Cindy’s Gratitude Blog
It’s that time of year again. The cold air of November brings with it not only the promise of a frosty winter, but the inevitable question passed from mother to child, friend to friend, and from desk to desk at the office: “What are you thankful for this year?”
For many people, the answer to this question is simple and concise. Perhaps they are thankful for their family, their friends, freedom, or their health – all worthy answers mind you. Others may be thankful for material goods such as a home, a bike, or a new Playstation – still worthy items to be thankful for. This year I find myself thankful for something that I had never considered something worthy of thankfulness. I am thankful for the three year journey that brought me to where I am today.
Three years ago, difficult family situations forced me to seek an outlet for my stress. I found myself pounding away in a spin class 4 times per week in a pseudo exorcism of stress. It worked like a charm. Over time, however, I realized that I literally wasn’t going anywhere. I needed to get on a real bicycle! Family stress continued (does it ever really go away with three teenage girls in the house?) and so I found respite in mountain biking. Now I was going somewhere! The smell of the pine needles was intoxicating. The beauty of the trees made all my worries slip away for an hour or two. The forest had become my therapist, and I scheduled sessions several times per week to meet with her. Mountain biking was my gateway to road cycling, and I was instantly as addicted to the pavement as I was the trails. Now two bikes strong, I was equipped for whatever the world wanted to throw at me. Bring on the stress, I can handle anything!
Through mountain and road cycling, I have met many wonderful people who share the love of the sport. The encouragement and the camaraderie are something I had never experienced before, having successfully avoided all sports throughout my school years. The friendships that have developed are dear to me, and I realize that what I am most thankful for this year is the journey that got me here. Life can be stressful – that’s just life! It’s how we handle the stress that determines the outcome. This year marks the first Thanksgiving that I will spend at home in three years. For the past two years I have spent Thanksgiving at the hospital visiting my daughter who always seemed to be admitted right before the holidays. Her battle with bipolar disorder has been difficult to say the least. This year she is home, healthy and happy, making amazing progress, and for this I am so thankful. So as the holiday season approaches, with the hustle and bustle of crowded stores, crying children, increased traffic – remember that its all part of the journey. Embrace the journey. Make the most of it and come out shining.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!