Grit. Do you have it?
“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
- Angela Duckworth, TED Talk
If you haven’t watched Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk, please do. If I had to come up with my own definition of grit it would be pretty darn close to how she describes it. And it is so applicable in fitness endeavors, careers, and life in general.
Luckily for us, grit isn’t defined by talent. It’s not defined by good genes or a perfect upbringing. Grit is defined by two words: passion and perseverance. It’s a matter of getting up day in and day out, and going after your goals, whatever they may be. It’s not waking up on January 1st and bringing a huge intensity spurt to your workouts. It’s also waking up on February 1st and March 1st, all the days in between, and all the months after and relentlessly chasing your passion for a very long time. Years even. Sound hard? That’s because it is. Sound like you may be a little lonely on this path? Yeah, possibly. But nothing worth chasing after ever comes easy.
We have to be willing to fail.
Well shoot, I got this one in the bag. I had no problem getting severely injured in 2017 and missing out on my opportunity to achieve running my first marathon that fall. It took me an entire year to come back and make the goal happen. Months of not running and therapy. Runs cut short and cancelled altogether. The road back is never straight and flat. There will always be hills and there will always be forks in the road where you have to choose which way to go. When your friends choose the path that looks the shortest, take a moment and decide. Do I want the easier path? Or do I want the path that is going to lead me to my goals?
I think grit can be learned. Whether it’s learned from a father that works their butt off 14 hours a day years on end to pay off the mortgage early and pay for vacations, or you learn it from life experiences and passions. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, what matters is that you have it. It comes down to this: how bad do you want it?