Gratitude for Athletes. Episode #13

by We Can Hustle | listen here

When you start to appreciate things for what they are and not what they’re not, your mind takes a shift.

I’ve personally experienced that with my riding and my sport performance has changed for the better. The thing about gratitude is it’s the quality of being thankful, a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The other components of gratitude is appreciating and acknowledging that there have been external forces that have influenced our lives in a positive way.

We’re acknowledging where we are right now. And people use religion in the sense where you’re exactly where you need to be. God has placed you where you’re meant to be right now and has put these obstacles in your way for you to overcome and become who you’re truly meant to be. And I totally feel that, that we’re allowing those forces to tell us everything happens for a reason. We only have right now, nothing is for granted and nothing’s for certain.



How to Practice Gratitude 



I really feel like when I’m going to a race and I’m being envious of other people, I’m ignoring what I have. I’m looking at what other people have and I’m ignoring myself and the fact that I’m on a gorgeous horse that is bred to run barrels. Without gratitude, you ignore your uniqueness, your abilities and your blessings. 

Look down at your amazing horse and partner and appreciate them right now. Let’s go into the arena, let’s not care what happens as long as I have fun and I enjoy my horse right now.

Don’t think about the future of what could happen or might happen, but be right “now” and just enjoy now having gratitude and thanks for what you have right now. “I am so thankful for my horses, they’ve helped me accomplish so many things. They’ve taught me life lessons that they will never know. I can focus on that when I’m going down the alley, I can smile and tell myself I’m just going to go have fun.”

I just changed my mindset. I looked at what I have. I realize that I’m very fortunate. You know, I might not have some things that I wish I did, but right where I am right now, I can’t complain. I’m exactly where I need to be, to become who I really want to become. And I’m embracing those setbacks. I’m embracing the bad times, I’ve gone through to get me where I am and I know it’s still not over. There’s so much more to overcome and realize in life. But for now I’m choosing “now” I’m choosing that things might be gone. Time will slip faster than I think anyone realizes. You miss out on it, but realizing what you have at this exact moment might be gone forever. And wow, like what an eye opening thought to have.

One things that helped me: Realizing I never celebrated small wins. Not acknowledging those little victories that you have with yourself can do a lot of damage. I never realized or thought I was getting anywhere. I would put in the work, but I felt defeated because I never gave myself the time to sit down and actually look at the wins I have been making. If you don’t take the time to evaluate yourself and look at your actual progress, you don’t acknowledge them.

We need to know how far we’ve come in order to keep growing and to keep positive. We need to know where we started from and how incredibly awesome is to be where we are right now, because that is an accomplishment. If you don’t see it, it means we need to sit down and think, and look at the small wins. What are your small wins of the day, the month, year, life, and remember those. 

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself once a week.

The best practice is to journal every night, ask yourself even a few of these questions.

What did you do well today?

For me conducting this podcast, it’s really hard to stay on a schedule and I’ve been struggling, but I’m still happy that I’m doing it. And that’s something that went well for me. I’m proud of myself for it because I had a chisel out that time in my day to sit down and record, edit and make ready for you. And I’m really grateful that I’m able to provide hopefully some value for you and maybe give you a different perspective on things to help you along your own journey. So that’s one thing I did well today.

What am I grateful for today?

I am grateful for the fact that it’s not winter. I can still go out and ride my horse. The grass is still green. I have a horse to ride. I have a car I can drive. I am grateful for my mom, my travel partner, going to barrel races. I’m grateful for barrel races. The world siituation this 2020 has really changed so many things for our lives this year. I literally went to a show last weekend and I was so grateful to be there. I was thinking “I don’t even hardly care how I do, I’m just so happy we have a barrel race!”  because I thought we were done for the year. 

I’m so freaking grateful to have barrel races, which I’m sure a lot of you guys can relate to that one.

What is a small win I can celebrate for me?

My small win is that I went to the gym this morning. It’s a small thing, but I still did it. It’s been getting easier because I’ve been adapting to a schedule to and it does make a lot of difference when it becomes more of a habit.  Whatever it is to you, when you actually schedule it in and you follow through, that is a win!

“I did something I told myself I was going to do and I followed through with myself. I was accountable to me.”

We are accountable to other people. But what do you do for yourself? When you tell yourself you want to do something? Do you follow through or do you literally blow yourself off. You want to do it for yourself to improve yourself and you literally stood yourself up. 

So my small win is that I followed through with what I said I wanted to do with the good intention of taking care of my body and improving myself. I followed through and that is definitely a small one that I can celebrate today and this week.

What is one compliment you would tell yourself?

It’s not really a question, but think of a compliment. You can give yourself.

This is not an easy thing to answer. One thing that I would say that I’m proud of myself for is when I was struggling with riding, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and to put myself in the position of “hi, I don’t know everything. Can you please help” and i was actually open minded to hear different inputs and different viewpoints and ideas that might really help me. So I’m proud of myself for going out and reaching out to get some help and guidance.

What is one thing that you can look back on and love about your journey so far?

For me, the whole internship thing. I love that story. It’s a lengthy, long one. A lot of things went down. It was amazing and also garbage at the same time. There are so many highs and there’s so many lows. I walked away with such a different perspective on so many things, not even necessarily horse related.

That whole internship experience that I went through might be my favorite. Like I’m happy I did it looking back.  I put myself in those bad situations and I came through it way better. On the other side, a different person, a stronger person, a more well rounded, educated person and I wouldn’t change that. And that’s one thing that I totally love about my journey so far.  It was incredible.

So, what is your own favourite?

It’s not over, you still got your journey, but at this moment in time, what is a one highlight experience that you’ve gone through that you love?

I just love these exercises as well. I think this just helps put things into perspective and I really hope it does for you. I really hope you’re able to get something from the bit of research that I did and also sharing my own experience.  I hope you can take something away that is beneficial, that will help you along your own journey as well. 

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