’re that lazy, stay home.

▪  There’s no such thing as a compact Denali. You knew when you bought your giant SUV that it was not a compact. So why park it in a space (spaces) reserved for a compact? From where does that sense of entitlement come, mom or dad?

Guy in an Expedition is parked in front of the coffee shop door, reducing two lanes to one. If a kid runs out from behind the thing and – that’s a risk the driver has no right to put a child in. After I park, in a parking space, like an adult, and burn a few calories walking to get coffee, I walk past the man. I tell the driver, softly and courteously, that he ought to move his car. Does he thank me? That’s what you’d think, right? No. He says that where he parks is none of my business and I should get a job.

I like to think that when he gets home he says, “Boy, was I wrong.” And his mom says, “So is living in my basement.”

▪  I no longer run the Turkey Trot. I am not thankful for that. The 5-mile race was part of Thanksgiving. When it ended we’d hang out and talk, happy and free, covered with earned sweat and a warm cup of coffee coming our way.

I think I ran the first 23 Turkey Trots. One day my legs said, “No more.” I said, “It’s not your decision.” Legs said: “Ain’t yours.”

I almost told my legs that we're going to run one more marathon (I've run only two.) I went out and ran 5 miles instead, and hated almost every step.

Engines wear out, relationships wear out and legs that are willing to run wear out, too. To those of you who run the race, I salute you. I love that race. Even mean people are nice on Thanksgiving morning. Enjoy yours.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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