For this special Thanksgiving edition of the UF Blog, we wanted to feature the heart and soul of UF: our staff. Every day, they think about how to make all of YOU more of who you want to be, and every day we get word from clients about how meaningful that has been for their fitness path. Today, we turned the tables, and asked the staff what THEY'RE thankful for...enjoy!

Mel: "I am grateful for thoughtful co-workers/training partners/friends that are open-minded, playful and so hungry to learn. We tend to soak up the energy of the people we surround ourselves with; I feel so enriched by the depth of those I am surrounded by every day because their drive constantly inspires me to do my best."'s best to not make eye-contact.'s best to not make eye-contact.

Hannah: "I am #grateful for good workout buddies (Looking at you fools, Nichols, Lex, Will, Natalia, Mel!) who inspire me to move well and often, and challenge me to go beyond what I think I can do."

Will: "I am thankful for the time, energy, and heart that our clients put into every workout. Their dedication inspires me on the regular. Oh yea, and showing up to work to see all my teammates shining faces every day is pretty awesome, too!"

 Coach Will is much nicer than he looks in this picture. Promise. 

Coach Will is much nicer than he looks in this picture. Promise. 

Alexei: "I feel deeply thankful for too much, I honestly get choked up thinking about it so please don't ask me in person. I am forever thankful to my parents and brothers for teaching me to work relentlessly, enjoy the journey, laugh as often as possible, and maybe most importantly to be MINDFUL of my actions and the people around me. I am thankful to spend every day doing the things I love, surrounded by people that I admire and who's qualities I aspire to share. I could elaborate endlessly, but to keep it simple that means my Jiu-Jitsu family and the entire UF community. I have learned so much about myself and about the world from you all."

Nichols: "I am grateful for the ability to be grateful, to recognize boredom is a failure of humankind, to be in awe that we live in a universe where we have voyaged far enough to see 'our pale blue dot, suspended on a sunbeam' as Carl Sagan would so brilliantly say. I am grateful for my family, teachers, friends, and coworkers for the unending support in helping myself and others recognize that we have a responsibility to become the best version of ourselves because it might be the wisest endeavor we might practice. I am grateful for the experiences and people I've met, and those that have yet to come. I am immensely appreciative of all you Urbies, Jiu Jitsu fanatics, and those who read, write, and question everything. In the words of Bertrand Russell, 'the good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge'."

Allie: "I'm grateful for all my families--from my genetic one to the one made up of close friends and now to the new UF family I have found. And I'm forever thankful that I am privileged enough to wake up every morning excited about my day and my future."

Well, that's a wrap--now go eat yourselves silly!