#OptOutside is More Than Skipping Black Friday, It's About Getting Back to Nature & Slowing Down

November 08, 2017


By: Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

We've turned back the clocks and the official countdown to the end of the year has begun. See what I just did there? With a new j-o-b, finishing up yoga teacher training, and initiating "winter weigh down," Thanksgiving and Christmas are sure to be just a big blur. Matter of fact, I'm already thinking about holiday travel plans, 2018 and what I want to accomplish next year.

I'm not sure if this is a self-imposed urgency to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas to get to the new year, or if this is the over commercialization of the holidays...which all begins with Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving. Game plans to snag discounted big screens, pots and pans, and the latest toy begin Thanksgiving morning, and the entire "Day of Thanks" is used to strategize and plan when, where and how these said items will be secured. Whether it's shopping by proxy or camping outside any given retailer, Black Friday has turned Thanksgiving into simply "Pre-Black Friday".

It's one of the many reasons why I love that REI chooses to #OptOutside. The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, REI is closing all of its 149 stores and paying all 12,000+ employees to take the day off, because Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect with the people you love, in the places you love!

For me, it reminds me to slow down and enjoy the time with my family and friends, to not rush to begin a new year and most importantly, take advantage of the "down time" to enjoy nature. It reminds me to stay grounded, stay intentional, and that nothing is more important that the present moment that we all have. 
This year, Black Girls RUN! is hosting special #OptOutside runs, walks and outings  across the country in select cities. You can view a complete list events here. Will you #OptOutside with us?


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