This is the third of what I hope will be a long list of New Year’s Gratitude posts. Inspired by Paula Findlay, each January 1, I post an A-Z of things I am grateful for from the past year.

It will come as no surprise that 2016 was a garbage year for me. An “easy” laparoscopic surgery turned into a 6 month recovery period. A broken foot. An entire year of training, lost. Combine that with everything else that has happened in the world, and I am quite grateful to be saying good-bye to 2016. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

But the fact is that I am here, I am strong, and I am healthy. And I choose to focus on the positive. So, without further rambling, here are 26 things I am grateful for from 2016:

A. Ashley Armstrong. For being a friend who “got it” when I needed one.
B. Beaches. When you can’t do anything except walk, having a beach to walk on makes life a little brighter. I am grateful to live near the ocean.
C. Clint Lien. (Head coach of Mercury Rising). For knowing when to tell me “no” and “slow down” and when to push me out of my comfort zone.
D. Dogs. My Charlie and Snoopy. For your unconditional love and enthusiasm.
E. Every Step Counts. For letting me use my skills to help others – and re-find my own love for sport through the process.
F. Friends and Family. When you go through a health crisis, you really learn who matters, and who you matter to. I am grateful to have such amazing people in my life. You know who you are.
G. Groceries from SPUD. They have stuck with me through a tough year, and I am thankful to have such an amazing sponsor. Especially when I couldn’t leave the house – they made sure I was well-fed.
H. Health. I am healthy, and I intend to stay that way. I am grateful that I am able to, as many cannot.
I. Independence. It’s easy to take for granted, and I am thankful to have it.
J. Jim Rabb. You are my rock and I adore you. Thank you for being you.
K. Kylie Acford. (Swim camera session coach). For whipping my swim back into shape.
L. Lillian Rabb and Larry Cuthbert. For being my Victoria family and welcoming me wholeheartedly.
M. Mercury Rising Triathlon. My team, for welcoming me back when I was ready.
N. Nana and Papa. My grandparents who love me and keep me humble, and focused on the big picture.
O. Oats. My pre-swim food. I missed it and I’m glad to have it back.
P. Progressively-minded politicians in BC. Who launched the largest-ever affordable housing initiative in Canada as a result of Victoria’s tent city.
Q. Quinlan. To Dr. Quinlan and his staff for making an awful situation the best it could be.
R. Running, Biking, and Swimming. I grateful to be able to, and look forward to another year of it.
S. Sara Gross. (My coach and co-owner of Mercury Rising). For the never-ending positive energy, encouragement, and the belief that I can race again.
T. Thompson Rivers University. For helping me to pursue a new dream and new goals.
U. Universal Health Care. My life would look very different today if I was responsible for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care costs that went into my surgery and recovery. Our system isn’t perfect, but I am grateful for it.
V. Victoria. It’s been 2.5 years, and this is very much home. I am grateful to live in this beautiful city.
W. Wisdom. Comes from being forced to sit out of life for six months. I hated every minute, but I learned a lot.
X. X-rays and ultrasounds. This seems like a weird one, but I am grateful to live in a world where seeing what’s going on in the body internally is easy and inexpensive. It has made dealing with health issues easier. I don’t want to forget how lucky we are to have medical technology.
Y. Yarn. Learning to crochet was a highlight of the year. I am grateful to have been able to learn.

And last but not least….umm…..

Z. Zippers. The world’s greatest modern technology.

Happy New Year all!




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