Some may assume that my favorite Thanksgiving memory would be the abundance of food or spending quality time with friends and family. Though I adore and appreciate those aspects of the holiday, my most beloved Thanksgiving memory would actually have to be my swim practice each year on Thanksgiving morning. Interesting, right? Most athletes I know use Thanksgiving as an excuse for an off day, by not my team. In fact, I think more people actually showed up for this special practice! The reason for this being that at the end of each (brutally challenging) Thanksgiving morning practice, the team would partake in Thanksgiving Turkey Trivia!
The six oldest people at the practice would be the captains, who picked their teams based not on swimming ability, but pure turkey knowledge! Each team would come up with a team name, and our head coach would then lead us through a series of Thanksgiving-themed questions. If your team got the answer correct, the whole team only had to swim one lap down to the other end of the pool. But if your team answered incorrectly, the team would need to swim three laps. This would continue for about a half an hour until finally, a Turkey Trivia winning team would be claimed and get first dibs on the classic mix of Dunkin bagels, doughnuts, and chocolate milk!
It may seem like a silly and insignificant game to some people, but for me, it was always one of my favorite moments growing up. I started attending these Thanksgiving practices when I was about 9 years old. Even after I was no longer on the team anymore and had moved on to college swimming, I would still come back for Turkey Trivia. This will be the first year in 13 years that I will not be participating in this memorable practice.
Turkey Trivia will always hold a very special place in my heart. For me, Thanksgiving practice was not only the “fun” swim practice we had each year, it was also a chance to connect with teammates who I may not have otherwise spoken to at all! I still remember my first Turkey Trivia, being one of the youngest, on a team with all older, much more intimidating boys (some full-grown men.) Though I never really spoke with these guys before, we ended up working together and competing fiercely for those doughnuts! I will always remember the look on their faces when I guessed an answer correctly and the feeling of pride when our team took the title that year. Each following year, I wouldn’t mind waking up before the sun rose to hop into a chilly pool on that Thursday morning. Because I knew Turkey Trivia would be there to bring my teammates and I together like no other practice could. From the shy 9-year-old girl, to the confident 21-year-old senior in college, Turkey Trivia allowed me to bond and make memories with some new friends.
The moral of this story is that sometimes, life’s most precious moments are simply the little moments. Turkey Trivia gave me the opportunity to talk to and connect with people I may not have before. Some of these connections ended up becoming my best friends. Though I am sad that I will not be participating in my favorite Thanksgiving tradition this year, I look back at these memories with a smile on my face and turn toward the future, confident I’ll find more of these unexpected moments. This Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to reflect upon the moments that may not be at the forefront of our lives, but very much so contribute to the happiness we feel today.
COMPASS wishes you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving. And of course, if you were intrigued enough to take part in your own Turkey Trivia, below you can find some of my favorite turkey Q&A! (:
Though wild turkeys can only fly for short distances, they can sometimes reach speeds of: 55 mph
How fast can a turkey trot? 25 mph
What is the name of the skin that hangs off the turkey's neck? Wattle
What name have anti-Pilgrim protesters given to Thanksgiving? National Day of Mourning
According to the Butterball Company, how much turkey is consumed on Thanksgiving day? 675 million lbs.
What are male turkeys called? Toms
How wide is the peripheral vision of a turkey? 270 degrees
According to the US Department of Agriculture, how many turkeys are cooked and eaten in the United States on Thanksgiving? 45 million
Which prominent US history icon argued for the wild turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the national bird of the United States? Benjamin Franklin
A group of turkeys is referred to as a: Rafter