What I’m Thankful For

It’s been a long and exciting year. One of recovery, redemption, and regaining solid footing on my two feet underneath me (literally and figuratively). There’s a lot for me to be thankful for right now, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to stop and reflect on those things.

I’m thankful I’m alive and well. I don’t think about this often, but me and my twin brother John were born two months premature. I’ve always known we were lucky to have survived a difficult birth, but didn’t know the full extent of the story until last year, when a therapist nudged me to ask my Mom about it. Her pregnancy almost failed four months in. They gave her experimental drugs and steroids to keep us alive. Throughout the pregnancy she bounced in and out of the hospital, but when she came in yet again after seven months, the doctors said we had to come out. There’s more to the story, but the short version is this — not only were we lucky to survive, but there was a very strong possibility we could have been mentally disabled. The doctors wrote about us as a medical case study. I’m thankful things turned out the way they did, with us growing up healthy and normal (well, for the most part).

I’m thankful for my current health. It feels SO GOOD to be able to walk around pain free. I finally feel like I have my legs underneath me again, and am gradually regaining the strength I had prior to my injury. I feel more and more like a fully robust person again, and for that, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful I can swim, and bike, and walk up and down hills and stairs.

I’m thankful I can experience new things, and share my favorite experiences with other people.

I’m thankful I can get out into the world and meet new friends. And I’ve met many influential friends this year that have changed my perspective and approach to life, for the better. From the folks at Paleof(x), to my World Domination Summit homies, I’m thankful for your support, guidance, love, and friendship.

I’m thankful I can get on a plane and travel the world. There’s so much to see beyond the day to day grind. I’m thankful I’m fully able to experience other cultures, meet people from all walks of life, eat food from foreign lands, and gain the broader perspective only traveling outside of your comfort zone can provide.

I’m thankful for my financial health. Without this, I wouldn’t be able to afford the travel and experiences I mentioned earlier. I’m thankful worrying about money is not something I have to spend much time and energy focusing on.

I’m thankful for Strava and my co-workers. I’m lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing and inspiring group of people. Many of them supported me through my toughest times, and genuinely care about me as a person. I’m grateful the company gave me the leeway to let me heal, and valued me enough to keep me around when I was still unproven, and my health situation was unclear.

I’m thankful for my professional success. I’m fortunate to be working in a golden era within an industry pushing the boundaries of what it means to solve problems. I’m humbled to be recognized for the successes I’ve had so far, and be in a position where I don’t have to worry about finding employment. I’m thankful I can pick and choose the lifestyle I want to lead, and attain the type of employment I desire.

I’m thankful I was pushed to create and execute my first big idea. Primal Pop-Up was a long-time vision come true. I’m thankful I was finally pushed to take action on an idea, rather than continue letting it spin and fester in my head.

I’m thankful for John, who brings lightheartedness and fun to every conversation.

I’m thankful for Neil, who shows me what drive and hard work can get you, and keeps me connected to where I came from.

I’m thankful for Eileen, who looks up to my successes, but wants to pave her own path.

I’m thankful for Dad, who helps me think through big decisions.

I’m thankful for Mom, who wants the best for me in every situation, no matter how crazy she sounds sometimes, or the quirky things she does.

I’m thankful I can read, write, think, feel, laugh, love, cry, feel exhausted, and clear my head.

I’m thankful I’m alive and well, and get to share this life with all of you.

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