When we use the phrase “blood, sweat and tears” colloquially, we mean that someone devoted themselves passionately to accomplishing a task.
As challenging as a task may be, rarely in “real life” does the completion of a task require any of these, but humans do have a knack for hyperbole!
Defining GRIT can be broken down into two important parts, each possessing a description that makes recognizing GRIT a matter of simple observation.
The first part of the definition is GRIT as a noun, a thing to be possessed, or a characteristic of personality, of which there are many synonyms: courage, resolve; strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance.
The second part of the definition of GRIT is a verb. That means there is action, giving us a physical example of how the characteristics of GRIT manifest in real life: “ to clench (the teeth), especially in order to keep one's resolve when faced with an unpleasant or painful duty.”
This combination of tenacity and perseverance and clenching of the teeth, I see all the time in the gym.
I don’t see it from everyone though, and here are a few reasons why.
GRIT only manifests itself when a person is facing a challenge above and beyond their “normal” capacity, and most people don’t push themselves on that level.
GRIT only manifests itself when something extra is needed to achieve success, and most people quit before they get this far into the process.
GRIT only manifests itself when success is uncertain and failure is an obvious possibility, and most people are afraid of finding out how it feels to fail. GRIT only manifests itself when you aren’t sure you can do it, but you are damn sure going to try your hardest to succeed!
Last week the community at Crossfit Primal Energy concluded a challenging six week block of training.
Our strength program focused on Back Squats, Deadlifts, Front Squats and Floor Press. The program was structured linearly, in that, if you should up consistently and challenged yourself, improvement was guaranteed.
I could go into a bunch of boring detail, but instead I’ll let the numbers do the talking. Here is a short list of stats from our last training cycle at Crossfit Primal Energy:
End of Cycle Stats for Crossfit Primal Energy 9/9/16
- Participants: 20
- Personal Records: 17
- Participants: 23
- Personal Records: 18
- Participants: 24
- Personal Records: 13
- Participants: 25
- Personal Records: 15
Unique Individuals with PR’s: 38 athletes
Unique Individual with Multiple PR’s: 18 athletes
Unique individuals with 3+ PR’s: 6 athletes
The only thing I don’t like about this table is how the numbers dwindle to only 6 athletes who dedicated themselves to improving their strength across the board.
I commend the GRIT it took to stick with the challenging volume and intensity you endured to achieve your goals. Great Job!
As we begin a new training cycle, I encourage each of you to mentally check-in with yourself when you come to the gym. I want you to see the Workout of the Day, and I want you to smile to yourself, questioning what you are about to endure.
I want your energy focused on the task at hand, and how to use your time here in the best way possible. I want you to be challenged, physically and psychologically, and I want you to get comfortable with the idea that you are going to need tenacity and fortitude to get through some workouts in the very near future.
In our next training cycle, we are moving away from a strength bias to spend some time focusing on conditioning, and specifically, to test our work capacity against some of the toughest Crossfit workouts ever designed.
These “Benchmark” workouts provide an opportunity for each athlete to challenge themselves, and an opportunity to incorporate a higher level of competition into the class atmosphere.
Healthy competition is part of what makes Crossfit boxes different from globo-gyms, competition helps us all understand our own capabilities and competition inspires us to achieve more!
Do you have the GRIT to push yourself through the discomfort to set a new personal record?
Do you have the GRIT to perform these workouts as prescribed (RX), even though your ego might get knocked down a few notches?
Do you have the GRIT to show up again, even though you are tired, even though you worked a long day, even though you might be the only one on the black mats?
I look forward to finding out what each of you is made of in the next few weeks!
Let’s get some names up on this big empty board! Also, I’m including a link to a TED talk focused on how GRIT improves academic success for kids. These concepts can be fostered in a gym atmosphere, and they also have useful application out in the “real world” ;). Thank you all so much for reading my words, until next time…