Rec & Sports » Play

Thanksgiving Rule Breaking

A guide for the physically active on the holiday


Thanksgiving Rule Breaking

Here are my rules for Thanksgiving: No. 1, you stay home and do as little as possible other than move between the dining room and the living room; No. 2, you give the day its due.

I know some people feel the need to do an inordinate amount of physical activity on, or just after, the holiday in some misguided attempt to justify the caloric intake, but they don't know one little, and very important, rule: Calories don't count on holidays. It's something I learned long ago, and it has gotten me though many a holiday relatively guilt free.

Athletic pursuits on Thanksgiving just seem to go against the natural order, like fish that fly, birds that swim or obnoxious reality television stars being considered role models.

Still, there are those who insist on flouting the rule.

And these unnatural Thanksgiving-movers are only enabled by events globally referred to by the unpleasant-sounding name Turkey Trots. Blasphemy.

But for those wayward souls who don't care about breaking the holiday rules, yet don't want to be held to a structured schedule, Intermountain Orthopedics Cycling and the Lost River Cycling Club will host the eighth annual Thanksgiving Day Pre-Bird Informal Group Ride.

Both road and mountain bike riders can meet at 11 a.m. at the Boise Co-op parking lot to join a group ride--weather and trail conditions permitting, of course. The roughly two-hour rides are a planned casual event, so participants can break the Thanksgiving rules in a non-committal sort of way. All riders are asked to bring some canned food or dry goods to donate to the Idaho Foodbank.

Those who are less audacious about their rule breaking can head for the St. Alphonsus Festival of Trees at the Boise Center. The annual event runs from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through Sunday, Nov. 29. The display of elaborately decorated Christmas trees will be open on Thanksgiving day from 2-9 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children.

And while the festival isn't as blatantly active as a sporting event, it does break rule No. 2 by running dangerously close to co-opting the one day Thanksgiving is supposed to call its own. Come on, Christmas gets nearly six months these days.

Another event that skirts both the mixing-holidays and active-Thanksgiving rules is the Winter Garden aGlow at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Not only is the garden all festive with more than 250,000 sparkling holiday lights strung across just about anything that doesn't move, but it requires walking the garden paths and warming yourself around bonfires. Of course, the availability of hot cider and cocoa does lean toward the calorie-intake requirement of Thanksgiving, but it's a thin line.

The garden will be open from 6-9 p.m. daily from Thursday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Nov. 29, and then reopen daily from Friday, Dec. 4, through Jan. 10. Admission is $6 general, $4 for Botanical Garden members and children ages 4-12, and free for children age 3 and younger.

Those of us who hold true to the rules of Thanksgiving will be ensconced at home, limiting activity to watching football on television or maybe, maybe, dragging out the Monopoly board.