Mario Villalobos


I’ve never been the type of person who thinks about all the things I should be grateful for; instead, I think about what I don’t have. Not so much material possessions, but personal traits and characteristics or certain types of relationships or anything in between. I’ve known for a while now that being a grateful person is a fantastic trait to have to improve one’s health, and I even have a task in my todo list that says to write three things that happened today that I’m grateful for. It’s set to repeat every night, except that I’ve never implemented it into my nightly routine. I might change that tonight.

It’s Thanksgiving, and I’ve never written about or even thought about the things I’m grateful for on this holiday. One thing I’m grateful for is my health. I’m alive, and with every breath I take, I’m reminded how lucky I am to be alive. I haven’t been sick since February of 2011, almost 4 years ago. Every time I get a little tickle in my throat or a runny nose, I worry that maybe I’ll wake up the next morning with a full-on sickness. I haven’t yet, and I hope I didn’t just jinx myself. I’m grateful that I’m physically fit enough to even attempt let alone exceed with these tough Insanity workouts. Every morning I wake up and look at myself in the mirror and smile because I look okay. It’s not really the looks, but the way I see myself. That confidence wasn’t always there.

Up to a few years ago, I was the most insecure person in the world. I hated myself so much, and now I can’t even imagine inhabiting that mindset anymore. I’m grateful for my personal progress. I’m grateful that I’ve lost over 60 pounds in the past few years, and I’m grateful for all the extra energy that’s given my days. I’m grateful for having the courage to become a wild land firefighter in freaking Montana. And that I love being one so much. I love camping and exploring the natural beauty of the world and helping fight for its preservation and health every summer. I’m grateful for those three great summers and hopefully many more to come. I’m grateful for having found a job that pays me well and that provides me a strong intellectual challenge and mental satisfaction. I’m grateful for the people who helped me get this job, and all I want to say is thank you to them.

I’m grateful for all my friends and family. I may not be the easiest person to talk to or get along with, but I’m happy for everyone who’s stuck around. I’m grateful for everyone who decides to spend a few minutes of their time to read what I write. That literally brings tears to my eyes.

Life, no matter how hard you try to prevent it, will always have its lows. But it will always have its highs, too, and it’s those highs I’m most grateful for. They provide the fuel to my fire when it seems I’m all burnt out. They keep me going, and I’m only on day 81. I got a lot more life to live.