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Yesterday, my youngest began her Thanksgiving Holiday from elementary school. I was unsure as to what she and I were going to do to fill the day and keep her from being bored.  I rearranged my work schedule and there we were, seven in the morning having just dropped her brother off to school, and we looked like a couple of winter sports refugees. It was 19 degrees outside, and we had decided we were going for a walk. My daughter is in the Young Marines,           ( Outstanding organization that I highly recommend), and she wants so desperately to do better in her PT.  Me, 41 years old and battling serious health issues, and wanting so desperately to find my old body that had become lost in recent years under a thick layer of chub.  So off we went to the base to walk the fitness trail. I should have filmed the whole thing.
We got out of the truck and did our stretches and off we went. Sami was excited to see all the squirrels and birds and I have to admit, I was just as caught up in the fog and beauty of it all. One mile later, we hit our first fitness station. These appear every so often on the trail and give you exercises to do before you move on. The first was a long bar where we were supposed to place our hands on top, then alternate jumping over it first with both legs bent, then second with both legs straight. Now I have to lie to be five foot tall and my daughter comes up to the bottom of my nose. Obviously, short chubby women were not in the minds of those designing this apparatus. We gave it a shot, several, but neither of us could do it. Should have been a sign.
As the walk went on, we attempted around ten of these exercise stations. Those completed? Zero. By the third we were laughing so hard even had we been Olympic athletes, we wouldn’t have been able to do them. Seven miles we walked ladies. My out of shape middle-aged self and my nine year old Young Marine. She never complained or whined, just had a blast being outside with mom and doing something she knew was good. By the time we reached the truck I was feeling like my younger former self again. Feeling the adrenaline rush, I decided we needed to do more fun stuff. We proceeded to raid several stores, not to buy, but to wish list and bargain hunt and we set up a plan for Black Friday. She even drew a map and timeline when we got back home. 0400 hours. That is the time we are scheduled to hit our first store. 0400 hours. OMG!
The funny part is, the laughter and the silliness and the fun of just hanging out with my daughter that day far outweighs the aches, the pains, the feeling that my butt somehow imported new muscles in to scream and yell at me.  My feet are threatening a strike, my back somehow developed a rod of steel right along each side of my spine and my lungs may never forgive the intrusion of artic air, but I want to do it again!  I think she and I are going to have to have hookey days more often.  With our usual schedule, her school and my work, four other siblings and home duties and everything, I had missed this incredible, optimistic, artistic, opinionated, silly person that she had been developing into.  It is so rare that she and I get to do anything without a timeline or others around. Just one more thing to be Thankful for this week!


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