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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Gratitude Diaries Book Review

"A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker than a germ."  - John Steinbeck

The author of "The Gratitude Diaries"  Janice Kaplan made a resolution one year to practice gratitude in a different area of her life each month. She decided she would keep a diary of the results. This book is the result of her year of living with gratitude.

She decided to look at the positive side of life by expressing gratitude in writing for major areas of her life such as her marriage, her career, her health and her reletionships.

She also talked to experts in the field of gratitude and the book is full of their quotes.

She cites some of the positive effects research has shown gratitude can have.  Some of the positive people experience when they practice gratitude include.:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stronger immune system
  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • Less feelings of lonliness
  • Less depression
  • Better able to overcome negative life events
  • Are more compassionate
  • Act with more generosity
  • Are more optimisit

She made a couple of interesting observations, the first that whatever part of the body we use more regularly gets more cortisol. That helps us to feel our best.

She also talks about how people typically offered three times as much help to an individual needing help, than to a general tragic global problem. This is why I have always thought telling our personal stories of our stuggles are so powerful in raising funds for research. People will respond to a face and a name attached to CMT.

Kaplan claims the reason this works is when face to face with another person we recognize our own good fortune and know the random hand could just as easily have taken a turn in another direction.

That re-enforced to me the importance of being open about having CMT and telling our stories.  No one is going to give to a disease they have never heard of, but they will give to help or friend for family member with CMT.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship and at the Aqua bike National Championship in 2016. She represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.  

 In 2014 she represented the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon as a senior Olympian. In 2017 she placed 2nd in her age group at the Winter Triathlon National Championship, earning a spot on Team USA for the World Championship.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 213 members in 39 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway and Sweden. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

Follow CMT Author Chris Steinke

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