Today’s blog post was supposed to be about why you should work out on thanksgiving. But then life happened.

To give you some background info, two weeks ago, my grandfather, who we call “Peep,” turned 87. Since then, he struggled with a horrible cough, caught pneumonia, and spent the last week and a half in the hospital. I was supposed to fly home yesterday for thanksgiving but on Friday, while on my way to a very exciting Fit U meeting (more info on that later), I got a call from my mom that Peep was not doing well and my brother was already on his way to the airport. Within the next few hours, I was on a flight down to Florida.

Fast forward through countless hours in the hospital, this past weekend gave me a chance to really think about what it means to be thankful. If it’s ok with you, I’d like to share my thoughts.

Be thankful for your health. Walking through the cardiovascular ICU gave me some time to reflect on how fortunate I am to have my health. Your health and body are truly a gift. You have working arms, legs, lungs, a brain. Use them to their best ability everyday. Take advantage of them. Eat food that is both nutritious and mouth watering, challenge your mind, get out and see the world, do something you’ve never done before. Move everyday. 

Be thankful for the people around you. We can so quickly lose someone we love whether by death or simply not keeping in contact. Admire the people around you, breathe in your relationships, find out small little details you might not know about someone. Ask questions, pick up the phone, let people know you care, show people you care. In the blink of an eye, an important part of your life can be gone. Embrace your relationships, forgive people, laugh with everyone, indulge in conversation.

I sat in Hospice last night until 2am and at 4:30am, we lost Peep. His lungs couldn’t breathe on their own, his organs could no longer function. Today, I am most thankful for having Peep in my life. The kindest man you would ever meet, he was gentle, giving, and always had a new joke to tell. Though I am deeply saddened Peep will not be around at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner or be able to call to sing happy birthday on the phone to me, I can accept this loss. Peep lived a long, loving life – 87 years! – and today he joins my Nanny who passed away on the same day 22 years ago. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, though I’ve heard she was an amazing woman. 

If you take anything out of this post let it be this: Embrace life, enjoy your day, enjoy the people around you. You’re alive, take advantage of it.

RIP Peep. Forever in my heart, always in my laughs.


About The Author

Sarah Gaines in the founder Fit University. Her favorite things include weight lifting, yoga, cooking, social media, traveling & ice cream. Personal motivation: changing the college fitness game.

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