Finding gratitude in doing hard things

One man’s effort to stay grateful and connect the community around him
Doing better, being better starts with us, but finding your people, or your person can make all the difference
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:55 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - When Todd Poquette is asked about gratitude his response comes quickly, “I think honestly it’s the ability to step back and realize all of things we take for granted and having that moment or epiphany to take an inventory on your life and realize how fortunate you are.”

Todd Poquette, the director of the 906 Adventure Team and the brainchild behind Project Adventrus and events like Marji Gesik, embraces doing hard things. Sitting in the uncomfortable moments. Honoring them. Growing and learning from them.

“You can’t just be grateful for the good things that you have and the great people that you have in your life and all the good luck and things that go your way,” said Poquette. “You have to also be able to take bad luck, disappointments, times that you fall down. And you have to be able to take that and convert it into positive fuel in your life.”

It’s what he practices. It’s what draws others to do hard things alongside him. It’s the lessons learned, the opportunities to reflect, and the chance to live differently. To acknowledge, life it isn’t fair. It doesn’t owe us anything.

“There’s nothing about the world that’s fair,” said Poquette. “And your ability to take everything that happens to you that’s unfortunate, or somebody didn’t follow the rules or you didn’t get the job you wanted, to be able to take that and move through it, and turn it into something positive, that’s a life skill that we have to help people develop and not just kids either, because adults are the ones that should be teaching them.”

And while he says it starts with us. It’s not about going at it alone. It’s about finding your people. The ones that no matter what are there for you, with the hard truth, with honesty, with respect. The ones that will sit in those tough moments, and not pull you up, but hold you up while you find your courage, your space - while you fight and do the hard things.

“We truly do reflect the community and the people that we surround ourselves with. If things aren’t going well, if things aren’t great, you really need to take an inventory. What can you do different and maybe who you’re surrounding yourself with – and how to change that up. Find that person who’s going to have those hard conversations with you, but they’re having a hard conversation because they care about you. They love you. And they want you to get to that better version of yourself.”

Today, Poquette is grateful to a community that shares his ideals through the 906 Adventure Team. They come in the form of riders, and volunteers, staff and sponsors. They span across Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. They’re people who proudly stand next him, wanting something bigger, something different. A world without labels and judgement. And they’re willing to do the hard things to make that happen.

“I’m grateful that there’s more people like myself who think we need fewer teams, we need fewer labels and we need to be able to get more people to come to a table and just realize, like you and I are, that we’re sharing the same space where people are humans. That’s our commonality, and that’s all we need to know, right?”

Poquette admits he couldn’t carry this effort alone. He says above all, he’s grateful for his family. Their endless support, for showing up, time and time again.

“I think we were two days from the end. We were on our way to Whitefish point. We had seen our families, what we thought was the last night before we got to Marquette. It was raining and I think 30 degrees. We came up to the intersection and Stacy was there with Gavin. They had sandwiches from McDonald’s. And they were cold. They were wet. But I’ll never forget that moment, that sense of how incredibly lucky I was.”