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The Gift

5 June 2017 No Comment

As we left the coffee shop at 7am on a beautiful autumn morning in Brisbane, one of the girls complained about being cold. It was 20 C and was one of the first mornings I had worn a light vest under my cycle jersey, and that was only for the first 10min as I leave home. I soon warm up and no longer need it.

I pointed out to her that if we were in Paris or New York, and it was 20 C we’d be saying how beautiful it was. Everyone in the parks would be sun bathing. When we’re away from home, away from our own familiar environment, our eyes are more open to appreciation.

Here we are living in one of the mildest climates in the world, enjoying the best cycling weather possible, but we still manage to find fault. So often when you have everything, you can still find something to complain about.

On the other hand some of the most disadvantaged people in the world can find something every day to be happy about. Maybe hardship is the catalyst for creating gratitude. Maybe in our toughest days of training, we can be pushed to a point where we turn the switch from complaining to gratitude.

If we can exercise that ability to switch from misery to gratitude, the talent can be called on at will.  Wouldn’t it be nice in a tough endurance race to be able to turn thoughts of misery into finding something to be grateful for?

I have a good friend who at the age of seventy three was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. He’d always been a positive sort of guy, he simply put himself in the doctors hands and accepted the treatment. Chemo therapy on a 73yr old man can be a last ditch effort to help him. My friend took the illness on head on. He visualised success every day.

He has come back from the physically devastating treatment to be stronger and fitter than before. This has not been an over-night  success. It was a long road back, overcoming dizzy spells in training. Regaining strength is not easy at this age.

The most noticeable change in this positive thinking man, is his sense of gratitude. He has virtually been to hell and back with his health and vitality. The feeling one has when spending time in his company, is a contagious feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for every sunrise, every smile he exchanges with others.

What this illness has given him is the gift of gratitude. We can all learn from his example. Early this year he has qualified for his fourth Hawaii Ironman. He lives every day as if it’s a gift.

 

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