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Instructors Share What They’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving

By November 25, 2014 No Comments

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There’s so much that comes to mind when we think of Thanksgiving. Glorious turkey, grandmother’s stuffing, football, oversized sweatpants and more. We asked instructors from coast to coast to share the Thanksgiving traditions that they look forward to, what they are most thankful for this year and of course, what food they spend 364 days a year craving. Read their answers here.

JESS BURNS KELLY, FLYWHEEL PHILLY
What are you thankful for?
This year I am thankful for my new husband, Kevin. We got married this past summer! During a recent serious injury, he changed my bandages, cooked and cleaned for me and even drove me to and from all my Flywheel classes (he’s my biggest fan!) when I couldn’t. It really put things into perspective and I am thankful to have a partner like him! Additionally, I have to say how thankful I am for Flywheel and the opportunity to be the lead instructor in Philadelphia. Flywheel has truly changed my life.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
I try to ride or teach an early morning Flywheel class or attend our annual Thanksgiving WOD at my CrossFit gym. I want to make sure I get a good sweat in before the big feast. When I get home, my mom always has the cream and salt ready for me to shake in a container until it becomes homemade butter! I’ve been doing it since I was little and now that I am older, I consider it a good workout too–hello, biceps!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
My mom’s homemade stuffing. I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food, but every year I just load up on her stuffing and she is always prepared with plenty of leftovers.
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
I am a creature of habit so I always try to get right back into my routine when it comes to working out and eating healthy. As for leftovers, I always make a turkey salad and enjoy my stuffing cold. It’s so good!


 

MORGAN GAINES, FLYWHEEL RALEIGH 
What are you thankful for this year?
I would be lost without almond milk coffee creamer, and of course, my family. I am also thankful for our new Raleigh studio, my riders and my FLYFam.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
I love to bake, so I always help out in the kitchen the night before. On Thanksgiving Day, I wake up and help with the finishing touches on my mom’s Thanksgiving lunch. Then, we watch some football and go for a long walk before we have dinner with my boyfriend’s family. This is our 5th year doing two Thanksgivings in one day!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
My mom makes a cranberry apple bake (cranberries, apple slices, oats) that is amazing. I have no idea if it is “good for me” or not–and I don’t plan on asking!  I eat it for days as leftovers and sometimes put it on top of some frozen yogurt for dessert.  I also love a good gluten-free pumpkin roll and Soy Nog (which finally hit shelves for the season!).
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
I always go for a run the day after (weather permitting) and I also like to take a hot yoga class.  We are hosting a Friendsgiving this year so… we will recover by eating more?!


THOMAS RENNER, FLYWHEEL TEXAS 
What are you thankful for this year?
Each year (and of course all year!)  I’m thankful for my friends and family. They have truly helped shape the person I am today and I’m forever grateful. I am also thankful for my health.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
Since I’m a complete theatre nut, I LOVE watching the Broadway performances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, especially when my friends are in them! I suffer through the football games later in the day.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Twice Baked Potatoes. How can you go wrong with cheese AND bacon?!
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
I thoroughly enjoy going to the gym to feel good about the food choices I made the day before. Then a nice long nap!


GAEYLYN GINGERY, FLYWHEEL CHICAGO  
What are you thankful for this year?
This year, I’m thankful for my wonderful Chicago FLYFam and our new Old Town studio.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
My Thanksgiving ritual includes going out to eat with my parents in Milwaukee. No mess, no clean-up. Pure genius if you ask me.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Candied sweet potatoes. Hands down.
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
Not well. I’m still recovering from last year!


DAHLIA ABADIR, FLYWHEEL FLORIDA  
What are you thankful for this year?
Having my parents finally making the move from New Jersey to Florida just in time for the holidays! I am looking forward to spending more time with them, and enjoying my mom’s home cooked meals! I am also thankful for having the opportunity to teach as an instructor at Flywheel.  It’s been the most incredibly rewarding opportunity and I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing company and FLYFam.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
I always run the Turkey Trot, then help my mom cook to prepare the Thanksgiving meal for my entire family. Then we eat, nap and watch football – GO COWBOYS! Once football is over, we eat some more and have a family game night.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
There are so many to choose from, but my weakness is mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows.
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
The next morning my favorite thing to do is a sunrise beach run then of course, Flywheel!


JESSICA LATSHAW, FLYWHEEL BOSTON 
What are you thankful for this year?
This year I’m expecting my first baby, due on December 15th. I’ve always hoped to experience motherhood, and now that I am, I feel incredibly grateful for this gift. Now that the baby has gotten so big, there’s not much room in my belly for the actual Thanksgiving feast!
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
Growing up, my parents were very non-traditional, so Thanksgiving was a day to splurge on candy and watch our favorite movies. One year we decided to forego the candy and movie splurge and volunteer at a local shelter. It’s a fond memory of mine.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
It’s a toss-up between my mom’s cornbread pudding, her famous pretzel, jello and cool whip casserole (trust me on this one), and my own sweet potato casserole.
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
I usually go on a run or take a class before the “big meal” and afterward, I rest or just spend quality time with the people I’m lucky enough to share the holidays with. So I guess I do more of a pre-emptive strike than a recovery!


MEGAN LEE, FLYWHEEL CHARLOTTE
What are you thankful for this year?
This year I am thankful to be feeling full and content. I am blessed in so many ways and this day, above all others, is a great day to reflect and give thanks for being able to celebrate life with family and loved ones.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
My day includes teaching a Flywheel class, eating too much, and taking an amazing nap in my pajamas.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
My favorite dish is my Aunt Kathy’s incredible apple pie with vanilla ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
I recover with a serious cardio session known as Black Friday shopping. I also try to get a run in in the afternoon to get me back on track.


CATHY O’MEARA, FLYWHEEL ATLANTA
What are you thankful for this year?
Aside from my kids and pets, I am most thankful for my sweet adorable husband of 25 years! Without him I would be a mess!  I have learned so much through his wisdom and kind soul. I am also thankful that I can continue to keep teaching nine Flywheel classes in addition to running between 25 and 30 miles a week!  I just turned 50 this year and I am determined to keep up my passion of living a happy and healthy lifestyle. My other blessings are all my Flywheel riders. I truly love them all.
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
Most times I often cook Thanksgiving dinner. I find it relaxing after a nice race or run! This year, I’ll run in the morning, teach a Flywheel class at 9:30, watch the Macy’s parade, have dinner with family and drink lots of good wine. YEP!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Love me some candied yams!
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
Since I am not racing this year it’s more about how do I recover after Black Friday! I find that harder than any Flywheel class! I call it COMBAT shopping.


MARLENE MARTINEZ, FLYBARRE LA 
What are you thankful for this year?
This year I am thankful for my family that grows bigger and bigger every year!
What are your Thanksgiving day rituals?
Eat. Nap. Repeat.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Last year I started the tradition of baking a Makers Mark pecan pie! I will definitely be making that again this year.
How do you recover post-Thanksgiving?
Post Thanksgiving pulse at FlyBarre! I earned that pie.



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