"Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it." Ralph Marston
Short, but sweet: Tell 'em how you feel. This hasn't always come easily for me. Maybe it's the era I grew up in, or the family I grew up in, or being raised in the Midwest... Maybe it's that English heritage. Maybe it's because I was young. Maybe it was a defense mechanism. Maybe it was uncomfortable. Maybe it was a little bit of each of those things.
"Now, is she actually going to tie this in to her fitness journey?" you might ask? You bet your a** I am. The last four years I have been so turned inside out, so forced to look at myself, look at buried emotions and at the consequences of my choices. I have felt high highs and low lows. I've been challenged on my attitude and been made to articulate my why. All the while, I was supported, encouraged, congratulated, called-on-the-carpet, believed in, and pushed to believe in myself. I was met time and again with integrity and loyalty and honesty. This came from my coach, my friends, my family, and a larger community of people striving to do good things in their own lives. And do you know what all of this did for me? It grew my gratitude. It grew it so much, so abundantly, and so rapidly that I lost the ability to control it. I had to express my gratitude to the people who were showing up for me. I had to connect. I couldn't help it. Not my level of discomfort nor my English roots or any of the other strands that were wrapped around my expression could hold it back. My gratitude grew gratitude, so much so, as I've said before, that I'm grateful for the feeling of feeling grateful! And it didn't come from having everything tied up and ship-shape--it came from breaking open.
I don't know if it's always comfortable for the people on the receiving end, especially as I become more and more comfortable expressing it on my end. But I don't worry about that anymore. I don't try and contain it. If it gushes to the surface, I just let it flow out. I like knowing at the end of a day that I didn't hold onto that gratitude; I left it all out on the field, so to speak. There are no guarantees for tomorrow, so today I'm SO VERY GRATEFUL for the people in my life. And I intend to tell 'em so.