Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Being Grateful




 “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”
Thomas_Merton


This past 2 weeks I have done little but contemplate . I am feeling more refreshed and comfortable.Not quite out of the haze of being tired of training .But with the season coming to a close other than the Busselton Half , there isn't much to prepare for.

Time for a rest and  refocusing .At the same time despite the setbacks of last year and the difficulty of balancing everything I want to do .I do have much to be grateful. I realized despite the disappointments of the past year , there are many who have taken the same road and with more adversity and come out of it .

It is the road less traveled that makes for the interesting journey.

And a long the way we learn from others and we admire the many who fill our life be it briefly . I am constantly in awe of these not so average individuals . That's what I enjoy about endurance events , the people I meet  make it special. This trail of thinking I know populates my blog . It is more acute when one life is snuffed out at its prime. Whilst I did not know Winston Koh , I knew many who he had touched .He was an ultra athlete , Ironman and adventurer .He was a teacher ,a Professor of economics , a dancer a photographer , a husband , a father and by all accounts a good man.

Sad as it is , he died in a diving trip , doing what he loved.

And for that , and the many others I have come to know I am indeed thankful. A University of California (Berkley ) research study suggest :

 researchers at the University of California-Berkeley report mounting scientific evidence that thankfulness also has concrete health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, stronger disease immunity and fewer symptoms of depression.

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/blogs/the-science-of-being-thankful

I can easily wallow in self pity of ineptitude but everyday ,  surely there is much to be thankful.

On a Beautiful Sunday morning with the swell  of the sea and the cold morning air , I swam with friends , my only exercise for the week , but it was a joy to feel that environment . I hated swimming when I first started triathlons .I wasn't good at it and it was hard.Fear of the cold clammy water  gripped me with fear . I  can't say I love it now but I have learned to feel more relaxed and comfortable in the water.

I have much to be thankful.The wonderful environment and city I am in. The space and the physical ability to do what I love.

This past week , with no real training , I have had a chance to reflect more . The family has got a new addition , a family pet . Her name is Molly and she has occupied centre stage.

Again gratitude features in the simplest of acts.Animals have no apprehensions .They give unreservedly and they love unreservedly. The sense of gratitude when they see you each day and their enthusiasm shines through. Walk in their paws and we will learn that a simple life is all the  pleasure that we should desire . Be grateful for small blessings.

And as the Sunday progressed , I spent a few great hours in Kings Park at the wreath Laying ceremony commemorating Greece Independence Day. The sun was shining , people smiling and a small community gathered to honour fallen soldiers of wars past . Indeed much to be grateful .