Happy Thanksgiving 2013 Nov 27
Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. As if beautiful weather and delicious food weren’t enough, I am lucky enough to be reunited with family and friends whom I truly enjoy sharing my life with. I am incredibly lucky and I wanted to take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on just a few things I am thankful for.
Earlier this year Free Range CrossFit expanded from our original warehouse to the sweat “corner office” we occupy now. The transition hasn’t always been smooth and it is a continual work in progress, but it represents a milestone as a business and community that I am proud to be a part of. Free Range is my family and passion here in Tempe. We have such a fun and inspiring community of athletes and coaches! Each day I am rewarded by seeing the progress all of your hard work yields and it serves as a continual reminded to be better than yesterday. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of your lives!
For those of you who weren’t aware, the past 6 years have presented a major challenge for my vision. At first I started developing some “floaters” which were annoying, but nothing serious. As my condition progressed, my vision continued in a downward spiral. The floaters increased, slowly giving way to more hazy, blurred vision with extreme sensitivity to light. At its worst, reading text on a page and driving my car were approaching impossible. Being stubborn, I figured ways to “fake” my way through a lot of things. As a firm believer that you should look someone in the eyes while talking I would sometimes have to stare toward the middle of someone’s blurry face to give the “impression” I was making eye contact. From what it sounds like, little tricks like this worked, but I have likened it to petting a puppy with thick gloves on – the dog probably doesn’t notice the difference, but the experience for you is heavily muted. Needless to say, it made seemingly easy tasks extremely challenging and stressful. Over the years I visited countless doctors, and tried every kind of treatment and therapy you can imagine (hello needles in the eye!) with limited success. Finally, earlier this year I stumbled across two doctors who, together, found something that would come to improve my vision, and life immensely. This past September I had surgery on both eyes and am happy to say my vision has improved to levels I never thought I would experience again. I am able to see silly things like birds flying in the air, and the bright faces coming in Free Range CrossFit every afternoon. Despite the hardships this condition has caused, it has taught me a lot about myself and what I can endure, and for that I am thankful. I am enjoying the little things that sight brings now, and will never again take for granted having 5 working senses.
(some attempts to compare before and after surgery with photoshop)
Family is a strong part of who I am and I hold mine close to my heart. This past year mine has grown significantly as I have gained two brothers: Vandy and Calvin, four sisters: Abbey, Cameron, Avery and Chandler and been part of the merging of three families: the Lucas’, Shanholts and Barberas. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel around the country to support and witness family and friends start new lives together in marriage including my younger sister, Jillian. Then, just four weeks ago I married the most beautiful woman in the world, AB. Family can require a lot of work and has its own unique challenges, but those challenges forge bonds that last a lifetime. I am thankful for the people I call family and am excited to see it continue to grow!
Life is full of ups and downs and many things to distract you from what truly matters. Take a moment this Thanksgiving to clear the noise and reflect on what you are thankful for.