Success is grit


Last summer, I spent ten days traveling around the east coast with a good friend. We camped on the beach in Maryland, saw a couple of MLB ballparks, and wrapped the trip up with a meditation workshop in D.C. 

And we saw a man with a goat. :-)

There was also some excellent craft beer, though by the end of the trip, both Heather and I concluded that Maine has some of THE best craft beer out there. 

I digress.

At the workshop, I took a lot of notes, even when I was supposed to be meditating, (because meditating is hard), but my favorite line from the day was:

Success is grit - it is the willingness to stay with it.

Grit is defined as “courage and resolve; strength of character.” Also tenacity, determination and perseverance, among others. 

If any of you have tried meditating, you understand the challenge of just sitting still for five minutes. Most of us would like to do it, but shutting the mind off for even thirty seconds is like figuring out what all the buttons on a Sony Playstation controller do after learning video games on Atari.

In meditative practice, they call the constant stream of thoughts the monkey mind. And people who have practiced meditation regularly for years still have monkey mind when they sit down to meditate. But as the instructor on Saturday reminded us, success with meditation comes from staying with the practice. 

The same is certainly true with fitness. 

We all hit a plateau at one time or another in our fitness practice. The first five pounds come off quickly, we add weight to the bar as we get stronger, we feel like we’re knocking it out of the park and then…..

We plateau. Our body adapts. The results don’t come as quickly. 

We get discouraged. And that’s where the grit comes in. Because showing up feels harder. Motivation slips further away. And it becomes easier to skip the workout because the scale hasn’t moved in six weeks anyway.

Only you can define what success looks like in your fitness goals. Going down a pants’ size, doing a body weight chin up, deadlifting your own bodyweight - whatever it is you’re setting out to achieve - it’s the willingness to stay with it - to find the grit - that will help you get where you want to go.