Swimming & Diving, Uncategorized

Practicing Gratitude

One shouldn’t need the Thanksgiving holiday to remind us to be thankful, but the opportunity for reflection is certainly welcome.

I’d like to use this blog to share some of the responses of the St. Thomas swimmers and divers to the question, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday?”   Here’s what they said:

I am most thankful for my die-hard parents who have supported me through thick, thin, downs and ups. – Jeff Isaacson.

I am thankful for my swimming family, mittens to keep my hands warm, garlic mashed potatoes, my family and friends, and chai tea. – Emily Punyko

I am thankful for being apart of the biggest group of friends you will ever find on campus. – Kathleen Dempsey

What I am thankful for my teammates this Thanksgiving. Both my current and past teammates have been an incredible support to me and are like my family (as Tom loves to put it). – Wade Fuerste

I am thankful for having coaches that are only “moderately pleased,” pushing me to strive for more. – Evan Eklund.  [Editor’s note:  I’m an optimist, and get kidded by the team sometimes for my rose-colored view of them and how they swim, so recently, I’ve adopted the stance that I am “moderately pleased,” or when things are really going well, I am (on rare occasions), “reasonably happy.”]

I am most thankful for my Mom.  I have never come across someone so devoted to others, so supportive, and so understanding.  She gives me strength and support in everything I do, all my successes in life can be attributed to her. – Hayley Trace

I am thankful for the health and happiness of my friends and family.  I am also thankful that I get to see my family, which includes my adorable dog, over Thanksgiving break. – Jen Littlejohn

I am most thankful for the blessings God has put in my life, especially the fact that after suffeirng a serious neck injury I am able to swim and  I can still compete here at UST with an incredible team. – Brian Huls

I am most thankful for my wonderful family and friends. I do not know what I would do without them in my life. – Erin Windschitl

This thanksgiving break i am incredibly thankful for my family and safe travel. I havent seen my brother in a long time due to the distance between Iowa and Minnesota, and having my parents now living up here. He also got engaged to his girlfriend (she has become my sister over these last 7 years that they were dating). We are lucky to have Jack (my brother) and Libby (his fiance) coming to thanksgiving this year. I havent seen Libby in two years due to school and the fact that she was in Panama for a whole year on a scholarship to teach English to the Panamanians. I am incredibly thankful for them both having safe travels and having them in my family and being able to spend time with them this weekend. – Banning Young

The support of my friends and family – Alec Nielsen

One thing that I am very thankful this Thanksgiving is all of the opportunities that I have been given, and some of these opportunities stem from being part of UST Swimming and Diving Family. Over the past couple of months, I have been interviewing with several companies for summer internships. Past swimmers from those companies have reached out and helped me to make the most of my interviewing experience as well as instilling some of my confidence. I am very grateful to them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to help me through this process, and I feel that much of my success has been due to their guidance. I hope to be the same helping hand for other swimmers in the future. – Anonymous

I’m thankful to be meeting my new baby nephew for the first time on Thursday. He’s a little over a month old. – Nick Haugen

I am most thankful for my friends and family who have helped me through so much in my life. – Dan Newman

I’m thankful for all my brothers overseas who aren’t able to be with their loved ones this holiday season.  Their service and sacrifice allows me and my family to share precious moments together.  – Ray Baltera

Now you know why I am so thankful every day, for the quality of the young men and women I have the privilege to coach.

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