Using running to tolerate the classic family member “quirks” this holiday season

Going home for the holidays? Survive your relatives individual "quirks" by relying on some extra mileage as we march on towards 2017.

Woman Running in Winter

Don’t feel too guilty to admit it– this time of year can be stressful. Depending on how you spend the holidays, that may even be an understatement. Sure, there’s a lot to love in mid- to late December, as we march on towards the holidays and the new year. But with packed schedules, obligatory events to attend, foot-long lists of gifts to buy and the financial squeeze that comes with it all, it’s fair to say that many runners are feeling a little bit of holiday stress right about now. 

And sometimes, though they are your family, the ones who you spend the holidays with can bring on extra frustration. You’re not the only one who has a hard time tuning out each relative’s “quirks.” You know how your holidays typically go… it may be a good idea to lace up and just go for a run before anyone causes you to have a meltdown. If any of these are likely to happen to you, take it as a sign you’re about to get really fit this holiday season. Hey, there’s always a silver lining… 

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1. The people in charge of the vegetarian dish all brought bland salads.

This is annoying, but you’ll live. With a quick easy run around the neighbourhood, you’ll be over it. It wasn’t intentional. 

2. The dog eats your running shoes.

Worst dog ever. Cross your fingers that there’s a pair for you under the tree. And make it extremely clear to Chase that he will not be coming on your run around the woods after dinner. You’ll cave and forgive this furry friend by tomorrow anyway… 

3. One of your passive aggressive relatives tags you in a photo of your 13-year-old self during your awkward phase. 

Delete, go to your room and squeeze in a quick strength circuit to blow off some steam. Still not over it? Find the old photo of him miserably losing the 400m at the school’s track meet. And… post. 

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4. Your older siblings rehash memories of the weird stuff you did as a tot. 

We’ll endorse the subtle-brag about your latest half-marathon this time.  

5. Your dad asks if you’re “going jogging” just before you go for a run.

Don’t react. Go for your run and run the first kilometre just a little bit faster than usual. This one’s no big deal. Okay, it is.  

6. You were guilted into eating your step-mom’s baking. 

Next time, say you’re on a runner’s quinoa, kale and lentil diet. Hey, everyone tells a little white lie here and there. She’ll accept the excuse. Although, we’d call you on that bluff. Kale diet? Yeah right.

7. Your brother’s girlfriend took your run jacket without asking.

Take it as a compliment and embrace it– you have a new run buddy now. Invite her on your next run as she may stick around for a while. You may even get to “borrow” her stuff later on (if you catch our drift…)

8. Your mom asks why you’re single…

Not cool. Head to the indoor track for a workout to avoid getting into a fight.

9. … and you aunt tries to set you up.

Stay at the track for a really long time. Stay for a post-workout coffee too. 

10. Your mother in-law asks you and your spouse when you’re planning on having a child.

It’s time for a long run. Now. 

11. Any member of the family asks when you’re planning on having a child.

Be consoled by the fact that you’ll at least never be distracted from your long run while visiting your relatives. 

12. Your sister’s new boyfriend interrupts your story about your latest PB to brag about his mile pace.

End him.

13. Someone makes the “running will ruin your knees” comment at dinner.

Resist the eye roll and snarky response. Don’t even give in to the temptation to once again convert this person into a marathon fanatic. Enjoy dinner and enjoy the morning’s run in the winter wonderland outside.

14. Your aunt implies that there’s no need to run since you’re already thin.

Don’t resist the eye roll. Be the one to take the last slice of cake too. 

15. Your “adult” son drank your special post-run beer.

Since you already did your run, just change the Netflix password.