Reflections from Christmas

Yesterday we all celebrated Christmas in our own special way.  Hopefully you all had a day filled with family, friends, gifts, a little bit of arguing, hugging, and laughing.  I know I did and I wanted to share with you what happened yesterday that made me smile.

The day started with me waking up and immediately knowing that I was alone.  A feeling that I don’t like as I am always the one that wakes up first, kissed my wife gently and sneaks out of the room for some coffee, toast and prep for a workout.  Where was Karen and noticed the doors to the bedroom closed.  I went out there and she was just laying there on the couch and she told me she couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to bother me so that I could get much needed rest because of the hard training week I had.  Gift #1

After breakfast we decided to go for our planned run.  I was going to run 8 miles at a 7:45-7:50/mile pace and she was just going to log how many every miles she wanted to.  We went to a new place to run.  The 380 Greenbelt and it was incredible.  The path was crushed gravel that was flat but the scenery was perfect.  It is an area that is essentially closed off to life.  I started running and past two guys coming in the other direction then all of a sudden I see a white tail dart across the path.  That was a deer wasn’t it?  A few moments later I come up on another deer.  Just standing there staring at me.  What do I do?  I stand there and stare back.  I shuffle some leaves around but the deer doesn’t move.  I wait and finally the deer walks away from me and I start running again.  I am prepared to spring if the deer comes after me.  I pass and a few moments later a much smaller one standing there.  I smiled the rest of that leg of the run because of the beauty of nature.  Gift #2

Karen and I stop for lunch at an Indian restaurant.  First time I have ever had Indian food and it was beyond delicious.  The great part about it is that they have a lot of vegetable dishes and I dove right into one.  It was hot and tasty on a rather cold day.  Best part of this meal was eating it across from my wife and knowing that although 2010 has not been the best year of my life I was sharing a meal with her.  Gift #3

I decided to call my Mother and wish her a Merry Christmas.  I dialed her cell phone and no answer.  I called another number I had stored for her and there was an answer but it wasn’t my mother.  I figured it was Bill’s (my mother’s fiance) mom who had come down from Virginia.  We spoke for a while and we laughed.  I asked to talk to my mother and the woman asked me who I thought I was talking to.  I said Bill’s mom and she said no and that her name was Mary.  I had the wrong number but my conversation with this stranger was great as we laughed and talked about our families for over 5 minutes.  When I hung up the phone I just smiled as what a great moment I just shared and hopefully brought joy to somebody else.  Gift #4

I finally got a hold of my mother on the third number.  My mother has not had a great 2010 either but we spoke on the phone and all of that stuff didn’t matter.  We enjoyed each other’s voices and I told her that I was going to be heading up there soon (I might drive there after the New Year to surprise her.)  I miss my mother dearly and all my other family in Charlotte.  I spoke to my sister for some time and she told me that 2011 was going to be a different year for her and she was going to lose 60 lbs and I was so happy for her.  I then spoke to Jayden (my nephew who is 5) and that kid is great.  He is something special and just makes me laugh every time I talk to him.  Then it was time to talk to Bill and we laughed about my conversation with Mary.  Bill is such a great guy and I am happy that my mother found him and has made a life with him.  She deserves it.  Gift #5

Jayden’s version of pushups
Bahamundi Men about 2 years ago


Sitting at the house the rest of the afternoon waiting for Chico to come home.  See Chico has been with his dad for the past 10 days and while it gave Karen and I the opportunity to get back to our dating ways and retrieve that love again it is hard to go 10 days without the little guy.  He was dropped off by his dad around 5pm and it was great to see him.  We told him that Santa had come to this house and left stuff in his stocking and under the tree.  What we actually did was leave his gifts under his tree and not under the family tree.  He ran to the family tree and said that he guessed that Santa thought he was a naughty boy.  From there we told him to clean his room and that would help him start his new year as a good boy and maybe Santa would come back the next year with a lot of gifts for him.  He went flying into his room and well…..see for yourself. Gift #6.

One of his gifts from his Aunt was these socks/slippers.  I just laughed the entire time at them and he loved them.

I watched Chico rip through his gifts and make an attempt to play with every one of them at the same time and I remembered what it was like to be a kid.  I thought about how I wanted to do everything.  Be a professional athlete, a fireman, a cop, an entrepreneur…..all at the same time.  I then thought about all the things that I have been doing lately.  Starting Marathon Makeover, getting Athlete’s Plate to be syndicated on two other websites which would push it to 4, starting an e-book for Athlete’s Plate, Training, Finding a job, Starting a Non-Profit, Researching a career as a travelling personal cook….I want to do it all and I can.  I thought of thanking Chico but he would have no clue what I was talking about but he provided me a great gift by going back to being a kid and forgetting about all the restrictions we as adults put on ourselves.  Gift #7
Karen made dinner last night and it was a chili that we removed the chicken from as we continue on our quest for a more plant based diet.  The chili was a green chili that had white beans and hominy.  It is so tasty and I threw in some chipotle peppers and hot sauce and made it spicy.  Chico was playing with one of his toys and Karen and I sat at the table and we talked.  We reflected on our lives so far.  What had gone right and what we needed to fix but then we spoke about our ‘first’ Christmas.  I was living in New York and she was in Dallas.  We would talk via video chat.  She was having a hard time putting together a toy for Chico and I so wanted to be there to help her.  I had her move the camera so I could see the toy and we talked through it for a long time but never got it done until she called a friend.  It was a great time of looking back and how we started (long-distance after meeting online through divorce recovery) to where we are today and how we couldn’t imagine not being with the other.  Gift #8
While Karen and Chico watched a movie I watched the Cardinals-Cowboys game in the other room and thought about the fact that we went to Karen’s Ex-Husbands house for Christmas Eve so that Chico could have everybody around him all at once.  It was a nice gesture by the Ex and while we were only there for about 30 minutes it was nice to have been invited.  It also opened up my eyes to the Ex’s world and it led me to think that I used to want so much but it all revolved around having more and more money.  I had a high-paying job but for the past year I was not happy with it.  I was just not myself and once I saw what the Ex had which was family and friends and lots of smiles around him I realized I didn’t need a ton of money to be happy.  I needed to do something that I love and that would bring family and friends close to me and that would make me happy.  Gift #9
Christmas day ended with Karen and I laying in bed and just laughing.  All the cares in the world were gone.  All the issues of life were gone.  Chico got a lot of Christmas gifts.  Ginga was snoring and we were now capable of ending the day the way it started and that was with us together and me realizing that I had everything anybody could ever ask for.  A loving wife, a great behaving step-son and a quiet snoring dog.  All was well with life.  Gift #10
This was the absolute best Christmas Day I have ever had.  I learned a lot about myself and it is something that will carry me forward in life.
What were you able to reflect on during the Christmas holiday?  How has it changed you for the future?
Thank you for reading.  I truly do appreciate it.

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  1. RockStarTri says:

    Congrats. The gift you didn't list was the memories. Those'll last forever.

    Merry Christmas.

  2. ShutUpandRun says:

    Wow, wow. So many thoughts. You really do appreciate it all and it has nothing to do with "things" or money. That really comes through.

    You are present.
    You love those around you.
    You have gratitude.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. misszippy says:

    Awesome post Jason–way to find the gift in everything you did yesterday. Love it!

  4. Stephanie Anne says:

    sounds like you had a wonderful christmas!

  5. Aimee says:

    I loved this post Jason! I love how you wrote about all the different "gifts" you received. Just awesome!!
    I'm glad you had such a wonderful Christmas!

    p.s. Indian food is awesome! We don't go out that often, but when we do, Indian food is at the top. They have some delicious veggie dishes!

  6. Caratunk Girl says:

    This was awesome – a joy to read!! I love the reminder of the intangibles that are the true gifts…

  7. Jen says:

    So great, jason – you are a special guy and I'm so lucky to have found a friend in you.

    The best to you, Karen and the family for the new year!

  8. Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader says:

    Life itself is a gift – thank you very much for the reminder! Cheers!

  9. Caroline says:

    Fantastic poct…your best gift is that you are aware of all the gifts you wrote about…good for you, more people should be that way.

  10. Black Knight says:

    Beautiful post. We'd have to think more about the gifts instead of the troubles. Christmas is the right period to do it.

  11. Erin says:

    Happy Holidays!! I enjoy your inspirational look at all things "great and not so great"

  12. Jill says:

    Wow, wow and WOW!! What a fantastic Christmas you had – totally made me smile that you talked to some random woman on the phone for 5 minutes about your families! And those slipper/socks are just the cutest thing on the planet – I think I need some!!! :)

    I haven't been following you for too long but I know how focused and driven you are and I know 2011 will be a much better year for you! And me!!!! :)

  13. Colleen says:

    Wow… sounds like a great holiday! :)

  14. Lesley @ says:


  15. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says:

    adore this list because it is about all the little moments that make up a day and make it great. love that you chatted with a stranger!

  16. Jon says:

    Great post, Jason! Glad you had a good Christmas. The little guy was have been on Cloud 9 running into his room like that!

    Dude, you missed a good storm. We got PUMMELED last night!

  17. lindsay says:

    beautiful! it's always nice to hear/read about the true gifts in life, and to know that there are others out there who aren't just money/material-driven.

    glad you had a great christmas! those slippers are awesome. i am all about dorky slippers/socks.

    starting a non-profit. i've thought about that in my many "what do i want to do with my life" thoughts… never ballsy enough to get out and do it though. feel free to discuss your experience with that in a post :)

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