Whenever I race, I try to find one moment where I can feel true gratitude for the pleasure of being in this race on this day with this body. I really am a lucky person. I have done a good job with what I have, I think. I don’t have a perfect, athletic body to begin with. But I have a good, functional body.
A race is hard. I don’t mean to say it’s not. But it is possible for me. And it isn’t possible for everyone.
If I am puking my guts out. If I am bleeding because of a crash, if I am sorrowful because I am not getting the time I want to, I can always be grateful for the fact that I am out there, doing what I love.
I can be grateful for the weather, for the incredible scenery, for the incredible bike that I have the pleasure of riding on. I can be grateful for the aid stations and the volunteers at them, for other racers who cheer me on or encourage me.
Gratitude isn’t something that comes easily. You can’t just snap your fingers and be grateful. You train yourself to feel gratitude in difficult times the same way that you train for anything else, with practice. And while it doesn’t change the bad things that happened, it gives them a little more balance. It makes it possible to move forward without the same weight of the past, because you know that there will be something good ahead.
From Life Lessons in Triathlon