Ariana Kukors: My Active Holiday Traditions

Northwest Community Thursday, December 11, 2014 Written by

Ariana Kukors is an Olympic swimmer, world-record holder and Pacific Northwest native who is working with LifeWise to promote healthy living. Follow along on her journey to see what she does to live actively Northwest. 

If you talk to me for longer than three minutes, there’s a good chance you’ll get an earful about my incredible family. My two sisters are my best friends, and I’m fortunate to have amazing parents who let each of us grow into our own person. The holiday season is especially important for our family, because for most of the last ten years we’ve all been scattered throughout the country.

During the holidays, my family and I always try to incorporate some physical activities into our time. It’s a way of taking advantage of our precious time together and sharing some extra laughs — as well as justifying that extra piece of pie.

Morning hike with my favorites

A photo posted by arianakukors (@arianakukors) on

 The Christmas Eve Run

A couple years back, our mom suggested we all do a 10-mile run with her triathlon group on Christmas Eve morning. Unable to back down from a challenge (and after being told there would be a cookie exchange at the end), my sister and I agreed to do it. We went to bed early the night before in order to mentally prepare ourselves — at this point in our lives, we were not runners — and woke up early the next morning to properly fuel with coffee. Then off we went … mile after mile, telling jokes and laughing till it hurt (and also silently cringing about how tough the run was). As promised, we were rewarded with cookies at the end — which we couldn’t eat from all the adrenaline and exhaustion.

Just finished our 10 mile Christmas Eve (morning) run!

A photo posted by arianakukors (@arianakukors) on

Well, needless to say, my sisters and I have done that race every year since: loving the extra time we have with Mom.

Let It Snow!

Besides that annual race, I can’t help but think of snow when I think of my favorite family holiday memories. Snowfalls aren’t an everyday thing in Seattle, so when I was young, my family and I treasured every one. We lived at the top of a hill in a safe cult-de-sac, and anytime it snowed, my siblings and I would bundle up and head out with sleds to test out the hill. For hours on end we would slide down and walk back up to go again, cheeks pink and smiles wide. If it snows while we’re together this year, even though we’re “grown up,” I know we won’t be able to resist the urge to go out and sled as a family.

Ariana KukorsBeing active together helps me bond with my family during the holidays. So whether you spend it building snowmen, gathering around the table or running circles around the track, I wish you all a wonderful and memory-filled holiday season!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Please share with us in the comments below.