Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday to me. I cherish the mood it invites, seeing and hearing all around me people getting in touch with gratitude. Indulging in it, swimming in it, marveling in the warm glow it creates in each other and in the world… We are encouraged to take a full head-on leap into thankfulness and just sit with it for a full day.
“When two violins are placed in a room, if a chord on one violin is struck the other violin will sound the note. If this is your definition of hope, this is for you. For the ones who know how powerful we are; who know we can sound the music in the people around us simply by playing our own strings.” -Andrea Gibson, Say Yes
I make a practice of gratitude, striving to live in each moment grateful for that which is. It’s easy, right? There’s so much to be grateful for. Sitting around a table with some of my chosen family several months ago – looking around, seeing the beauty and joy and love present – I recall being overwhelmed with gratitude. Roger, with his usual grin, summed up what I was feeling quite well: “Our life is pretty awesome.” It wasn’t November 26th, but it felt like Thanksgiving dinner to me.
Tonight, I’ve got the nasty flu. I’m staying isolated so I don’t get the rest of my family sick. That’s okay though – I’ve got plenty to be grateful for… and every day’s a fine day for Thanksgiving.
Today, I’ll take a moment to single out a very few people I’m enormously grateful to have encountered in the context of CrossFit Fenway.
Leon Chang – college friend who, once reconnected on Facebook, introduced me to CrossFit just over a year ago through his blog entries. He’s also opening his own affiliate in San Diego shortly: CrossFit Elysium. He’s the one who encouraged me to try it, and introduced me to his trainer. Speaking of whom…
Trainer Steve – aka Steve Rast, co-founder of CrossFit Fenway. When he moved to Boston, I was his first client. As in, within 36 hours! The Saga of Trainer Steve is a long story, and you’ll read a lot of it in this here blog sooner or later… and if you come down and join us at the training facility, I’m sure you’ll add your own chapters soon enough.
Miss Molotov – a dear friend who inspired me by setting an example and asking what we could create together. She is a consummate professional and works exceedingly hard to present a total package for performance. (Since I got into this, she too is off the treadmill and into CrossFit!) I suspect she’ll be a special guest for WODs at CrossFit Fenway when she stops through Boston on tour…
Neal Thompson – founder of CrossFit Boston, who was open to working with me to establish a new business venture when the idea first came up, and still remains tolerant of my desire to change the world. This goes double for his wife, Jess, who has been putting up with having me as a neighbor for years now.
Michael Cahill – the most “go-to guy” in the history of go-to guys, over at Samuels & Associates. He’s been an absolute rockstar at making connections and making things happen for us. Without him we would not be in any position to open as soon as we are. He works for the property owners and has been our ambassador to the city. We are enormously grateful to be opening CrossFit Fenway as part of the Fenway Triangle development and bring revolutionary concepts in fitness and personal choice to the neighborhood! Michael, as much as anyone else, has been instrumental in making this happen.
And perhaps most of all, I am grateful for the trust and commitment of Eric and Stacey. These two outstanding trainers have made the decision to be full-time, 100% committed to helping each and every one of us achieve our goals and live our dreams as the core staff and owner-operators of CrossFit Fenway. You, me, and them too – we’re all doing it for us.
Holidays are wonderful times: reminders we create as a culture, alarm clocks set to remind us once a year that there are some pretty important shared values that we might want to be getting in touch with. Veterans Day honors all those who served on November 11 – and yet is it ever out of place to thank any member of our armed services for offering their life in defense of our liberties? I think we all learned that at some point; Veterans Day just reminds us not to take that for granted. Independence Day may not seem like a big deal, over 200 years in the past… and yet the moment’s thoughtful pause and consideration created simply by the fact that we do celebrate that day generally brings us to a more present understanding and remembrance of just what was accomplished on July 4, 1776.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is being created to memorialize victims of a hatred that I hope we (as a culture) soon leave in our past. One day I hope it becomes a different holiday, inviting us to be mindfully vigilant in maintaining acceptance and equality as a core value of our society rather than taking it for granted – much like MLK Day has become for today’s youngest generations.
What changes will we create and memorialize in the future? What moments will we freeze in amber, what holidays will we celebrate to commemorate sea changes in our culture?