One of the greatest feelings is accomplishing something that you once thought impossible!
This is a true story of a journey that I hope can inspire many, women and men, boys and girls to become more active in their lives.
There is this thing in life that can determine if you are focused enough to withstand adversity, down times and hardship. It’s called grit.
What is grit, really? I believe it is word that’s been used to describe many things, but it really is a very specific word, with a very specific meaning: when things get hard, you push harder; when you fail, you get back up stronger; when you don’t see results, you do not get dejected, but you continue to pound away day after day, after day, with relentlessness, steadiness, heart, and passion—that my friends is grit!
This past year, actually it was the beginning of the winter semester at Michigan State University, January to be exact, was a usual winter grind. Going into the gym in January you can typically expect pitch dark mornings and brutally cold temperatures, it is rough, and it certainly takes a special kind of person to consistently show up. January always brings the New Year’s resolution crowd, so there will be a quite few newbies trying to work into the new goal, build a habit, strengthen the resolve and get into shape.
By the end of January most of them are gone, back to the comfort of warm beds and sleeping late.
Those wanna be’s lacked grit, that is most of them; however this past year there was this student who pressed on, solo and stone-faced, resolute in grinding. This girl had something, and I watched from afar to see if she had what it took to hang.
After the lightweights had burned up their ill planned goals, went back to the old habits and routines I decided to see what was up with this kid, this loner who seemed to have something, maybe talent, perhaps guts, and even possibly the all-important ‘grit’. As this student worked on a pretty decent plank, (a core strengthening move, which basically sucks ass) I commented on it to her. I do not even remember the whole thing, something simple, the reaction was pretty much “leave me alone old dude”, I liked it. This girl just might have ‘It’, the all-important grit !
Continuing on through the winter I saw this hard assed kid sticking to the routine, actually making progress, working a pretty solid routine of lifting and HIIT, pretty impressive actually. I really was starting to admire this girls determination and grit, but I really thought she would fade away like so many before her, the delicate flower, wilting. I have seen this a thousand times. She however did not.
I made another comment to this girl, typically as a CPT (certified personal trainer) we are taught not to offer unsolicited advice to gym participants, but I had to know what this kids game was. Usually a pretty active high-school athletic career is the norm. Virtually no one I have ever met at the gym, especially the early morning warriors, has not competed in something at the varsity or even club level, I would venture it’s probably 99%. When I asked this young woman what her game was, her history, her sport, she said she did not do anything, nothing! She read books!
Read books? Come on, no way!
If you ever doubted yourself, if you ever thought you could not fit in, use my friends example of a journey into the lions den, that place which can sometimes be compared to as the college gym facility. The home where young warriors live, full of young, hard bodies killing it, not welcoming to the novice, or bookworm newbie, with no experience.
That is unless you read this testimonial and it changes your mind-
“A year ago I was a very insecure and unhealthy person. I thought the solution was to go without food and sprint myself away. I had very little mobility and even less strength, and I was simply miserable all the time. Now I’m still a string bean, but instead of working to eliminate myself I get up every day to make myself stronger. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, but I’m also the strongest, most capable, and happiest I’ve ever been. It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes seems nearly impossible, but I promise this fitness stuff is all it’s cracked up to be and more.”
The hardest part of change is always the first step; do not let a fear or lack of perceived talent dissuade your effort. People see talent, but what they fail to see is the work behind accomplishments, the grit the grinding the loneliness and the anxiety. We all go through it; you are not alone, hardly. The idea that ‘God-given talent’ gives someone an out, an excuse, if you think about it. You were not blessed with incredible once in a generation skills, so you get a pass for not achieving once in a life-in- a generation success as an athlete, fit person or successful in life. What most of us do not see behind the talented, strong person, those who become massive success stories in their own right, is a daily schedule of grind, hours of sucking it up, and a whole regimen of difficult and sometimes lonely moments when the only partner you have is the music playing in your head. It is the tiniest of details, it is the desire to find yourself, and it is your inner grit that can drive you.
Use my friend Samantha’s story as a catalyst, she had no game, she had no experience and she had no training that is until she walked through the door on a cold assed January morning. Alone and stone-faced she sucked it up and now, well now you know the story!
The best part of writing this piece was actually instilled into my being when I read the above Face Book post by Sam. She is NOT the type of person who would share personal stories, accomplishments and achievements; she is a humble and very reserved young woman. That is changing and her story is so great that I felt compelled to write this post. I hope Sam’s words assist many others see the world through her eyes and journey.
If only one it was worth the effort, this lady is going places!