the collision of gratitude and fitness
So much time is spent wishing, dreaming of what could be ours. How different things could be. Yet, we spend too little time, if any, being grateful for what we have, for what has crossed our path and the fortune of experiences.
We will instead, highlight the components, those things in life that we desire, yet do not have. Sometimes it takes being in a less fortunate scenario to realize this. When I was recovering from my first knee surgery, I kept feeling sorry for myself. I kept asking why, at the age of 24, was I already having cartilage damage that forced me to modify my lifestyle. It took my parents and friends, but most importantly my fiancé, to help me find gratitude in the cards that I’d been dealt.
Three knee and one hand surgeries later, I still find the positive in what I experienced. I passionately believe that everything does happen for a reason, that we can learn something from any and all of our experiences and there is always the question to be asked: how can this unique turn of events become a positive for me? I really do think that this mindset has given me an edge. As a personal trainer, I had the opportunity to experience surgery and the rehabilitation that comes along with that, which gave me an understanding of the many uncomfortable sensations that can occur during recovery.
It goes without saying that every waking moment people experience far worse. So, with this notion in mind, it’s important to work to change gears to remember to be grateful for what we do have. What we may not realize is how lucky we all are in any given moment to have what we have. Not to be fooled, aiming high does not make you ungrateful, but those closest to you may likely affirm that it’s always important to count your blessings. Appreciate who you have around you and what you have achieved so far in life–even if you're not close to being done.
With that, let’s unpack a few methods that we can practice gratitude:
Simply writing down accomplishments allows you to gauge your trajectory, to assess where you are currently, but most importantly, it allows you to fine tune your aspirations.
Viewing old photos
Seeing is believing. Realizing how much you’ve changed can really consolidate how far you’ve come. Perhaps looking at old photos will help to remind you of obstacles that you’ve overcome in the past, whether it be financial, personal or physical.
Allowing yourself to compare where you were one, two, maybe five years ago as opposed to now. Maybe you’ve accomplished becoming the third best performer in your company. Don’t take that for granted! When you look back maybe 3-5 years ago, you certainly started in a role that looked very different from where you now.
In closing, what I hope for you to take away from this is that we display and process gratitude in different ways–there is no-one blueprint. Choose the method that fits with your mold and work at it, even if it’s just by starting for a couple of minutes a day. That’ll help you set that foundation for continuing that habit of practicing gratitude.