Keep Fit: Giving Thanks for the Little Things

Last week, I had my first-ever Egg McMuffin. It was phenomenal.

The decision to break my 24-year-old stand off with the Holy Grail of fast food breakfast was swift and easy. Late Tuesday night, the conversation in the office quickly turned to all of the great qualities of the McCheesy, McButtery, McCanadianBacony sandwich. And it was obvious that I had to get my hands on one.

I opted not to check out the nutrition facts before I drove through the Golden Arches on Wednesday morning. What was the point? I knew that they couldn’t be great for you. But I also reasoned that there had to be worse things to eat. At the very least, I was about to get a breakfast that has three forms of protein and a dash of carbs.

But, just to be sure, I went for a run before work.

I was ravenous by the time I sat down at my desk with my bounty. The first bite was glorious—the butter added a tad of sweetness, the cheese was nicely melted. And it was, surprisingly, not messy. Great for discreet office eating.

It did exactly what a breakfast is supposed to do—satisfied my need for protein and kept me full until I grabbed a late lunch. I’m not recommending having an Egg McMuffin every day. (I did eventually look up the nutrition facts—300 calories is not bad, but the sodium and fat will get you.) But the goofy smile that was plastered on my face for the rest of the day made me think, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, of giving thanks for other everyday things.

I’m thankful for Egg McMuffins and for breakfast in general. I’m also thankful for running, which allows me to occasionally indulge in said McMuffin with only a mild feeling of guilt.

I’m thankful for coffee. It’s a definite highlight of the morning. I’m not even sure I would run without knowing that I could grab a cup of coffee after I’m finished. (Sometimes I make a trip to the coffee shop before I shower, so I’m thankful for everyone who lets me buy my pick-me-up without complaining about that.)

I’ve also recently become thankful for Southampton High School and its surrounding network of soft fields. Constantly pounding the pavement sometimes can lead to aches and pains. For me, occasionally running on soft or natural surfaces often solves the problem. But there is a definite lack of a runners’ trail system on the East End.

Running one perimeter around the high school and intermediate school fields, plus a lap around the track, equals one mile. (Or, it did when I was in school, which was before the additions.) Since the distance is now a bit of an approximation, I set my watch and run for time. It’s a great break from the sidewalks.

Though I can easily become bored of the same scenery, the concept of running a lap also ups the challenge and keeps it interesting—can I beat my previous time? Mentally, it’s also a nice way to compartmentalize a run. You get to check a mile off each time you complete a lap.

Plus, the bonus of always being in the sun—a nice perk when running in the cold—makes the monotony so worth it.

Lastly, I’m thankful that R.A. Dickey was recently named the National League Cy Young Award winner. It’s hysterical to think that, of the Mets’ 74 wins, Dickey accounted for 20 of them.

He is truly the Egg McMuffin of pitchers.

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