— By Tania Tétrault Vrga

Life expectancy in Canada is 80.8 years. That is 28,764.8 days.  I did the math.  That number seems alarmingly small to me, especially considering that I’m already 35.  That leaves me with about 16,000 days.   So many things to do, so little time.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving, my mind is filled with thoughts of gratitude.  But this miniscule number 16,000 shines a light on the things for which I am truly grateful.

I could say that I am grateful for my health and my home and all these things that make me so lucky.  In reality, all I really need to be grateful for is this moment, and this moment, and then the next, and then the next…  because that’s really all there is.  Let me explain.

I am the luckiest person in the world.   My life is made up of a string of the most amazing moments.  I don’t have an exciting life.  Mostly I work and I eat and I sleep.  I wake up every morning and either head out to the gym to coach or start working on my computer.  If working at home, my husband usually grinds up some coffee beans and makes coffee for me.  I might program for our athletes, write some articles for the newspaper or the blog, answer some emails from our members or do some administrative or management stuff.

I head out to the gym.  I usually coach a few classes, maybe do some personal training and meet someone for a nutrition consultation.  On most days there are fires to put out, questions to answer, people to meet and things to take care of.  I might even find myself cleaning a toilet or doing some filing.  At some point during the day, I usually get to train.  Often I only have time for a few lifts on my own between classes but sometimes I’m lucky enough to do a class, to train alongside some great athletes and be coached by one of the awesome coaches we have on staff.   When I come home, I do more work at the computer, some programming, maybe answer some emails, work on the website a bit and put out a few more metaphorical fires.

On most nights, if I we don’t get home too late, my husband cooks me a homemade paleo dinner.  My favourite is the seafood curry, but the garlic stuffed pork tenderloin with baked cauliflower comes in a close second.  We eat, maybe we watch a documentary or Colbert or Stewart.  We go to bed.  Sometimes I fall asleep from exhaustion the moment my head hits the pillow.  Sometimes I lie awake for hours worrying about the gym and how to make it better. On the weekends after the gym I sometimes get to see my niece and nephew and on Sundays I usually go to my parents for games and dinner with my family.  Sometimes I get away for a few days for a course or a seminar.

It’s not a glamorous life, but each moment is precious because it contributes to my purpose, which is to make a difference by helping people get better, healthier, happier.  To make a difference by helping people be who they’ve always wanted to be.  That’s the punchline.  I’m grateful for the moments because the moments have purpose.

I know you’re wondering how I can possibly link this to training.  The fact is that training works the same way.  At the surface, we all train for different reasons and we all have different goals, but beneath the surface, we all train for the same purpose, to be better and to live better.   Once we become aware of that purpose, we realize that every moment in the gym is precious too.   It all comes full circle with the realization that being better requires actually being present in the moment.

I invite you to bring awareness and mindfulness to your training.  Your workout is not a time to be thinking of bills to pay or what do make for dinner, or what others think of you.  Your workout is made up of moments and the best way to get through the workout is one moment at a time, one squat at a time, one swing at a time, one step at a time.  It’s counter productive to think of what’s coming next.  It’s just you and the barbell and nothing else.  I promise you that if you commit to being present in every moment of your workout, to bring mindfulness to each movement, you will move better, you will live better, you will be better.

Join us for a Weightlifting themed Team Workout at 9AM on Thanksgiving Monday, and remember, it’s just you and the barbell…

From all of us at CFW, Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few pictures of moments I’m grateful for.  We’d love to hear from you too.  Tell us what moments you are grateful for.

Morning sunbeam

Peek a boo with my niece