Weekend of the Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all the Canadians!

This year especially I have so much to be grateful for, so many opportunities to honour and people to thank. Without a doubt each year gets more and more difficult but with more opportunities for growth and self-development. Sometimes I catch myself in all of this chaos and forget to take a step back and observe what greatness that has come in my life.

I am thankful for the memories; sumo wrestling in life-jackets at the canoe club, bike riding to learn about ratios in Grade 7, learning Eskimo rolls for Outdoor Education in Grade 9, watching a whole season of Dance Moms at school (just because I could…probably should not have), paddling with friends who are like family, succeeding with them, losing with them, coaching all the future Olympic hopefuls of tomorrow both here at home and elsewhere, supervising a sleepover with fifty kids all under the age of fifteen, watching a family of five purchase (I swear) half the store-paying in cash, so many memories that I hadn’t thought of until now.

I am thankful for my friends; apparently you can be miserable sometimes and still manage to gain friends along the way. It goes to show that you should be open minded because everyone is fighting some sort of battle. These are the friends who text me late at night asking if I am okay, friends who though we do not live in the same province still chat to me like we are in the same room. Friends who have got my back when things get difficult, and I hope I can return the favour. Sometimes we all are a bit ungrateful for having friends, we forget that they play an integral role our lives and who we develop and strive to become.

I am grateful for the opportunities; my life has in no means been stale. I have been traveling to Thailand since I was in Grade 2, gotten to go to Australia and play with kangaroos, Europe, Asia, USA. Traveling opportunities are so important! But closer to home opportunities are probably the ones I will remember the most because they were exploding with purpose. Many opportunities came from paddling, the culture and lifestyle of a paddler is unlike no other. In Canada as a whole it is a pretty big thing but in August at the National Championships everybody knows everybody and everyone is there with a purpose. The training camps to get to Nationals taught me independence and perseverance, the training in general built stamina, the team brought love and family. In extension, becoming a coach taught me responsibility. It gave me the pressures of now being responsible for not only my success but the successes of those who need me. It taught me communication and stubbornness and how each can go hand in hand with dealing with athletes-and sometimes their parents. Each opportunity has a purpose, something I have to remember when I am given one.

Finally, I am grateful for family. I do not know how many times I have posted about how grateful I am for them but there is no number of posts or quotes that could describe the impact that they have had on my life. And you all must know this. They drive us crazy and love us crazy all at the same time.

I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend has the opportunity to be thankful for something, or someone. And we should not just be thankful for what we have 3 days out of the year, but rather all 365. Of course, eating Turkey and pumpkin pie for that long would be ridiculous.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Have a nice Thanksgiving weekend Canada, or to those who do not celebrate it, have a nice weekend with lots to be thankful for!

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