Friday, October 20, 2017

GRIT...Innate or Learned?

The definition of grit is as follows...
Alone each of these words speak volumes...together they paint a picture for me of a person who shows mental grit...those people who no matter what will finish a task even if injury comes.  My husband and I were watching a series last year about a group of people that they put through training to be part of special forces.  The things they had to endure both mentally and physically challenged each person until there were only 5 men remaining.  The last challenge was a trek that they had to complete through a mountain range.  Along the way there were tasks that they had to complete and check points.  It was hot...they were exhausted...and they had no idea how long they had to complete the challenge, where the end was, or that if they reached the end they had won.  What we saw in those men was true mental grit....they wanted to quit so badly but there was nothing that was going to keep them from continuing on.  It was so engaging that when they reached the end and you saw the elation on their face, I cried! 

This got me that just something that is in them or did they learn it from somewhere?  I look at my two girls (the baby hasn't had to show his grit yet!) and they are two opposite ends of the spectrum.  One really pulls away from a challenge especially a physical one and tends to stop before she can really show herself that she is capable.  The other speeds through a challenge no matter what is in front of her.  Will they always be this way?  Can my daughter learn how to challenge herself and feel the elation at the finish?
I then looked at myself as a runner...and throughout my life.  My husband joked with me the other day when we were debating whether or not our oldest should go to soccer practice with a cold.  I thought running around in the cold air would be good for her, and he pointed out that I'm the same person who will run those last three miles of a race with open blisters because a finish line is a finish line!  Mental grit was what made me a successful softball player (I mean being a catcher is all about the grit).  Mental grit was what made me a strong soccer player (I used to do group runs and just about hold my breathe because I didn't want my teammates to know I was winded).  Mental grit has carried me over thousands of finish lines through the years including a Boston Marathon finish in 30 degree weather after enduring a Nor'Easter.   When I look at myself through my years, I would say I was always more like my middle child....always ready to take down a challenge.

My hope is that I can show my oldest that she too has that grit...she can challenge her body to do amazing things...she can push her limits and show herself what she can really do.  And as I climb back to my first race back after this third baby, my hope it that my mental grit will just come oozing out and she'll want in!  We can all have that's just digging deep enough for it to come out!

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