Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks


PamMeet Pam Cole, Senior Manager of the Recreation and Fitness Center and this week's contributor to the Inspirations blog.  Pam has been at SAS Institute for over 20 years and has worked in fitness for over 25 years.  An avid Tarheel fan, Pam graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a double major in Communications and Radio Television Motion Pictures.  She began teaching group exercise classes while in Chapel Hill and still loves it.  In addition to teaching group exercise, she is a certified personal trainer with the National Sports Performance Association as a Pre and Post-Rehab Exercise Specialist.  In her spare time, she likes to garden, do rehab projects on her home and cook.

....and now a word from Pam on Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Did You KnowThanksgiving is just around the corner.  This time of year causes me once again to ponder how we arrived at our modern traditions of rushing to get the house cleaned, giant balloons at the Macy’s Day parade, hours of cooking to prepare the turkey, stuffing and all the fixings, followed by football and  perhaps a few well-deserved hours of lying on the couch or recliner.   And did I mention the shopping?!  Don’t get me wrong – I look forward to it every year.

We generally think of the thanksgiving holiday having its roots back in the time of the Pilgrims and a celebration for a good harvest.   While that is widely accepted in the US, the holiday goes back further than that. In English tradition, Puritans wanted to get away from church holidays and replaced them with Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving.   Days of Fasting would represent a disaster such as a plague or flood, whereas a Day of Thanksgiving might be celebrated following a victory.  In Canada, the tradition might be traced back to an explorer, Martin Forbisher, who celebrated a successful journey from England.

There are many other Thanksgiving celebrations held throughout the world, with a wide variety of origins as well.  All seem to go back to a celebration or observation of giving thanks for some event.

Research has proven that giving thanks or gratitude can increase our happiness and well-being.  (See more in the inspirations blog on Happiness and Gratitude.)  One of the quickest ways to improve our emotional energy is to simply list the things we are grateful for.  Go ahead and try it now.  Take one minute to write or name those things or people you are thankful for.  Was it easy?  Could you have listed more?  Do you feel any differently?

Here are just a few of the things I am thankful for this holidays season and throughout the year.

*  Family and loved ones.  I know it’s cliché, but Bath Creek Stables Turkeys by Carol PrestonI am more grateful for these people in my life than words can express.

*  A great place to work, awesome co-workers and the wonderful participants at the RFC!

*  All our modern conveniences, technology, medicine and the  like.

So what are you thankful for? And how do you spend your Thanksgiving?



About Author

Amanda Pack

Sr. Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator

Amanda received her B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At SAS, she has shares her passion of wellness with SAS employees as a Senior Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator. When she’s not teaching others how to squat, chaturanga, and run or coaching expecting moms and Ironmen-to-be, you’ll find her exploring the outdoors with her husband, two sons, and schnoodle, cooking, propagating succulents, and training for endurance events. She’s a 2x IRONMAN finisher and multi-marathoner who loves to be on the trails or on her yoga mat! Amanda is registered through Yoga Alliance as an Experienced 200 hour Yoga Teacher (E-RYT200), certified in personal training and group exercise instruction through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), an IRONMAN Certified Coach and has training in prenatal yoga, Cosmic Kid's Yoga, and as a postpartum doula.

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