A Little Thanks

I was reminded this morning by a friend about the importance of being thankful for all the things we already have in our lives, which reconnected me with a journal entry I wrote in January (in the Tone It Up community page) about giving thanks. As I recently wrote about Awareness, I want to follow up with that with a little bit about gratitude.

(Like I said, this was something I wrote in January, so it’s a little outdated, but it remains completely relevant and I want to share)

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I had a powerful moment today. I forced myself to go out on a run, even though it was raining when I stepped outside (and rained the entire time), because I’m training for my first half-marathon in two months and I need to catch up on my training. I really did not want to run. It was raining. And cold. And I was hungry. And tired. But I just shut off all those thoughts and went.

As I started to get wet, I said to myself, okay, maybe I’ll just do a short 10 minute run, and that will be enough, instead of my 4 miles I was supposed to do. But as I got the music in my headphones going and as the water started violently attacking my face, I just sort of forgot about all my worries, and kept running. Suddenly I felt so alive. I mean, it was just water, after all. Not all that different from the sweat dripping down my back. It’s just water, and I’m warm and dry (thanks to my new waterproof running jacket), and my music is good, and my legs feel fine, and I feel happy, so why should I stop early? I just kept running, never once stopping to question why, or how, and soon enough, I had reached my two-mile mark, when I knew I could turn around and run back home. And the whole time during my run, I kept thanking my feet and my legs for continuing, my heart for beating, my skin for sweating, and my mind for staying positive. And it was that continuous gratitude that really allowed me to succeed. I am certain of that.

Anecdotally, an old friend of mine from grade school just suffered a terrible loss in her life – her beloved older sister (only around 27 years old) passed away suddenly, leaving behind a loving young husband and a beautiful 2-year-old daughter. Her death has impacted me deeply, even though I didn’t know her much, and as a result, I have found a sudden, yet tragic, appreciation for my own body and my own life. This body that I have, however flawed it may be, is still my only vessel to exist on this planet – with out it, I am no longer. This is my home, where my soul can experience this beautiful life of ours, and I owe it to myself and to my loved ones to treat this body right.

During my run today, I kept having flashes of gratitude for my body, of excitement for the power I was generating with each sprint, of joy for the feeling of rain splattering my face, and of sadness for my friend’s sister, and that she will never feel this, ever again. My eyes watered and my arms spread wide into the air as I thought of how great it felt to be alive, and my eyes watered in another way as I thought of this girl, and how she is no longer. I thought of all the times I’ve gone running with my mother, and how her daughter will never share those moments with her own mother. I thought of the cramp in my side, and how she will never feel this annoying sensation again. And how lucky I am to feel pain. I thought of my small love handles and of my non-existent six-pack and of the hair on my arms and of my moderately sized chest, and how glad I am to have them all, because the alternative is just no good. Perfect or not, my body is alive, and that is the biggest blessing I could ever ask for.

I found out a few months ago that I have high cholesterol – apparently its genetic. My grandpa, a thin, healthy man, suffered a heart attack and had a triple bipass surgery over 20 years ago, and since then he has been very careful about watching his numbers. My dad, a cancer survivor and the healthiest person on this planet, also has high cholesterol despite his impecable diet and exercise regime. So it makes sense that I too would have the same problem, despite my otherwise healthy, active lifestyle. The news of my cholesterol being high was not really as impactful as it should have been at the time, because I continued to eat and slack off on my exercise as I have been for months now (I’ve gained over 15 pounds since May and until now, haven’t really done much about it, other than complain), and shortly after this news, I moved to France, where I’m sure my numbers have only gotten higher, thanks to the unhealthy French diet (cheese, butter, cream, red meat, bread, sweets, alcohol). But with the new year, and with the terrible news of my friend’s sisters death, I feel more inspired than before to really get back down to business and take control over my health, my body, and my life.

With todays successful run, I have discovered a few important things, mostly which I already shared above. It mostly boils down to being thankful for what I have, because it is so precious and life is too short to not care for the great gifts we have. So here is a little thanks, to me:

 

Thank you, legs, for pushing through all those miles even when brain said “stop”. Thank you, knees, for staying strong after everything I’ve put you through. Thank you, feet, for finding traction on the wet, rainy ground. Thank you for never quitting. Thank you, heart, for pumping blood into my runners veins. Gotta beat that damn cholesterol somehow! Thank you, body, for always being there for me when I want to run. Thank you for being alive, healthy, and beautiful. Thank you, me, for caring enough about my life to get up and run, even in the rain.

With Love,
Me

 

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Message me or leave a comment sharing what you’re thankful for. Your gratitude is an inspiration. Let someone be moved by you!

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