Posted by Coach Mark Sortino

I was thinking about this word, “gratitude”, over the last couple of weeks and thought it would be appropriate to write about leading into Thanksgiving.

  • A friend of mine had a tough day last week: he got in a car accident which was his fault and will wind up costing him about $1,000 to repair his car. Positives: no damage to the other car and neither he or other diver was injured. GRATITUDE for his health and that of the other people involved.
  • My fiancé is struggling with a lower back injury which has kept her from training for the last few weeks. Positives: she can still go on family walks and has finally found that acupuncture and some specific stretches are making a huge difference in her recovery - she will be training again soon. GRATITUDE to have the opportunity to train again soon.
  • A Team MPI athlete just missed qualifying for Kona by only a few minutes. Positives: he had the best Ironman race of his life with his family there and all his friends around the country watching and experiencing the event with him. GRATITUDE to be able to experience this life event with lots of love and admiration from so many people.
  • A Team MPI coach has been fighting a tough sickness for a week now along with her daughter. Positives: she has spent more time with her daughter who is finally getting better. GRATITUDE that she and her daughter will be well again soon.
  • A cloudy and sun-less day that’s cold yet not cold enough for snow this weekend kept me mostly indoors and seemingly sapped my energy all day. Positives: spent wonderful time with my family with absolutely no where to be but together. GRATITUDE for being loved and able to love some one.

I’ve come to believe that GRATITUDE is one of my most powerful feelings. It’s what I find in all happy and content people. It’s perspective. That is, it’s all on how you view situations. I truly believe that almost all events have a positive. If we can genuinely and independently find these positives, we can experience the warm and wonderful feeling of GRATITUDE. I bet there is a situation you can find this day that you can express GRATITUDE towards right now...


Mark Sortino is a USA Triathlon Level III Coach, USA Cycling Level II Coach, F.I.S.T. certified bike fitter and certified USAT Race Director who has been the Head Coach of Team USA Paratriathlon since 2012. Mark has coached Paralympic Triathletes and Cyclist, Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championship qualifiers along with National and World Champion ITU Paratriathletes. Mark is the 2016 Paralympic Head Coach for Team USA Paratriathlon and also coaches 2015 ESPY winner Krige Schabort. Additionally Mark has been the head coach for all of the USA Paratriathlon High Performance Camps. He contributes columns to Beginner Triathlete and Triathlete Magazine and is featured coach in the Endurance Films TriMinds series. Mark is also a US Veteran having served 20 years in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer and is graduate of the US Naval Academy. Mark is a 16-Ironman and 3-time Kona finisher and is the co-founder and CEO of Team MPI. Mark can be reached via email at

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