Thanksgiving is less than a week away. In exactly one week, we will be surrounded by our loved ones giving “thanks” for the spread of mouth-watering foods that lay across the folding table. But what does it really mean to give “thanks”? Better yet, why do we wait until Thanksgiving to express appreciation for the blessings in our lives? I’ve always found it strange that we wait for one day out of the year to articulate gratitude openly for our good fortunes. Traditionally, before indulging in the delicious foods that have been prepared, my family normally goes around the room and voices at least one thing that we are grateful for. It didn’t dawn on me until I was in line at Dunkin’ Donuts this morning that I experience feelings of gratitude at least once a day. Yet, I never express those feelings. So I would first and foremost like to thank the gentleman who struck up a conversation with me as we anxiously awaited our first thing in the morning coffees. You have inspired me to write this.
With less than a week left until Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to share the things and people that I am grateful for, at least within this last year. It is my hope that in sharing mine, you will share yours too. Maybe not with me, but with the people that are among your list.
Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has.
Family, first. Always. To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin in expressing the deep gratitude I have for every single person in my family, both immediate and extended. I have two incredible sisters who are not only the best role models a girl could ask for but my absolute best friends. We may not talk every day or every week, but we are always there for one another. It’s kind of like there is an invisible presence. I feel their presence in everything I do, no matter how far away they may be. How lucky am I? I have a mom who has made more sacrifices for me and my family than anyone should ever have to. She has always put her family before herself. She is my #1 fan, my biggest advocate, and my rock when I just need my mom. She is also my biggest P.I.T.A (kidding). The truth is that I aspire to be like all three of these women, because well, if I grow up to be 1/2 of what each of them have amounted to, I’m in great shape. I have a father who is hands down the most caring, dedicated, hardworking, and jolliest man I’ve ever met. It is a honor to say that Bill Ganc is my father. Meet him and you’ll understand why. I am grateful for my crazy, dysfunctional, perfectly imperfect family. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I truly believe that I have been blessed with the greatest friends in the world. Each and every one of them are always there to listen to my problems (no matter what time of day), put up with my crazy antics, make fun of my quirkiness, or hold the mirror up to challenge me. They push me to be the best version of Chelsea, day in and day out. It took me a very long time to appreciate the value of a good friend. You know the friend that will sit with you in the ER in the middle of the night, the friend that will pick you up on the side of the road when you’re stranded, the friend that will build a relationship with parents and be in the front seat on the day of graduation, the friend that knows how you like your coffee in the morning and brings you one or the friend that leaves a thoughtful note on your desk when you’re having a really crappy day. Aside from the long-life memories I’ve made with them, I appreciate them for them. I appreciate their presence, their sense of humor, their perspectives, their values, their visions, their drive. To my friends, you motivate and inspire me every single day. I am grateful for you all. (Note: Not all of my friends are pictured, don’t be offended).
For being 27, I have done a lot of cool sh*t. I mean I’ve traveled across the country, ran a half marathon, won a state championship, saw the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day parade front and center, left the country, lived in a different state, took the bus for a solid year straight, worked in finance, sat front row at an Eagles game, experienced a destination wedding, taught a college class, saw Barack Obama give a speech, watched Aaron Judge carry the Yanks to Game 4 of the ALCS… I could go on and on. The point is that sometimes I neglect to remember how incredibly lucky I am to be able to experience these things. I’m not talking about being financially stable enough to afford some of these experiences, I’m more or less talking about how lucky I am that for one reason or another I was presented with these OPPORTUNITIES. My goodness, I am blessed. Needless to say, I am grateful for these experiences, no matter how big or small.
With graduation right around the corner, I get asked a lot what I want to do after I graduate. You would think after 20+ years of schooling, I would have figured that out by now, but nope, I haven’t. There is only one thing I know for certain that I want “to do” for the rest of my life: help others. The rest is a mystery. All I want is to bring light to someone else’s eyes. I love the question, “in service of?”. I strive to operate from that place. Who am I serving? How can I help? Where am I needed? I am constantly asking myself what I’ve done for someone else. That’s not to say I don’t take into account how to serve myself, too. Because, well I think that’s incredibly important too.
This past year, I started coaching at a local CrossFit gym. NEVER in my wildest dreams would I have thought that coaching would bring as much joy as it does to my life. Not many people can say that they truly LOVE what they do. I may not be the best coach out there (I know I’m not and I’m okay with that). I may not know all that the sport has to offer or the proper cues to give people yet (good, I’m still learning). But what I can tell you that there isn’t a single day that I don’t love what I do. I don’t HAVE to. I GET to. I GET to step foot in that box and share an hour with people who have the same interests as I do. I GET to help others learn new movements, new skills or new approaches. I GET to learn from arguably the best coach in the state (@ least in my opinion). I GET to bring my energy to class in hopes that it puts a smile on my member’s faces. I GET to invest in each and every one of these
members incredible people. WHAT AN HONOR. Sure, I have my off days. We all do. But there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for every single person at CrossFit Reconstructed. You all have in one way or another changed my life.
So sure, this is a really small list of the things I’m grateful for this year. I could probably spend the rest of the day coming up with more. But instead of writing about it, I’d rather go show these people my gratitude. Show people that you’re grateful, it costs nothing.
Article written by GUADS staff member, Chelsea