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May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

When I saw The Fellowship of the Ring movie for the first time, those words struck me like a hammer on an anvil. They were spoken to Froddo, the hobbit whose task it was to take the dreaded One Ring to Mount Doom, as encouragement by the Lady Galadriel when she gave him a small crystal phial, filled with the light of Eärendil's star. She knew that dark days lay ahead for Froddo and his companions and in an act of mercy, compassion and support she gave him light for those times when it felt like the darkness is overwhelming, that there was no other source of light.

So, why were those words so powerful for me? 

For years now I have been asked by friends, family, counselors, leaders, teammates, advocates and spokespersons to write about faith and mental illness. While the two have been covered in enough written words to fill the Library of Congress, I feel that we have not seen the two discussed together enough and when it is there is far too much clinical writing and not enough first-hand accounts. So, like two awkward teenagers slow dancing for the first time under the lights, faith and mental illness are often seen touching hands, when in reality they should embrace in an intimate setting that can bring hope, light, love, peace and strength that only a strong relationship can. 

Let me state right now that I am not a trained therapist nor mental health professional. What I'm going to write is merely my opinion intermixed with my faith and what I have learned through my own journey with mental illness.

Often during the month of November we see "30 Days of Thanksgiving" challenges that push us to develop gratitude for the blessings that we so often overlook and take for granted. And while I love such challenges, they often only require us to declare our thankfulness on social media and nothing more. And that's not enough.

So, here's a challenge that is truly an activity challenge. During my "30 Days of Thankful-ness Giving" you'll have to not only do some soul-searching to discover what you're grateful for, you'll have to do things for others and for yourself to express your gratitude. This challenge will open your heart, deepen your soul, strengthen your relationships and most of all bring peace and joy to your life. 

Developing a spirit of gratitude has been shown to improve our immune systems, increase our level of happiness, deep our relationships and build optimism for daily life. So good luck and happy holidays! May this season be full of laughter, love, light and football...I mean, wonder. 

-Jeremy

30 Days of Thankful-ness Giving Challenge
Express Gratitude For Your....

Day 1: Life's Experiences - Do you realize how amazing you are? A living, breathing human being! Take a moment and write a list of ten life events that you are grateful occurred to help you be you. 

Day 2: Parents - As imperfect as they are, your parents did their best to love and raise you right. Pick up the phone and call your mother or father (or a mentor) to tell them how much you appreciate their influence in your life.

Day 3: Best Friend - Friends are the spice of life, so write your best friend a letter outlining all the reasons you are thankful that they are in your life.

Day 4: Neighbor - "It takes a village" as they say and neighbors are an important part of our lives. Make a taste treat and take it to a neighbor who has been a wonderful friend for you and/or your family.

Day 5: Blessings - Spend a quiet 15-minutes today just thinking about all the blessings that you have in your life and nothing else.

Day 6: Body - Do something active today! Get outside and enjoy the fresh air and give thanks for the body that you have, despite what you think may be its faults or "problem areas".

Day 7: Mind - Spend time reviewing a favorite childhood memory, then think about what you did yesterday, and finally think about a problem in your life and come up with a solution. Lastly, be grateful for a healthy mind that can do all three of those things and spend some time in a good book today to exercise your brain! 

The Questions Kids Ask

Posted on October 21, 2014 by

One of the most enjoyable things that Jeremy get's to do as a motivational speaker is to give assemblies at schools and visits classrooms all over. From Kindergarten up to 12th Grade, he says it is a true pleasure to meet these bright, inspiring children and teenagers and the incredible teachers and administrators who work so hard to give them a good future. 

But as every parent and teacher knows, kids really do say and ask the darndest things. Having spent the past decade as a speaker in just about every type of event you can think of, Jeremy has been asked a wide range of questions. From "Is bobsledding fun?" to "How old are you?", "Did you drive to our school?" to "Can I take your medal home?", you learn very quickly that when you ask, "Are there any questions?" you had better be quick on your toes because you have no idea what inquiries are coming your way. 

So we decided to compile a list of some of the best questions that Jeremy has had to answer in front of a crowd for your enjoyment, although not necessarily his!

    1. "Is Miss So-and-So (insert their teacher's name) your girlfriend?"
    2. "Have you ever died bobsledding?"
    3.  "Will you come to my birthday party?"
    4. "Do you think aliens are real?"
    5. "How old are you? I bet you're as old as my dad."
    6. "Can I have your bobsled?"
    7.  "Are you a superhero?"
    8. "Batman is cool." (true, not a question, but still a statement of ultimate fact)
    9. "What do they do with the ice in the summer?"
    10. "Umm...umm...umm....umm....I forgot."  

 

Ah, kids. Their imaginations are sources of endless creativity! 

If you'd like to schedule Jeremy to come speak at your school, please visit this page for more information. Happy almost-Halloween! 

 

And I Should Heal Them

Posted on September 19, 2014 by

As I sit here looking out my office window at a beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah blue sky I can't help but smile. Life is such a marvelous and wonderful gift, and every day that we are alive is a new chance to create a powerful future. As we say in my non-profit organization, The Athlete Outreach Project, "there is always hope."

Yet even as I smile, I cannot help but sigh at the tragedies and darkness that fills this world. As a former journalist I know only too well the number of wars and conflicts that rage around the globe. I just spoke at a suicide prevention event and often study the statistics surrounding those struggling with mental illness. I have participated in countless cancer research fundraisers and visited cancer patients in the hospital on several occasions. I have seen marriages fall apart due to infidelity, abuse or just plain apathy. I have seen lives destroyed through the use of drugs or other addictive substances. I have visited with youth incarcerated for foolish choices and helped save at least one life from ending through an eating disorder.

Even as I write this I'm mentally reviewing the tough circumstances that so many in my own life face. I have one friend who survived a potentially fatal car accident only to have her ex-husband force her and her daughters out of their old home and onto the streets. I have another friend who just got out of the hospital after some major surgeries. I could go on and on and so could you, and that doesn't even include all the struggles we have in our own lives.

As a dear friend of mine reminded me this week, "We all get tired, we all get discouraged, and we all have days where we want to give up. But we can't. Life is too amazing. And we are not alone in it."

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Now Available

Fire on Ice Jeremy C Holm
Racing down an icy track at 80 miles per hour leads you to think of many things. For Jeremy C. Holm, it made him think of God. In Fire and Ice, Holm shares his experiences as a bobsled pilot and coach, presenting a message of faith and personal courage that will inspire you to come closer to Jesus Christ and reach for that ultimate prize of eternal life.

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The Champions Way Jeremy C Holm
How do we achieve gold medal moments in life? How do we find peace and confidence and what truly makes us happy? Discover the answers in Jeremy's new ebook, "The Champion's Way", available now at Amazon.com

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