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Why I'm thankful for my body: 2019

“I am thankful for my body—broken pancreas and all. Having type 1 diabetes has not only given me a better understanding of how my body responds to glucose and exercise, it has also taught me patience and perseverance. Most importantly, I have used the condition to encourage, motivate, and connect with others. Through all the highs and lows, my body continues to surprise me with its resilience. It isn’t perfect, but it’s mine. I am grateful for it every day.” 

-Tanner Patrick, group fitness instructor at Plano in Texas

“I’m thankful for my body for making me strong physically and mentally. A strong body cultivates a strong mind, and vice versa. This helps me in all aspects of my life and pushes me to become a better version of myself. As a dancer, it also allows me to express myself and share the happiness and energy I feel when I’m with others.”

-Adriana Del Castillo, group fitness instructor and Tier 2 trainer at Anthem Row in Washington, D.C. 

“I am thankful for my body for always keeping me honest. Whenever I deviate from my normal behaviors in ways that are potentially self destructive—by drinking too often, staying up late, overexerting myself, or skipping workouts, for example—it always delivers a tangible reminder of how important self-care is to optimizing my health and performance.”

-Matt Delaney, national manager of innovation in New York City

“I am blown away by the depths of what I can accomplish because of my hands and feet alone. I am so thankful for the freedom and power that these precious extremities provide me: strong handshakes, stability in yoga balances, long walks, and the ability to grab and hold weights and tools in the club.” 

-Emily Krueger, fitness manager and Tier 3+ trainer at Franklin Street in Boston 

“I am thankful for my body because it gives me the potential to reach any goal that I want: to be stronger, leaner, more explosive, more mobile, or more athletic. By changing variables in my program, I can accomplish any of these goals because of my body’s ability to adapt to different training stimuli.”

-John Cornelius, master instructor and Tier 3+ trainer at Marina Del Rey in LA

“My body motivates me to do better every day. I am always surprised by how smart and resilient it is, even though progress may seem minor at times. With the help of a strong mind, my body is able to push through long work days, handle extra load during compound exercises, and execute new skills on the tennis court. My body shows me that there are no limits to what I can accomplish if I am invested in its wellbeing and listen to its needs.”

-Taylan Batuk, Tier 3 trainer at Brickell Heights in Miami

These interviews have been edited and condensed for publication.

Photo: Anna Dabrowska/The Licensing Project