I’ll never forget the day I curled 1/2lb… Yes, they make legitimate weights that weigh a 1/2lb. It was 2 weeks into my injury and I was in the occupational therapy gym with my therapist, dad, mom, sisters, and grandma working on bicep curls (my family came to every workout). I was able to do 10 bicep curls with no weight on my left arm. A personal best! Well I was feeling pretty good about my strength so I thought let’s see if I could do a curl with weight.

I noticed a rack of ankle weights that started at a 1/2lb. So I had my therapist wrap a 1/2lb weight around my wrist. I didn’t have the hand function to hold anything at the time. I mentally got in the zone. I was ready to give it my all to curl what at the time seemed like the impossible… I flexed my arm with everything I had. My hand slowly raising up to my shoulder. I was shaking. Grunting. Face turning red. My therapist was giving me trunk support so I didn’t fall out of my chair. After what seemed like an entirety, I got my hand to my shoulder.

I remember my grandma happily clapping. My mom yelling “Nice job honey!” My dad saying “Wow way to go!” My therapist excitingly saying “Nice going!” My fan club was pumped. And so was I. I thought to myself Yes! I did it! I curled a 1/2lb! Wait… I only curled a 1/2lb?… 2 weeks ago I was curling 35lbs in the weight room…

My excitement then became sadness. I quickly turned my major accomplishment in my recovery to a moment of despair and disappointment. I wanted what I once had. But I realized at that moment that if I always compared my recovery to where I was before my injury or compared myself to someone else that I would constantly be disappointed. With disappointment comes negativity, unhappiness, and being ungrateful which will only slow me down to reach my goal. Instead I realized I needed to have more gratitude for what I do have. Like the fact that I could even use my left bicep. That I have a family who loves and supports me. That I am still alive…

There are so many things in life to be thankful for. Being grateful will allow you to be happy and reach success.

There are so many things in life to be thankful for. It is easy to get caught up in what we don’t have or what other people have. However, that kind of thinking is only going to do you more harm than good. Being grateful will allow you to be happy and reach success.

There will be times when we are frustrated and everything seems to not go our way. It is in these moments when we need to take a deep breath, collect ourselves, and think about the big picture in life that it could always be worse. Don’t even take being alive for granted.

TAKE ACTION: Write down the question “What am I grateful for today?” And list 3 things in your life that you can be thankful for. Stay grounded and be grateful for what you do have. Think to yourself.” It could always be worse. “For me, one thing I’m really thankful for is to eat on my own and not to have someone feeding me!

We have now addressed Believe, Dream, Focus, Respond and Gratitude. Next week we talk about GIVE and why giving is the most rewarding behavior you can have.