As I spent the day today thinking about my teammates in life I couldn't help but feel grateful for all those who have influenced my life and supported me along the way, but I also felt a deep desire to let those people know how much they have meant to me.
People often ask me who my favorite bobsled teammate was, and I have to honestly answer that they all are. Every single athlete I've trained with or alongside or competed against has influenced me in one way or another, taught me things that have helped me become the person I am today. The exact same thing can be said for every one of those "life teammates" I mentioned. The people we choose to embrace as friends, colleagues, peers, heroes and even teachers have such a powerful influence on our lives, for good or bad. Even as adults, peer pressure has simply become the temptation to "Keep up with the Jonses". We need to be careful who we invite for the journey if we truly desire a gold-medal life.
That being said, does your spouse know how much you love? Do your children? Do your friends, your family, even your coworkers or athletic teammates know that you appreciate them and what they mean to you? It can be so easy to just assume that they know, but the truth is that life is a fragile thing. The very person you are thinking about today could be gone tomorrow. Don't let a day pass by without letting those who are most important to you know just how important to you they are.
Share those powerful words from your heart. Don't wait until "halftime" to give them the speech you've wanted to say because honestly, tomorrow may be too late. That isn't meant to be depressing, but the words not said become that much more bitter when we try to share them over a gravestone. All we need to do is turn on the news and see that at any moment our time on this earth can be cut short which is a lesson in and of itself about embracing each and every day and living it to the fullest!
So make that phone call. Send that email. Visit that neighbor. Write that thank-you note. Forgive that person you've been angry with. Tell someone today just how special they are. Life's teammates are a blessing and very often angels in disguise. Take a moment today to tell them what they mean to you!
To my family, Mom, Dad, Jessica, Nate, Matt, Linnea, Joe, Izack and Trevor, I love you guys so much. We have had some crazy adventures together and I can't wait to see where we all go from here!
To my bobsled teammates, Don, Brad, Dan, Dave, Erik, Lane, Mark, Jared, Chad, Matt, Joe, Adam, Matt and the list goes on, but guys, thank you so much for putting in the hard work and the support over the years on the ice. You guys helped make it the best winter sport in the world and I am grateful for all the memories we have had. More to come!
And to all my friends, teachers, coaches, trainers, leaders, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, etc. thank you for all that you have taught me (or tried to teach me), the encouragement, the kindness, the examples and the fun stories to not tell my kids! My life is better because of the parts you have all played in it!
As Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator once said, "Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it."