“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Not only is this quote fitting as we enjoy the holiday training season, but it doubles as a reminder of what we need to hold on to every day.

Holidays resonate with many for various, meaningful reasons. The typical accompanying sense of gratitude and joy shouldn’t only be embraced once a year, but every day. Those moments of defeat, frustration, and dread…the days where we want to be any where but where we are right then and there (*cough cough* work on Friday at 3pm, holiday training trip, traffic, insert your daily complaint here)…why wouldn’t we latch onto this holiday mindset every day?

It isn’t only during the holiday training season that we are presented with moments to be grateful and the chances to express those – it’s every day.

Through our work, thoughts, moments of giving, skills possessed, conversations, routine activities, passions – each waking day is a chance to live fueled with this joyful spirit, enjoyment and gratitude.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. We are given the gift of 24 hours. To not do everything in our power to make those the greatest 24 hours would be a shame. As we take the time to revel in the joy, giving, and optimistic goal setting of the season, realize this doesn’t need to happen one day a year.

Make this a part of your day. Every day. Starting today.

Sometimes it takes missed opportunities, adversity, cherished memories, or lost loved ones before you recognize the chances that you had and continue to have daily.

This video is a reminder to “focus not on what you can’t do…but focus on what you CAN DO…and be the best you can be“. Something as simple as the gift of playing a sport, what many of us take for granted, can be taken from us at any moment…just as it was this young boy. When faced with one option, he took it to places no one expected and became an athlete who defines today’s message.

“This is the only thing I can do – I’m going to become great at it”

Again – choose not to focus on what we can’t do, but focus on what we can do…and be the best we can be.

1. Can’t do something? Find something you can. There always exists the strength within you to test new limits. Offer your greatest self to others, and use this as an opportunity to grow in new ways.

2. Hold on to this...be grateful for those opportunities and those memories with friends, teammates, and families; for that chance is something not everyone is allowed, and can get taken from you in a blink of an eye. How easy it is to become preoccupied with the rush, stress, and daily annoyances…but keep in mind the little things…the reasons behind what you do each day, and the meaning behind your actions.

Recognizing the opportunities presented to us amidst our most troubled times empowers us with perseverance and energizes us with gratitude. Treasuring what we have, had, and what’s to come – with our valued memories, the unique abilities we possess and our excitement for even greater things ahead – allows us to remember what we have to cherish.

Treasure the moments we have with loved ones and the opportunities presented to us all the time – through our sports, in our community, at home, while working…no matter the struggle or glory. A resilient quest to be our best self, paired with gratitude, was a lesson a former teammate exemplified throughout his years of swimming. This contagious attitude and mindset is one we can all exemplify.

Live each day carrying out this lesson of gratitude and resilience. With every chore, stroke, word, repetition, gift, and step this week – make it your absolute best. You have the ability to, don’t take it for granted.

How do you plan on living out this week’s message? What are you grateful for this week?

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Written by Amanda Presgraves. Amanda is a senior Kinesiology major, Division I student-athlete and entrepreneur at James Madison University. As an advocate of health and personal growth, she’s on a constant pursuit to optimize life and inspire others through her commitment to healthy living. If you can’t find Amanda bouncing between the classroom, pool, kitchen, or volunteering, you can find her online as she continues to lead and motivate others towards a happier and improved life at COR through her article contributions, newsletters and community motivation. (@amandapgraves, amanda.presgraves@gmail.comlinkedin.