Thanksgiving Thoughts

It’s Thanksgiving time. This is a fabulous time of year when we officially celebrate the end of Autumn, the bountiful harvest, and our good fortune. Beyond the gatherings and turkey dinners, we have many traditions to appreciate the season and opportunities to officially reflect on our gratitude.

Today’s missive is entitled “Thanksgiving Thoughts” and it’s a combination of things I’m thankful for as well as just some things I happen to be thinking about right now.

I’d like to start off by thanking you personally. I appreciate your being a part of our community. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday and I wish you the best in every way.

This has been a busy and fulfilling fall. It’s been peak season for all of us hunting athletes and that is certainly true for me. After sitting out most of last year due to my shoulder reconstruction, it’s been a joyous return to the field for me. Like so many things in life, you sometimes don’t recognize how important something is to you until it’s not available. And then, if and when you are fortunate enough to return to it, your appreciation deepens. I’ve gotten out hunting a lot and it has enriched my soul immensely. I didn’t realize I needed the internal balancing, but the satisfaction I’ve been experiencing is incredible. 

I’ll struggle to explain that substantively and convey my perspective, but I shall try. I’ve been going out hunting, primarily for big game, as much as my work and family commitments have allowed this fall. There’s been some harvesting, but that’s honestly only one part of the entire experience. Time outside, in nature, does amazing things for a human, and we modern hominids benefit manyfold from a dose of natural inoculation. I’ve been experiencing a strange calmness, actually a peacefulness, that I didn’t know I was missing. It’s almost like self-actualization. I look forward to going out, not with manic, restless excitement – but a resolute sensation of doing what seems both a privilege and right. Most of the trips are physically challenging, but instead of getting more tired and worn down as the season has progressed, I seem to keep getting stronger. Some of this might be simply training, recovery, nutrition, and sleep – as I’m sort of supposed to be an expert in those things – but it’s more a case of getting a little more of my primal human battery recharged with every outing.

I told you this would be a tough picture for me to paint with mere words, but I hope you can relate. I’m super thankful for this opportunity and I’m hoping you have something that you do this season or any other that renews you as well. The pursuit and process of any passion gives us purpose and pleasure. That’s a lot of “p’s” but it comes from my heart.

I’m thankful for my family. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful clan and I don’t take that for granted. The words love and loyalty come to mind, among others. Back to alliteration, the meaning and mission of family is magnificent.

I’m so lucky to have such great friends. I can’t say I have tons of friends, but I have a circle of fantastic people who are really extended family. Quality over quantity. People who enrich my life, who I can count on unconditionally, and for whom I try to do the same. 

It seems that life comes down to just a couple things…at least when we think of what really matters. Family, friends, and a few passions are really all we need. This is thinking deeply more than broadly.

But when I begin to ponder more of the things I appreciate, since it is the time of Thanksgiving, I’ve got a list of things that are currently top of mind.

The clients I work with are incredible. People who inspire me to serve. Folks who are motivated and want to do the work to get the results. And they achieve so much. It’s an honor to engage with you.

Training Tribe members are awesome. A few years ago when I decided to develop a nationwide, online training and coaching platform, I had a lot of ideas. The Tribesters have helped me to clarify those visions and to transform them into a reality. A connected network of athletically-oriented individuals who are collectively a team. Training for the long game in life, using an annual training plan, and embracing equal parts fun and science…is and will continue to be our endeavor.

Technology-driven individuals (TDI’s) is the term I am using to describe all these clients and community members. Seven years ago I closed my sports medicine clinic. Not because it wasn’t satisfying, busy, or successful. I told people I wanted to do more writing, speaking, coaching, and consulting – and I wanted to create an innovative model for virtual service delivery that enhanced efficiency and effectiveness while lowering costs. There were a lot of people who said “what is that and how will it ever work?” Some even actually said “that will NEVER work!” But there were the early adopters who joined right in and helped me make it grow. The Pandemic came and went (for the most part). I continue to have people tell me “you need social contact and not all this online stuff.” That’s true. I have a vibrant social life. I (and you) just don’t need it for most of our work. TDI’s are the drivers in many industries, not just healthcare and performance coaching.

My health is good. I’m grateful for that. But I also work at it. The simple, basic things aren’t sexy…but they work. In fact, they are the most important parts of health enhancement for all of us…not pills and procedures. What we eat, how we move, the quality and quantity of our sleep and relationships – these aren’t just cute ideas for health – they are the essentials. I respect genetics, environment, and luck…but I preach basic health as the accessible foundation we all must develop. Not always easy. But necessary. I cherish every day that comes with good health.

Fitness and athletic capabilities are both a gift and a prize. Some are more endowed with talent than others, but with effort, one’s gifts can be defined and refined. Then comes the prize. The ability to do and be more in this life. I’m thankful for the level of capacity I currently possess. It’s more than what some have and less than that enjoyed by others. But it gives me so much and I work so hard at it. I want to help others to experience the same.

The outdoor gear industry is something I’m digging a lot lately. I love being a gearhead, or gear junkie, but lately this has taken  a new turn. I’ve had many clients asking me “so if you have been in this human performance industry for 40 years, and doing a lot of these sports or training programs for 50…what do you recommend for me?” Or something like that. I’ve taken on the assignment and have begun to more officially test and review gear. That which I use and like and which I can endorse for others. I don’t have any sponsorships or affiliations and I’m not looking for them, but I’m enjoying this challenge. I try to be objective and academic while at the same time trying to apply some common sense and wisdom when I’m vetting products. I’m grateful that much of my experience has led me to this role.

When we started I said I would just say what was on my mind. It’s nice to do that once in a while. Thanks for letting me ramble. And Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

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