Is Gratitude a Part of Your Training Plan?

Thankful

photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc

Deadlines at the office and the never-shrinking list of errands combine to make those trips to the gym and the increasingly shorter runs as guilty a pleasure as fine chocolate.  Alas, amidst the seasonal hustle and bustle, today I was finally able to set aside a few moments for some long overdue reflection.  I had been meaning to since receiving a pleasant note from the health insurer Oscar.  Despite this being the open enrollment period for the exchanges, surprisingly I was not being solicited to change providers.  Instead I found a request to consider marking the holiday season with a gratitude-themed post.

In considering the suggestion, I realized I don’t spend nearly as much time taking stock of my blessings as I should.  So this afternoon I’ve turned off the television, turned on some seasonal music and decided to take a thoughtful moment and express my thankfulness:

I am most thankful I was able to achieve my most important goal of 2014: to become a marathoner by finishing the New York City Marathon.  Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t smiled in satisfaction.

I am truly thankful I’ve become so passionate about running.  I’ve always struggled to find an appropriate work-life balance.  Running has given me an outlet for addressing life’s daily frustrations in a positive way and helped me realize genuine fulfillment.

I am sincerely thankful I’m leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, and have finally been able to completely kick the cigarette habit.

I am genuinely thankful my family was able to see me run during my annual Thanksgiving trip.  I not only survived the 10-degree subzero windchill elements, but was able to bring home a prized pumpkin pie to complement my Mom’s turkey.  This made for one the best Thanksgiving holidays I’ve ever experienced.

I am surely thankful to be a runner in New York City, where on any given weekend I get to be a part of something special alongside thousands who enjoy spending their weekend mornings running for life.

I am positively thankful to be a member of the running community.  I feel so connected when reading about other’s experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – through blog and social media posts.  It is a nice reminder that though each individual’s journey is unique, the shared bonds are inspiring.

As fitness enthusiasts, we experience first-hand the science linking endorphins to that incomparable post-exercise feeling.  But with more research showing that expressions of gratitude can also have a powerful impact on our well being, perhaps making a conscious effort to more regularly acknowledge our thanks might amplify that high we crave?

After completing my final race of 2014 yesterday morning, today’s reflections provided a perfectly-timed opportunity to relive my year of running.  While I have much to be thankful for, I’ve realized I shouldn’t wait until one of the final Sunday’s in December to acknowledge my appreciation.  In 2015, I know I’ll be making an ongoing effort to adopt gratitude as a key element of my training plan.

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4 thoughts on “Is Gratitude a Part of Your Training Plan?

  1. So nice to see you back! This is a really great post. I loved reading it and found myself nodding in agreement. Finding running and the running community is a life changer. And running in NYC is truly something special!

  2. i love running, and i love anything that reminds me to be thankful and present, so this post is great. 🙂 first off, CONGRATS on running the NYC marathon! huggggggge life-altering accomplishment and i’m so thrilled for you that you are still on such a high from it. secondly, you wrote “hustle” in here and that’s my nickname, soooooo i love that. thirdly, the “adopt gratitude” motto is priceless and should prob be EVERYONE’S 2015 goal, methinks. thanks for this.

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