Oh, the holidays. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, bringing family and friends together united by food giving thanks for everything we have. I had a great holiday weekend because we traveled home to Phoenix, AZ, my home town, to spend the weekend with my mom and dad and so they could also see their granddaughter. It was our first Thanksgiving as a family and everything went amazingly well. I mainly stuck with my primal/paleo eating lifestyle for dinner. I said yes to the turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce but passed on the mashed potatoes and the bread. I did give in to the stuffing, but it was my mom’s stuffing and it is the only one I really like to eat. You have to pick and choose your battles, so I chose stuffing.
It is not only great to go home to get away and disconnect from your usual everyday stressful routine but also to experience new things or create new traditions. I know most people play a turkey bowl football game with family or friends on Thanksgiving day which I think is fantastic. Maybe you have some other tradition with your family or perhaps you started a new one. I rested my body quite a bit the 4 days I was home but only from the traditional gym going stress I normally put it under. I got a lot of movement in, and like I always say “any movement is good movement” I would like to share my activity highlights while I was away.
- Played about 50 games of pool (billiards). My dad has a pool table in the front room and every time I visit home, we play a lot. I played my dad, both of my brothers and my best friend. Pool requires a fair amount of flexibility, bending and stretching in various ways across the table as well as fine motor control and makes you use your noggin. I held my own, winning majority of the games I played.
- Tossed the pigskin around. It was 75 and sunny most of the days we were in phoenix, so I took the shirt off, and tossed the football around with my brothers and dad. There is something to be said about the bonding experience with throwing a football around. You don’t have to talk or say anything, but just throwing the ball back and forth is truly magical.
- Played Reaction Ball. Reaction ball is a great reactive, agility ball game that keeps you on your toes and makes you move. My parents last visit to Cali, they attended a reaction ball tournament at my gym POWER Fitness and got hooked. Since then, both my brother and dad have bought one and play. If you want a great example of what I am talking about, here is how reaction ball is played. Reaction Ball Tournament. One of the greatest memories of the weekend was as we were playing, my daughter was watching and just started laughing and giggling every time I would catch and throw the ball. A childs’ laugh is extremely joyful and contagious.
- Learned a new domino game. I went over to visit one of my buddies and he was playing this crazy game called Mexican train dominoes. It is a very competitive and fun game in which you try to be the first one to get rid of your dominoes.
- Played Uno. On Friday night, I convinced my family to play the game of Uno. Most of us know the game and it is very competitive and fairly nasty at times. You end up not really liking the person who is sitting on either side of you. All and all it was great fun and we had a lot of great and needed belly laughs.
- Went for several walks. Walked around the neighborhood to let my dogs explore new territories and get some sunshine. The most important walk you can do is the walk AFTER your big thanksgiving day meal. You need to let your body process and utilize all of the nutrients it took in and there is no better way than to walk it off.
- Flipped over tractor tires. There is a school next to my parents house and next to the track there are tractor tires. My brother Jonathan and I hopped over the fence and started flipping over the tires. After about 3 or 4 flips, it gets pretty tiring(pun intended). Flipping tires works your whole body. It is a deadlift to get under the tire and bring it up, followed by a clean and then into a full body power push. Great exercise and when I get my own gym, I will definitely get some tires.
- Hiked a mountain. Every Sunday morning at 7 am when I was growing up my dad took me to hike North mountain. It is a small and some what challenging mountain that you can get up and down in about an hour. I grabbed my wife and away we went. I had to break in my new KomodoSport LS vibram shoes and they worked awesomely. They are my new favorite pair of vibrams and trust me people, I have 6 pairs, Here is a picture of me at the top:
So that caps off my fun activity filled weekend. I certainly had a blast and because of everything we did it made it even more memorable. What did you do that made your holiday memorable? What traditions do you have or what new ones did you create? I would love to hear about them. Life is all about going out there and creating new experiences. Embrace life, get out there, see new things, and experience everything life has to offer you.