I want to take a moment as we approach Thanksgiving to express thanks and gratitude for people and things in my life. This is something I often aspire to do more often than in actuality, but lately I have been more deliberate about it, and it is always worth it!

I’m thinking of thanks as for specific people or groups of people, and gratitudes as for more intangible things, but I’ll probably end up mixing them together.

I am thankful for my family, especially my parents who have walked the walk and supported me over many years. I am thankful for my girlfriend and love Sarah, with whom I have grown so much. I am thankful for Novi, my sweet old girl who is turning 12 on Thanksgiving! We grew up together.

I am grateful for good health, and opportunity. I am thankful for all our members who have entrusted us with their health and fitness. I couldn’t ask for a more kind, diverse, funny, and thoughtful group of people to spend my days helping and growing with.

I am thankful for our coaches and team who have entrusted Leslie and I to lead them. The world needs people like us. I am honestly a little surprised with how much mutual respect and care there is among us. Everyone asks questions and listens, no drama llamas!

I am thankful for my friend and business partner Leslie, we have grown so much through our partnership. We are launching a spaceship together, and it’s better than the one I dreamed about riding in as a kid.

I am grateful for CrossFit, which transformed my life, and thankful for Greg Glassman and others like him who are wild enough to change what they cannot accept. Because of the movement he started, I was able to find my calling.

I am grateful to have had a few memorable athletic moments in the cyphers and under the sun, and even in the garage, and hopefully a few more to come still. I am thankful to the coaches who believed in me even while I doubted myself.

I am thankful for the gift of movement, the barbells and the floor, and for those live moments when you don’t know for sure what’s going to happen next.

I am thankful for our first business mentor, Chris, and our entire business mentoring group. Chris has shown me a kind of leadership I used to only read about in my Dragonlance fantasy books, but he’s real. I am grateful for a greater mission to serve.

I am thankful for my therapist, Mariah, who has opened my eyes to a language of emotion and communication that I was blissfully unaware of before. I am thankful to a few close friends who were my unofficial therapists and mentors in years prior.

I am thankful for my massage therapist, Charlotte :).

I am grateful for having time to think and to write, and for the deep appreciation of learning I have acquired through some great teachers.

I am thankful and thinking of friends and family who have passed on too soon. We’re destined to live the dream for all our peeps who never made it.

I am thankful for friends and family, Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for YOU, dear reader!

Mauricio Leal

CrossFit Cypher Owner