Grateful Status Month 2013
Every year during the month of February I write a status each day, both on Facebook and Twitter, for something or someone I am grateful for. I truly love my life and I have so much to be thankful for. I believe it’s good for me to express that gratitude publically, and at the same time hopefully it makes a few people feel good in the process. I try to live my life with an ‘attitude of gratitude’, the more grateful I am for all the things I already have in my life seems to be attracting more new things into my life to be even more grateful for! If you are reading this I urge you to donate a status a day to something/someone you are grateful for, or failing that, call or text somebody and tell them how much you care, I bet it makes their day! So often we assume that all the people we care about know exactly how we feel about them, but often that is not the case. Don’t be afraid to tell the people you care about exactly how much they mean to you, tomorrow is not promised. CARPE DIEM!
Below are the 28 Grateful Status’ (one for every day of February 2013) that I posted to Facebook & Twitter.
Grateful Status #1: I am so grateful for my team mates and coaches here at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I love being part of a team, and this year we have a really special group, just a great mix of guys that are all pulling for each other and are fun to be around. I have a coaching staff that works hard so that we can be successful student-athletes and that support us on and off the court. I am also grateful for our team managers who regularly stay behind after practice and rebound for me. I am very proud to be a member of this team and I thoroughly enjoy the journey, which unfortunately is almost over. To show how grateful I am I will continue to give 100% effort on every play on both ends of the floor, and will always have all of my team mates and coaches back, on and off the court. Let’s finish this season playing our basketball, when we do that we are always successful. I love my team! OWLS ON 3. 1, 2, 3…
Grateful Status #2: I am so grateful for the good health of my family, friends and loved ones, as well as my own good health. I appreciate my health so much because it allows me to be able to perform to the best of my ability on the basketball court, as well as to be happy day to day without worrying. Being so far away from home I’m especially thankful for my family’s good health, I am so grateful! A wise man once said that having good health is more important than anything else. You may be a billionaire, but if you can’t get out of bed you can’t enjoy it. I know it is the easiest thing in the world to take for granted, but everybody has experienced this at least once: you get sick, like the flu, or you break a bone, have a headache/toothache or even something as small as stubbing your toe. You are in pain and you think to yourself “I would give anything for this pain to go away, so I could just go back to normal.”All I’m saying is maybe once a day or once a week you take a second to appreciate your good health and don’t wait until you are sick or in pain. It’s true what they say, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
Grateful Status #3: I want to say how grateful I am for the facilities I have had at my disposal since being here in America. Back home in England, one of my biggest challenges was trying to find court time, but here I am able to practice 6 days a week and I can get in to do my personal workouts at almost any time of the day. I also have free access to a swimming pool and a full gym, which is great for me because I lift all year round and as busy as I am, having a gym that is open from 5am to 10pm is a great help. On top of this I have been fortunate enough to have the help, support and advice of a great athletic training department. They are always there to help and do whatever they can do to make being a full time athlete easier. Just this week I have had 2 small injuries (a cut to the eye and a cut on my elbow) and both time the trainers were very efficient in stopping the bleeding and getting me ready to be back in the game as soon as possible. I really appreciate all of their efforts, not just from this year but for the past 4 years I have been here. For someone who was not used to all these great facilities, I am very grateful to have had them available to me.
Grateful Status #4: I want to say how thankful I am for books. That may sound a little strange, but they have become a big part of my life. Before I came to America I had never read a full book from cover to cover, but after setting a new year’s resolution for 2010 I have read around 60 books, and am now obsessed with reading and do it at every available opportunity. I tend to read mainly self improvement books, basketball coaches/players books and autobiographies of successful people. I believe that success leaves clues and I have learned so much from reading books in my own time which I otherwise would have never known. Will Smith once said that one of the keys to success is reading books. He said that no matter what problem you are having, somebody somewhere in history has had the same problem and written a book about it, so find it, read it and learn! My initial resolution was to read 12 books (1 a month), I urge you to set a similar goal, and spark new personal growth… You will not regret it!
Grateful Status #5: I want to say how grateful I am for my 2 little sisters Ella and Rhea. I may not have been the best big brother growing up (I hope they can finally forgive me for eating all their Easter eggs and forcing them to play football with me haha) but I always loved them unconditionally and would do anything for them! Ella is now a mum of 1 and a half, I already love Phoebe to bits and I have no doubt the bump will be just as amazing! I am proud of you for doing such a good job of being a mum and that you are all grown up! Rhea, I love how fiery you are, you always stand up for yourself (even against me haha) and I like that you are so confident and outgoing! I remember when you were little I could always get you to make me cups of tea… Sadly that time has passed L haha, but I still love you very much and I’m proud of you for how hard you work! I love and miss you both and I am looking forward to spending lots of time with you both next time I am home! Take care of yourselves… And each other
Grateful Status #6: I want to say how grateful I am for my Dad, Patrick Manifold. This summer was so scary for my whole family but as I knew he would, he pulled through and is doing so well now! The older I get the more traits I see myself possessing which come from my Dad. “If you are not first you are last”, “Nobody is perfect; you can always do better”. I understand now more than ever that the way I am as far as always demanding more from myself, regardless of how well I am doing, comes from him always pushing me and expecting me to be perfect. As a child I didn’t always understand it and sometimes just wanted him to say how proud he was, but part of my burning desire to succeed comes from wanting him to be proud of me, truly proud, and I really hope that graduating from University will be something that he can be proud of. I am so grateful that my Dad is recovering well and in a recent conversation he told me he has been watching my games live online and said he really enjoyed watching me play, which is great! I love you Dad and I miss you and I look forward to seeing you in the coming months!
Grateful Status #7: This grateful status is a combination of a few things… I just played my last ever home game at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and it was a great night! We played and beat our rivals and I was honoured before and after the game which was very special, and I want to say a few thank yous… Firstly to the amazing “Blue Crew” our fans made up of students, faculty, staff and community members. For 4 years you guys have been awesome and it has been a pleasure playing for you. Judging by the chants you shout while we play Fort Kent you are not their biggest fans, so as my parting gift to you… enjoy the win! Secondly to the people (friends/community members, especially those who were there tonight, you know who you all are!) who come to the games to support me, it really means a lot to me knowing and hearing people in the crowd that are rooting for me, thank you so very much! Thirdly to my team mates and coaches for their kind words and support, this team really is a family and I really love playing with these guys! To say that I am grateful for everything about tonight would be an understatement, I have truly had the time of my life playing in front of all our great fans and community, and to be “thanked” for all my efforts is truly humbling… You say thanks to me, but I really want to say thanks to you for the opportunity!
Grateful status #8: Seeing as it is Valentine’s day, I want to say how grateful I am for my girlfriend Chelsea. I’m not sure where to start, she really is incredible. I have never known a young women as selfless as she is and I’ve never met somebody who is so easy to get along with. She is so beautiful to me and I try to tell her that every single day! When I add up all the positives about her I feel so very fortunate to have her in my life. She has this special ability to make me feel so loved, it feels amazing to know that the person you chose to share your life with also happens to think you are perfect. I couldn’t possibly describe how much she does for me, supporting me, helping me to achieve my goals and doing whatever it takes for me to be happy is just the shortlist. I want you and the rest of the world to know that I love you so much baby and I can’t imagine my life without you… Happy Valentine’s Day 2013
Grateful Status #9: I want to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to live in America. When I was younger I always dreamed of going to America, all the movies I watched were made there, all the music I listened to was made there and the sport I loved was made there too! Although when I was a child I just dreamt of visiting, maybe going there on holiday for a week or two, but now I have lived here for 4 years, and it has been the best 4 years of my life. Where I live in Presque Isle, Maine is a beautiful part of the world. Directly opposite my house is a large mountain which changes the look of the whole landscape. It is beautiful not only because of the surrounding but because of the seasons. Autumn is amazing, so many colours! Winter is, well I would say it is freezing, but it’s actually closer to 20 below freezing most of the time. One of the reasons I chose Maine was because of the snow, and I was not disappointed; each year we have regular snow storms that drop 10-20 inches of snow at a time and about 150 inches a year. For someone who has never seen more than a few cm’s of snow, it really is amazing. Spring is great because even though it is still around freezing or just above, it feels like summer compared to -20 so everybody is out in shorts and t-shirts. Since living in America I have spent all my Christmas’ and various other breaks in Wallace, Nova Scotia, an equally beautiful and very tranquil part of the world which I love spending time in. I have also had the chance to visit many different states including Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. I just want to say how grateful I am for the opportunity to live in this great country; it has been the best experience of my life.
Grateful Status #10: I want to say how grateful I am for the Boudreau’s. I am currently in Wallace Station, Nova Scotia at the Boudreau family house. I have spent my last 4 Christmas’ here as well as countless other trips here to visit Chelsea’s family. I love spending time here because it is very quiet and I can get a lot done. While I am here I get to eat like a King (thanks Gayle) and I enjoy spending time talking to Chelsea’s dad Danny about everything from fishing to cars. Also part of the Boudreau family is Danielle, who I really like and always enjoy seeing when she is visiting from Halifax. There is also Crystal who I have only met twice but enjoy speaking to often, and the kids Abigail and Lily who are both adorable. They are a wonderful family and I now consider them my family, they have always been very supportive of me and I really appreciate that. Danny and Gayle have welcomed me into their home and made me feel like part of the family. I also really appreciate the fact that they have attended many of my games and watched just as many on the live broadcasts on the internet and they are always cheering me on. I am also grateful that they gave the world the youngest Boudreau 24 years ago! I want to say how grateful I am for everything you have done for me and I just want you all to know that I really appreciate you and love spending time with you!
Grateful Status #11: I want to express how grateful I am for Arthur and Barbara DeVaney. Four years ago I came to America. I was at least 5,000 miles from anybody I had ever known when I was dropped off at their home, supposedly just for a week or two until my place was renovated… After just a week they offered me the opportunity to stay with them and I jumped at the chance. I now consider these two amazing people ‘my American mom and dad’ and they fondly refer to me as their ‘English son’. Arthur is a retired professor and Bonnie works at the university (where she has been for over 20 years) and they used their knowledge of the American educational system to give me tips and pointers on how to succeed in the classroom, as well as on the court; id have to say they have succeeded in giving me sound and applicable advice. Over the years Art and Bon have supported me through thick and thin, been there to comfort and guide me through the hard times and celebrate in the many good times. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for them both, for everything they have done for me, taught me and for always believing in me… But most of all I thank them for just being themselves; two of the nicest and most caring people I have ever met! I may be leaving America in a few months, but thanks to them I will always have a reason to return. Those who know me understand that family is extremely important to me, and Arthur and Bonnie are now, and forever will be a part of my family. I love you guys, thank you for everything!
Grateful Status #12: I want to say how grateful I am for all of my professors and the faculty and staff here at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I have had some really great professors in my time in subjects ranging from math to history and of course business. I think mark of a good teacher is their ability to get a student excited about a subject that they were not interested before and help them understand why it is important, and then to find that students individual way of learning, as we are all different, and then work with them until they grasp the material. Since being here I have found myself enjoying subjects like math, American history and process management just because of the professors. One massive help has been the professors willingness to meet me after class to discuss things, being from a different country some topics/words/phrases which seem like common knowledge go completely over my head, and sometimes I just need to ask why certain things why to understand better, and they always make time for me, which has been invaluable. I also want to say how grateful I am for the staff here, the unsung heroes who make sure that all the things that have to happen, happen, so us students can be successful. I love walking into offices on campus in which I have never been and being greeted by a smile and ‘Hi Patrick, how are you today’, even from people I have never met before. I just wanted to say you all do a great job and I appreciate your efforts. I understand that as I do not have any professors on my Facebook that this expression of gratitude may go unnoticed by the people it is meant to compliment, but like the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘you can never go wrong by doing what’s right’. The time is always right to do the right thing.’
Grateful Status #13: I want to say how grateful I am for my coaches over the years, from when I first picked up a ball to the present day. They include Levi Utku, Gerry Kirwan, James Bamfield, Alan Gordon, Terry Cummings, Brennan Morton and Jim Casciano. Every single one of these men has taught me something about the game. The way in which they taught me varied; some through screaming, some through patting me on the back, some through example and some through mistakes… But I am grateful for all the lessons. I have learned so much about the game of basketball from these men, everything from how to shoot the ball to the far more intricate details of the game, reserved for the crazy ones among us who agree that no stone should go unturned in the pursuit of perfection. The relationship between a player and a coach is always up and down, the game we play is an emotional one and there are always high and lows on any team in any season, but the important thing is to take away the good things that you got from those situations and hopefully the byproduct of your time together was learned skills, learned lessons and a relationship that goes beyond basketball and lasts a long time. These men were all coaches of basketball, but anybody who is a part of this game understands that more than anything they coach young men on how to succeed in life. Even the tiniest lesson can stay with you way after you hang up your sneakers. I have a ton of these little lessons from all of these men, but I remember one of my coaches always screaming at us for cutting corners while doing warm up laps. I remember thinking I wonder why he gets so mad when people do that. Years later in passing I joked about it and he said (something similar to) ‘the reason I yell at people for cutting corners is because it is a metaphor. I believe that how you do anything is how you do everything, and if you cut corners while running laps you will think it’s OK to cut corners at work, with your family and in the rest of your life. I coach basketball players, but I also try to teach men.’ That really stuck with me, and changed the way I do a lot of things to this day. It’s safe to say I never cut corners when I am running laps, and I’d like to think in the rest of my life either. What I’m trying to say is, as much as I have learned a great deal about the great game of basketball from these men, I have also learned a great deal about what it takes to be a man, a good person and a good team mate, both in the game of basketball and in the game of life. So for that, I thank you all.
Grateful Status #14: I want to say how grateful I am for all the people who have believed in me over the years. You were such a source of strength for me, when the rest of the world thought I was crazy for wanting to live my dreams, as farfetched as they may have seemed when I first started, you guys had my back and believed in me when nobody else did. You are all over the world, in Kings Lynn, Swaffham, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Caister, Portugal, Rhode Island, Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Nova Scotia and a number of other places, but thanks to technology your support is never more than a phone call, a tweet or a Facebook message away. In my younger days I would sometimes second guess myself, I would ask if my mission was the right one, if my lifelong goals were actually attainable… I don’t ask myself those questions anymore. I have a quote on the mirror in my bathroom, it says: “He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.” Thanks to all those who have, do and will believe in me, I have the strength to never doubt who I am or what I do or where I am headed, so thank you all, you know who you are!
Grateful Status #15: I want to say how grateful I am for my nieces and nephew. Megan is 5, Oliver is 4, Freya is 2 and Phoebe is 2. One of the hardest things about living in America is the fact that I cannot see my favourites everyday like I could if I was in England. The rest of my family fully understands why I am here and what I am doing, but that’s pretty hard to explain to young children. When I first left 4 years ago I remember having a conversation with my sister Ceara and asking her if they will understand why I am never there, why I will miss Christmas’ and their birthdays. It was a very hard decision for me, as you can imagine, I didn’t want to miss anything, and I wanted them to feel like I was always there for them. I came to the conclusion, with my families help, that I can set an example for them, that anything is possible; if you believe in yourself, stop listening to the naysayers who tell you it cannot be done. To chase your dreams with wreckless abandonment, if it’s truly what you want to do, go after it and make it happen. Thanks to my sisters Ceara and Ella they have over the years tried to explain why I am here and never there and for the most part they get it. Thankfully my sisters do a great job of keeping me updated with their first steps, words, scrapes and achievements and I get t speak to them on webcam pretty often. But I do miss them, more than I can actually put into words, the love I have for them is so ingrained in me that I carry it everywhere with me. I just want them to know that they are always with me, in my heart, around my neck in the form of a St. Christopher and in my actions. I think of them before games, before workouts, when I wake up. They drive me to be the best man I can be so I can set a good example. If nothing else, I hope that when they grow up and decide upon what it is they want to do in their lives, they will be able to say “Well I can do anything, no matter how hard it may seem, because my Uncle Paddy does and he says we can too.” I love you kids very much and I miss you every day!
Grateful Status #16: I want to say how grateful I am for all the great authors, speakers and athletes who post inspiring videos on YouTube and post articles that inspire, motivate and educate me. About 5 or 6 years ago when reading a personal development book it asked me to think back to times I remember being really motivated. When I thought back I remembered that the times I was most motivated was either after big events in my life, either good or bad, and also after watching something that moved me, whether it be a great film, a line in a book, a quote or an article I read online. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but a year or so later when I was looking for a quote about motivation I stumbled across this one by Zig Ziglar; “People often say that motivation does not last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend you do it daily.” And it hit me. If I want to change my life I have to be motivated and not be a victim to circumstance. I have, thanks to books and the internet, the chance to see something new every single day, I can search for things that speak to me, that inspire and motivate me when I am sick or tired or sleepy or whatever it is. That revelation changed my life. Fortunately my goals motivate me daily, but still to this day, when I need an extra push, when I get up really early and have had a long day of practice, work, multiple classes and meetings, sometimes I need that gentle reminder to tell me why I am going to the gym at 9pm. So thank you, for all the inspiration, all the motivation and all the knowledge. (One of my favourite people I watch/read a lot of is Eric Thomas, YouTube his name and you will see why). So my challenge to you, if you are one of those people who get super motivated to do something, like say go to the gym, and on that day there’s nothing that can stop you, you’re in there for hours working real hard… But then the next time you were supposed to go your friend asked you to go to the movies, or your favourite show was coming on TV, or your bed just felt so warm… Realize you have the opportunity to motivate yourself every day, and if you do so, you can stick to your plan and reach any goal that you set for yourself!
Grateful Status #17: I want to say how grateful I am for everything that I have. I am not going to list all my possessions as this is not meant to be a boastful post, but one that just says thank you for all the things I do have. I would not say I am materialistic, I think the most important things in life you cannot buy. There is nothing I need, I have absolutely everything I possibly need (that’s why my family get mad at me on birthdays and Christmas because I can’t think of anything for them to get me). This summer I tried to teach my eldest niece and nephew about the value of money and how every single thing they have or eat or wear has to be bought, I asked them where money came from and they both said the bank (which made me laugh), but then I explained that in order to get money from the bank mummy and daddy have to do work to earn that money. I know the value of money, and I am happy about that. If I would have been brought up where money was never an issue I probably would not understand what it takes for most people to buy even the smallest thing. Although I intend to be very wealthy I will do my best to instill the value of money and possessions upon my children, so that they can understand fully how hard people work for what they have. So I am very grateful to all my family and loved ones for their gifts, no matter how big or how small, every single one is deeply appreciated.
Grateful Status #18: I want to say how grateful I am for John Murfitt. The last 4 years would not have been possible without John’s ongoing support and to say that I appreciate it would be a massive understatement. My family is overrun with women; I am on the wrong end of a 5 to 1 ratio, so it is nice to have at least another man in the family. I know this year has been a tough one but things are starting to look brighter for us all, good things are just around the corner. They say that it is always darkest right before the dawn, and I am in full faith that dawn is breaking! Thank you for everything, and I look forward to seeing you in a few months.
Grateful Status #19: I want to say how grateful I am for Mark Beales and Andrew Jinks. Both these men are the fathers of my nieces and nephews, Mark of Megan, Oliver and Freya and in a relationship with my big sister Ceara, and Jinksy the father of Phoebe (and the bump) and in a relationship with my little sister Ella. There are so many men in this world who unfortunately do not handle their responsibilities the way that they should, but these two men do. Both of them work very hard to provide for their families and are very hands on parents. I both respect and appreciate this as it makes me feel better knowing that my nieces and nephews will never want for anything or have to know what life is like without a father because of the effort you both put in everyday to make the kids and my sisters happy, and for that I appreciate you.
Grateful Status #20: I want to say how grateful I am for my big sister Bronagh. When we were younger we used to fight like cats and dogs (all her fault of course) and I never thought that we would ever actually like each other, but as we grew older we became very close. There is a certain bond that you have with your siblings that you can’t quite explain, that time and distance cannot interfere with, and that’s the kind of relationship I have with Bronagh. I want the best for her, and most of all just want her to be happy. She is in a great place right now and might be the happiest she has ever been. She recently got engaged to her long time boyfriend Spencer, who has grown into a dependable guy that Bronagh loves very much. They recently bought a new house and along with their bulldog Marshall are very happy. Bronagh is very proud of me and all that I have achieved and I appreciate that, I know this because she tells me all the time, through tweets mainly but also when we FaceTime. I love you and I miss you Bronagh and I hope I get to see you very soon… Until then, I hope you have done/started to do the thing I told you to do because I am just reminding you of what it is you want to do, as your little brother I am also your motivator haha. I will state publically that I am very proud to call you my sister, and I am also very proud that you past your driving test, I knew you could do it!
Grateful Status #21: I want to say how grateful I am for my big sister Ceara. Ceara is my eldest sister, and my second mum. I remember 4 years ago when I was frantically packing to go to America, jumping on my suitcase to try and get it closed while she was trying to zip it up (hilarious)… Still don’t know how we got all that stuff in 1 case haha. Ceara always makes sure I have what I need and is always looking out for me. Ceara is the mum of Megan, Oliver and Freya who I absolutely adore, and she does an amazing job of making sure I am still part of their lives even though I live so far away. She is always tweeting me and letting me FaceTime with the kids and I love that I’m still able to be a part of their life, and that wouldn’t be possible without her effort and updates, so I really appreciate that. I also just appreciate you for being you, you are my biggest sister and I know you always want what is best for me, and even though I am perfectly fine I know you (along with mum) can’t help but worry, but there’s really no need… As you know, I have a great plan for my life and everything is going according to plan! Thank you for believing in me, for staying up late, for supporting my crazy dreams and goals and for being a great mum. I love you and miss you very much and I can’t wait to see you and the kids real soon! P.S I ALWAYS keep my promises!
Grateful Status #22: I want to say how grateful I am for my Mum. Where can I start? How can I best explain how much you mean to me without making you cry? Anybody that knows you understands that this is quite the task haha. Well, you mean everything to me. I remember when I was younger, and let’s say I was not the best behaved child in the world, and you never gave up on me. You trusted me when I told you I would be ok, that I would make something of my life against the odds and against what 99% of people thought, you didn’t listen to them, you listened to me… Thank God I was the one who was right. I have so many memories of my wonderful life and so many of them include you, holidays, trips, dinners, Christmas’, birthdays, surprise visits to America. I remember all the way back to Telly Addicts and triangle tuna and cucumber sandwiches. To try to put into words what a great mother you have been to me and my 4 sisters would be like trying to explain to a blind man what the Sistine Chapel looks like… But understand this; we are who we are because of you, your lessons, your example, your sacrifice. Everything we have become it has been because of everything you taught us and because you made the opportunities possible. I would not be where I am right now without you, without your help, belief, support and most importantly love. I know how much you love me, I know how proud you are of me, and that is so special because not all parents express their feelings to their children but you have and do it so well that I truly know, and coming from where I came from, where one of my main ambitions in life was to just make you and dad proud… To know that you are gives me more joy than you can possibly imagine. (You are crying now aren’t you… Good tears I hope haha). I like giving you good news, and this is the first time I have told anybody this so you (and now the rest of Facebook and Twitter) are the first to know. I found out recently that the United States Collegiate Association of America named me an ‘All-American’ for my performances on the basketball court this season (you will have to Google what an All-American is now haha) but in America I am told it is a pretty prestigious award. I also recently found out, and this will probably make you even more proud than the basketball award, that the USCAA also named me an ‘Academic All-American’ for my performance in the classroom. I hope this news makes you smile! Without you none of this would be possible, so thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you have, do and continue to do for me, I would be lost without you and I am so proud to call Lorraine Manifold my Mum! I love you and I miss you very much and I hope to see you very soon! Love your freakishly tall but extremely grateful one and only son!
Grateful Status #23: I would like to say how grateful I am for all the recognition and awards I have received over the past four years. I have been fortunate enough to earn many awards and receive recognition from some very prestigious organizations, and I just wanted to say how grateful I am. In American Colleges and Universities, if you are disciplined enough, work hard enough, and then in turn perform at a high enough level, either on the playing field or in the classroom, there are people who will recognize your achievements, which is a wonderful thing. This status popped into my head today because I received 2 prestigious awards and I am feeling extremely grateful for that, but there are so many organizations that have given me awards over the years that I want to thank them publically. Instead of listing my awards I will simply list the names of the organizations that have honored me, I would like to say a sincere thank you to; The University of Maine at Presque Isle, the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches and Writers Association, the Sunrise Conference, The United States Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NCAA III Independents, and the Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities. Thank you all for your honors, they mean a lot to me and my family. Thank you!
Grateful Status #24: I would like to say how grateful I am for all of my past team mates. Team mates at Notre Dame, at the College of West Anglia, at the King’s Lynn Fury and at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Over the year I have had probably close to 150 team mates, all of whom were different. Some I have not spoken to for years, some I talk to every week. I learned something from every one of you, whether it be as big a thing as helping to install a work ethic, or as little as faking with your eyes as well as your body. People outside of basketball do not understand what goes into making a successful team, and even more so what goes into making a successful player. I would not be the player I am today without all my team mates going at me in practice, constantly pushing me to be better and do better while I demand the same from them in return. I want to say a special thank you to the players who really taught me a lot, whether they know it or not. I did not always do a good job of giving credit where credit was due, that is something I have been working really hard to get better at (these status’ being one of part of that growth). Thank you to all the players who stayed behind after practice or who met me before practice to get extra work in. Thank you to all the players who came to work out with me both on the court and in the gym on our days off. Thank you to all the players who taught me how to carry myself and be professional both on the court and in life. A special thank you to all the players who have either gone pro or have experience with the business of basketball that have helped me in recent weeks as I make the transition into the world of professional basketball. Thank you, all of my team mates past and present who I have had the privilege to play with since I first picked up a ball, it’s been a pleasure! I can’t possibly name everybody but I would like to name a few stand outs who really helped me or taught me something, or I just enjoyed playing with them, whether I told them or not; Jon Stonebridge, James Bamfield, Ashley Manning, Craig Law, James Borg, Kevin Foster, Dean Rosemburt, Tom Bates, Simon Hare, Wesley Lockwood, Matt Ellis, Sam Luong, Dan Smith, Conrad Buckle, Ryan Plaice, Wayne Gibbs, Steve Pilkington, Hank Rivers, Kris Nelson, Lamar Hull, Marcus Browne, Solomon Sheard, Charles Whitfield, Emerson Westerby, Lawrence Summers, Craig Williams, Brad Trask, Gerardo Vasquez, Loren Fawthrop, Kyle Corrigan, Chris Coffin, Ray Mitchell, Chad Duff, Alex Jardine, Bobby Beckman, Kobe Ashkir, Bryan Jennings, Jayson Burke, Nate Chisolm, Schmoke Louis, Bob Wegner, Chase Vicaire, Jordan McLaughlin, Mike Warner, Ollie Barrett, Aaron Hutchins, Bobby Beckman, Jean Thomas (I apologize to those who I missed out as I know there is a few, and also for butchering some of your names… It’s been a while haha)
Grateful Status #25: I want to say how grateful I am for my extended family. My Uncle Ian, who has always been a role model for me and my cousin. Uncle Ian has 2 great boys who I love, Callum and Jayden, they are both great boys who will grow up to be great men I am sure of it! Callum is a great little football player and has been ever since he could walk, Jayden likes a few sports but I think he is going to be the youngest ever MMA fighter haha. Then there is my Auntie Pamela who I love and her children Daniel, Rebecca and Sarah who are my amazing cousins. I also have extended family in England such as Susan Tasker who is now somebody I see every year and her little grandson Jordan who is cool. I also have family in Ireland who I do not see often but hope to get over there to visit someday soon. I am also fortunate to have a Godfather who is very special to me, the infamous John Pooley, who I care about very much. Family is very important to me; blood is certainly thicker than water. I love and miss you all and thank you for being part of the amazing group that I call my family!!
Grateful Status #26: I want to say how grateful I am for my cousin Daniel. When I was little I always used to look up to Dan a lot. I didn’t have a brother (which back then I was mad about) and whenever we went to my aunties or they came to ours I was always super excited to play pool or football or basketball, or even just listen to music! I always looked up to Dan, he always carried himself with class, and I know Dan looked up to our uncle so I guess we are both a reflection of him, which is not a bad thing. This summer I got the chance to spend some time with Dan at his house in London. He took us to see all of London and the Olympic games which we might not have been able to do if it wasn’t for him. It was cool to just be able to talk and spend time with him as adults, something we haven’t had too many chances to do for a while as we both live in different parts of the country and the world most of the time. I just wanted to say that I am grateful to him for setting a good example for me, he works hard, he has fun and he has lots of good friends, but more than anything he is just a really nice guy, a credit to my auntie and to our family! So for all that Dan, thank you!
Grateful Status #27: I want to say how grateful I am for John Gaze. John helped raise me when I was young from about age 3 to 13, a very important part of my development as a child I am sure. I tell people all the time that John is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He would do anything for you, and has done more for me than I can even say. Thank you for all the times that you cared for me and my sisters for all those years, I may not have appreciated it then because I was just a stupid kid, but I want to express how grateful I am for everything you did for us all. Even after childhood when I was more grown up and started playing basketball, John would volunteer to drive me to King’s Lynn every week, which is about an hour and 45 minute drive (that does not sound like much in America but in England that’s like a lifetime away haha), he never asked for anything in return, just making sure that his boy had the opportunity to play. I really wish you could have seen some of my games in the past 4 years John you would have loved it, the crowds are smaller than football but just as crazy and inches from the players! I hope that in the next few years if I’m playing in Europe I can get you and Sandra to come and watch me play somewhere as a thank you for everything. I know you are not my dad, but you acted like it and I saw you as a father figure in my life. Thank you for setting a good example, thank you for always caring for me and the girls and thank you for continuing to make me a part of your family, as you will always be a part of mine! I love you John, thank you for everything!
Grateful Status #28: I want to say how grateful I am for my Family as a unit. I think we are closer than most families, I am not sure why… Maybe it is because we have been through so much together that we have a deeper connection I don’t know, I guess it doesn’t really matter, but it is there and I feel it. Everybody that knows me knows how important my family is to me, I take them with me everywhere I go, literally. My family supports me at every turn, I know I may have some crazy ideas sometimes, but for the most part they believe that whatever I want to do I can do it, and that gives me strength. I miss you all, I say I miss you all the time on FB and in tweets etc but something is lost in those interactions because it’s something we do every day, the same is true when I say I love you. Well just take a moment and instead of just reading the words, actually understand what they mean. “I love you very much, and I miss you all every single day of my life!” When I made the decision to come to America I consulted my family, they knew I was going either way but I wanted to know what they all thought. At first they were a bit nervous, it was after all a rather big decision, something I had been talking about for a while but they probably thought it was just another of Patrick’s big ideas… But when it came down to making preparations they were all great, they supported me and believed in me. I remember making a promise to my Mum and the rest of the family before I left back in 2009, I promised them that if I was going to move across the world and not see them for almost a year at a time that I would make it worth our while. I promised to do my very best, in the classroom (where up to that point I had shown no real ability) and on the court. In the hope that one day I could achieve all of my dreams, this was a stepping stone to get me there, so one day money wouldn’t be something we had to worry about and I could finally give them all what they deserved. I made that promise not only to them but also to myself, and when people ask me why I work so hard to get good grades when I have already done enough to get an OK grade I tell them about that promise I made, I tell them that years ago I looked my family in the eye and promised I would do my very best in every aspect of my life, to make them proud, to give them joy through the things I achieve if I did so and give them hope that anything was possible. I kept that promise. In a few months I will get my degree, I think they will be more proud of that than anything I do on the court. A couple of things most people don’t know… I have a Superman notepad in my bag, in that notepad is a little message from all my immediate family members, I looked at it before every game I ever played, kissed it and put it back in my bag. I wear a chain with 3 things on it around my neck. A St. Christopher from the kids that is meant to keep me safe when I travel, a dog tag that says #GBED from my family, to remind me to keep on pushing, and one that says PM23, again from my family… I wear the necklace whenever I have a game and whenever I travel; I kiss all 3 when I put it on and again when I take it off. Last but not least, my sign. My sign is a diamond sign I make with my hands, I got the idea from it from my favourite artist and my favourite player who both do the same sign, the difference is what my sign means. To me it means family. They say diamonds are forever, well to me so is family. They say diamonds are unbreakable, well so is my family. They say diamonds are precious and hard to come by, my family is one in a million. Diamonds come from humble beginnings; they start out as rocks or coal and through years of pressure and cutting turn into these beautiful stones… After all that me and my family have been though in our lives, I see us now as diamonds, unbreakable, precious and will last forever… my family is my rock, my diamond. When I make that sign with my hands I am telling all my family back in England, in Ireland and in Heaven, from past generations to now that I am thinking of them, that they are with me, that everywhere I go and everything I do they are there. When I wake up and list the things I am grateful for everyday, you are all at the top of the list! I love my family, and I don’t care who knows it!
“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to realize
how good things really are”