Halloween is over, it’s dark at 5pm, and there are Christmas trees popping up already in shops around town. I don’t know about you all, but this time of year seems to move at warp speed and tends to be accompanied by a little more stress than those warm summer days that I’m already missing! Everyone has stress. It ebbs and flows and it’s easy to let the chaos of life take over and occupy more space in your immediate thoughts than the good stuff. Insert gratitude!
There’s a few ways to work on moving your focus from the stressful stuff to the things you are thankful for. I started a gratitude jar last January and every day for 3 months, I put a little note in that jar – something I was grateful for that day. Hot coffee, a sunny day, a lunch date with an old friend, warm towels out of the dryer – you get the idea. Things, for the most part, that I take for granted.
How does this relate to the gym you might ask? It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things that you have a tough time with (hollow body hangs from the rig for example) and completely ignore the fact that 3 months ago you could only hang on for 5 seconds. Now, even though you may not be able to hold that hang for a minute, you CAN hang on for 20 seconds. Maybe you’re recovering from a knee injury and while you can’t do box jumps right now, but you are able to do step ups. Just a little reminder to be grateful for what you can do right now.
When Sue celebrated her two year anniversary earlier this year, she said something that really stuck about being grateful. So I asked her to write it out so I could share it with you.
During one of my first classes I was laying on the floor whining to myself about the fact that I couldn’t finish the workout. Other people were stronger than me, and faster than me, and in better shape. But, as I lay there gasping for breath, I realized how fortunate I was to be there at all. I could do most of the workout, the coaches and other members kept encouraging me when I didn’t think I could go any further, and I had the resources to be there when other people didn’t. So I made a vow to be grateful at the end of every class for the wonderful things I have. I say to myself at the end of every workout “I am grateful for this place, I am grateful for amazing coaches, wonderful people to exercise with and a body that can still push itself every day.” Sometimes I’m so tired all I can say is “Coaches, people, place, money” but I still say it.