Grit – I Don’t Mean Sand in Your Bathing Suit

The word grit has a few definitions, one being small particles of sand.  Another version is the item for breakfast that I learned about when visiting the south.  I wasn’t a fan at first until I had homemade grits – they were delicious!

The grit I am thinking about today is the courage and resolve we have in facing and conquering a difficult situation.

We have all had to show grit during this pandemic/quarantine.  It has driven us to dig deeper than we ever thought possible to find the resolve to get through each day.  Some people have not been able to see their elderly relatives because senior living communities have restricted all visitors.  Others of us have been denied visiting our loved ones in the hospital – even if they (and we) have tested negative for the virus. 

Some signs you have grit:

  • You turn lemons into lemonade (see prior blog!)
  • You persevere through difficult situations
  • You don’t miss your exercise workouts (well almost never)
  • You’ve made it through a tough situation (everyone reading this can check this for surviving this pandemic)
  • You have a strong will

My grit has definitely helped me get through some tough times in my life.

Many years ago I decided I was ready to conquer a 100k bike ride – a fundraiser for American Diabetes Association – Tour de Cure.  My nephew, Rob, had just returned from riding his bike across the United States…yes the whole way across from Washington State to Washington DC on a bicycle, and he said he would come with me.  He asked a friend to join us, who was equally fit as Rob.  I was regularly riding my bicycle at that time, doing around 75 miles/week on average. I thought this was enough training for this undertaking. Boy was I in for a surprise!

We started early in the morning and we were the last 3 people to come across the finish line that night. As a matter of fact they were closing up the finish line festivities by the time we made it back.   

Rob and his friend were almost riding circles around me the entire day, but they never complained at my slow pace. Quite the contrary, Rob was a consistent source of enthusiasm and support.  “You’re doing great Aunt Mary Ellen” and “You’re not on your lowest gear, that’s great!”

I have to say that when I finally got to my car that evening, I was filled with unexpected emotions.  I couldn’t believe I accomplished 100 miles in one day on my bicycle. What an incredible rush!  I felt like I could conquer the world that day.

After my 100-mile Tour de Cure

Grit is having the courage to push through, no matter what the obstacles are, because it is worth it.

Chris Morris

There are some people who naturally have grit, sometimes because they have difficult situations in their lives they have had to overcome.  For the rest of us, we need to develop this quality.

Some suggestions for developing grit:

  • Find an activity/interest that you can begin to develop in your life
  • Take small steps to integrate this into your life, don’t stop if it gets difficult
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again – learn from your mistakes

“as much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”

Angela Duckworth

Attaining a goal that has been out of your reach is not impossible.  Something that you have always considered difficult is achievable if you are persistent in your efforts.  This quality of grit can be cultivated in anyone who wishes to conquer personal goals and find true happiness. 

4 thoughts on “Grit – I Don’t Mean Sand in Your Bathing Suit

  1. Mary Ellen… As one who knows you and loves you dearly… You left out some very important parts of the story… You are a woman of grit and your life is testimony to the truth!

    BTW… I made my list of lists to make… I finished the Costco list… The Trader Joe list… And I Actually crossed off items from the list I found for the handyman who picked up his check today! You were right… It feels so good to cross off those items!


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