Sunday, August 21, 2011

365 Thank Yous: Gratitude, falling down and marathon running

John Kralik's 365 Thank Yous has become my feel good and inspirational book of 2011.  This "phoenix rising out of the ashes" piece of non-fiction drives the nail home again and again regarding the consequences of self-pity, altered perception of life, and how reaching out to others will bring reciprocal benefit.

The premise of this book comes to Kralik from an experience on a mountain trail.  Though the author does not adhere (initially) to religious beliefs, he does receive some sort of metaphysical edict, which tells him it's time to reach out and become thankful to others.  This takes the form of a special goal, that of sending one thank you note each day during the coming year.

I listened to this publication on audiobook while running.  As Kralik would profess, I want to say "thank you" to the author for reading the book himself; his soft, caring voice lends authenticity to the message.

It was time to chuckle a bit during the final chapters, as it seems in almost all things inspirational, endurance sport rears its magnificent head.  As part of his recovery, Kralik takes up marathon running.  There's a wonderful section where he talks about a training run and describes what it's like when 50+ year old runners fall.  It's dead on.

Thank you notes have always been a big part of my life.  There's something special about breaking away from impersonal emails and taking a moment to hand-write a short encouraging message. 365 Thank Yous teaches us that we can take the thank you game to ultra levels.  If a few cards are good, 365 are better, right?

I'd recommend this book for all master competitor readers.  I'm in a period of life where there are rain clouds over my head and 365 Thank Yous brought a few rays of sunlight through the shadows.

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