Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

Our Run-at-home mom should have been more specific when she asked for race registration fees for Christmas (like maybe a race didn't didn't include the words challenge, ropes and cliffs in the course description).

By Jennifer Pinarski
Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

Mr. P captured the shocked look on my face when I found out I was registered for the 25K Creemore Vertical Challenge.

Last month, CTV posted an article about how gift-givers really should just give gift recipients what they want. The article was based on a study that revealed that you really shouldn’t be creative when it comes to gift giving and that people are happiest when they receive exactly what they ask for. 
For example, all I wanted for Mother’s Day this year was to go for a long run by myself. Instead, my husband bought me a pair of chickens and a pair of ducks at the local Feather and Fur Club auction. For my birthday, all I wanted was to go for a long bike ride by myself. Instead, my husband bought me a gift card for Boston Pizza (which is really dinner out with my kids — which is not all that fun). There should have been no second guesses on behalf of my husband. I was very specific about what I wanted. He just thought that I’d like livestock and the goat rodeo that is dining with children to be more fun than exercising by myself.
In comparison, when he asked for a Kindle and an iPod for his birthday and Father’s Day, that’s what he got. And he was happy.
We decided months ago that we would just get each other one gift for Christmas since our two-week Caribbean vacation was like a gigantic family gift to ourselves. Mr. P asked for a gym membership (which he got). I asked for race registration fees. There were two local races I was eyeing up — an April half-marathon and a July half-Ironman. I’d already told him about these races, mostly to gauge his reaction on my attempting my first 70.3 to which he promptly told me I was crazy because a half Ironman would be too hard. Usually that is code for Mr. P covering up that’s what he was going to get me, dismissing my weird addiction to endurance sports and then supporting my antics by buying me gear or cheering me on at races.
Fingers crossed Christmas morning, I unwrapped a box of Shreddies (he’s famous for putting gifts in weird things — most memorable was a pair of earrings in an empty toilet paper roll) that I figured contained the registrations for one or both of my races.
Instead, I pulled out confirmation that I was registered for the 2012 25K Creemore Vertical Challenge.
One of THE toughest trail races in Ontario.

In the words of the race director: "With the heat, hills and high speeds, the course has been known to take a toll on runners.  Please be prepared for a “challenging” race. Although many wish for rain on race day, I have run the course when wet and it is no picnic. The ropes on the cliffs are there for a reason!"
His heart was in the right place — he knows that I love trail running and trail races. He thought it would be a nice way for our family to get out of town for the weekend. I love that he searched out a unique event that would challenge me. That said, I’m thinking he’s trying to do me in. To thank him for his thoughtfulness for this gift, he’s getting McDonald’s gift cards for Easter next year.
Did your partner go off your wish list for Christmas? What surprise gifts did you get?
This article was originally published on Dec 30, 2011

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