Why I Want Grit

I’ve done a lot of reflecting on “grit,” as this is the word I chose for my “word of the year.” My memo board in the kitchen has this definition: “The passion, perseverance, and stamina we must channel to make our dreams into reality.” It’s a shorter version of a quote I found by Travis Bradberry. Like most things, as I reflect on the word grit, it seems to come up time and again in my life.

I picked this word because I have become very aware of my need for grit. I have a hard time following through with the work involved in achieving goals I set for myself. I want to internally motivate myself to put the work in and get things done.

In order to have grit, you have to have something that you are shooting for, a passion to pursue. This year, I am focusing my energies on two things: 1) training for this triathlon; 2) writing for our family blog.

I chose these because I want to feel strong again and push my body beyond what I think I can do. I want to prove to myself that I can have grit and that I can stick with a goal and accomplish something that I haven’t done in a long time. Writing for the blog goes hand in hand with training for the triathlon. It is a way I can process my training and all the other thoughts in my head.

When I was a kid, I went to swim practice because I didn’t have a choice. When I was in college I commited to swimming, and I was taught you don’t back down from a commitment. Plus there was accountability and camaraderie. Now I do it on my own, with help from my husband. I will have will power. I will have grit. I will have the self motivation to be in shape for this triathlon.

How Habits Help Build Grit

Patrick and I recently listened to a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. I also have listened to a whole bunch of podcasts and books on habits. I’m no expert, and am not even close to a good habit forming myself, but I am trying to show up more - often even with no motivation. Even when I’m tired and I don’t feel like doing it. Because it seems that showing up and doing it even when it’s the hardest thing to do, that’s where the habits are formed and grit is built. Even when you don’t have a blog to post and are just writing to create content, that is when the real work happens. You can appear to have an overnight success to the world, but really all the hard work has to be put in to have any kind of success.

That is what I’m learning and man am I not good at it. I really like comfort and watching television. I really like eating easy foods that have little to no nutrition in them. But as James Clear says, every decision you make puts a vote toward who you want to be as a person. So I show up. I will work hard to create the grit to become a blogger and become a triathlete. The difference between someone who says they want to be a triathlete and the person who is a triathlete is the daily habits.

I have encouraged others to work towards it as well in my quest. And others have encouraged me to keep going as I work to build this character more into my life.

There is a famous TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth about grit that seems to come up time and again during podcasts. Duckworth led research about how people become successful in life and a large part of others’ success is having grit.

I can’t be successful at anything if I don’t put in the work. I need to take each day as an opportunity to give myself a vote toward the person I want to become.

Week 3 Workout Summary

I didn’t do a great job at planning out my workouts this week and it took a toll on my success for the week. I went down to only 5 workouts this week. I will learn from this and make sure I plan ahead as this strategy clearly is important!

Monday: Did not workout

Tuesday: Biked outside today! Wow is biking outside a world of a difference. The hills around here are very challenging and it was a really good reality check for me. I did 10 miles and it took about 45 min.

Wednesday: I ran downtown Mechanicsburg with Iz in the stroller! She loved it and it was a really nice change of pace. Ended up being a 2 mile run.

Thursday: I did a 15 min subpar bodyweight workout.

Friday: Did not workout. Planning E’s birthday party for the next day and lost all motivation because I was feeling kinda overwhelmed.

Saturday: I swam 1900 yards! And my 5x50 free set I did :37 and the rest :38. I was super pumped about this practices

Sunday: Riding bike on the bike trainer. Goal is to bike about 50 min!