So the first thing I need to do is apologise that it has been such a long time since I last blogged. If you follow me on social media you’ll see how busy I have been with family, work, charitable endeavors & not to mention the fact that a few weeks ago I bought into a gym down here in Plymouth so things have been even busier here than normal, but excuse’s aside I’m sorry its been a while but here I am.

So in this blog I wanted to talk a little bit about gratitude. Most of you will know by now that the day I was injured was actually Christmas Eve back in 2007 & so this Christmas Eve will be my 8 year anniversary (or bang-iversarry as its been more popularly termed). Now a lot of people think that Christmas Eve is a time where I get all upset & emotional & spend ages looking back at the incident that changed my life & feel things like regret, anger or depression but let me tell you it couldn’t be any further from the truth. It’s actually during this time of year that I take the time to sit up & think about how grateful I am to still be alive, how lucky I am to have access to state of the art prosthetic technology & teams of people who gave me my life back & how blessed I am to have a loving wife & three beautiful, happy & healthy children who complete my life & give me a reason to keep on fighting. Now some people find that hard to believe & some think that I’m full of shit but I think that in our culture & in our society we have over the years been conditioned to focus our attention too much on all of the bad things around us as well as all of the things that we don’t have rather than all of the things that we do have & more than that we don’t appreciate those things we have, but when you open your eyes & look around no matter how bad you perceive your life to be you can guarantee that there is someone, somewhere in the world who would trade places with you in a heartbeat because to them your life is like a dream come true, think about that for a minute….

Now in my situation a lot of people look at me and think life must be so terrible to have three limbs missing & they think about how hard it all must be but I look at it differently. I look at the £100,000 prosthetics that I have & I thank the charity that provided them, I thank the manufacturers who spent years developing them, I thank the team at Hanger Clinic & my mentor Cameron who gave up their time, effort & energy to get my walking again & I’m inspired by their willingness to help others, I look at my family, the Royal Marines & all of the charities that I work with & I appreciate all the help & support they have given & continue to give me so that I can live my life to the fullest, I look at everything in my life & I consciously make the effort to focus on the things I have & I feel grateful for it all, hell I even feel grateful for the idiots that have come in and out of my life & all of the hard times & struggles that’s I’ve had because they have all been character building and molded me into who I have become today.

If you find what I’m saying hard to believe look at it this way, I lost three limbs above all my major joints, I have scars on my back & my chest, a cute little scar on my butt cheek (no you can’t see it) & a few shrapnel wounds here and there & that’s about it, since sustaining my injuries I have met people missing all four limbs, people with severe facial scarring, guys who look in better shape than me but have unbearable nerve damage or internal injuries & are in constant pain (which fortunately I’m not) and people who have incurred traumatic brain injuries & lost control of certain functions & controls over there body (again which fortunately I have not), now tell me you couldn’t find something in there to be grateful for! Now if you’re still struggling to find something I have also met men who have lost anything from one testicle to their entire genitalia in some sort of traumatic incident! Starting to feel grateful now?

Now as Christmas approaches for most people it’s a time for family, celebration, giving & receiving & taking some time off to reflect as well as look foreword to the year ahead but for some people its not a great time & I myself have had several terrible Christmas’ in my life but I’ve always used this time of year as a time to feel grateful no matter what I’m going through at the time because if nothing else at least your still breathing.

Now I only use Christmas as an example because it is fast approaching but the truth is you can feel grateful anytime you want you just have to make a conscious decision to do so.

So if you’re reading this right now & you’re in a bad place, maybe you’ve lost your job, maybe your girlfriend/boyfriend broke it off, maybe you didn’t get that promotion you were banking on just take five minutes to sit back, breath & put things into perspective, in fact grab a pen & paper & just spend 5 minutes writing down everything that you’re grateful for in your life from the smile you got on the way to work this morning & the fact that you have clean running water through to the great way you styled your hair today or even the fact that you have the education & ability to read this email.

Whenever you’re feeling like life sucks just take the time to concentrate on the many things you do have in life instead of the things that you don’t have, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work you’re ass off for things to be better because you should but always be grateful for what you have & if all else fails just remember that every day above ground is a good day….

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