You’ve seen this person at the gym. The one who can’t get toes to bar, but flops away mightily trying to get them a little closer. The one who is still methodically working at getting her first double under. She’s small. She’s big. She doesn’t have an identifying body type or trait. Except one. She’s there all the time.
Is it you? You may have a secret weapon called grit.
NPR broadcast a story the other morning that made me pause mid-toothbrushing. Assistant Professor Angela Duckworth has been studying the effects of effort on success. As a teacher she’d seen enough smart students suck and average students succeed to wonder if intelligence wasn’t the end-all-be-all measure of success.
Her research is showing that Mom was right. You’ve got to try (and not give up on guitar lessons.) Sticking to your goals gets you places. Apparently these gritty peeps “approa[ch] achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina.” Gritty people may not be the smartest on an IQ test. But they “compensate by working harder and with more determination.”
It spoke to my soul, folks. True grit. Just like the movie(s). My little brain went to work. Is this like, a Crossfit thing? I wondered.
Grit is finishing what you start. Yep, nobody gets up and leaves mid-WOD when things get painful. Scrape your shin on a box? Whatever. We finish the WOD and then we deal with it.
Grit is not giving up. OK, how about the daily effort people put in, pushing themselves long past the point where most would say fuck this?
Grit is not getting distracted by the next shiny idea. Crossfitters put in the hours to work on movements that don’t come naturally to them. And the ones they despise (hellooo, box jumps).
Grit doesn’t just help you compensate for normal intelligence, it helps those of us who weren’t born athletically gifted.
Chances are if you’re a gritty person, evidence of your bullheaded work ethic is already decorating your LinkedIn profile. But if you’d like a more professional opinion, take The Grit Test. My guess is if you love Crossfit, you’re sufficiently gritty. It’s kind of our personality.
So what good is grit when you’re last to finish the WOD for the bazillionth time? Check out this tale from the lovely Fat Crossfitter. She’s got grit and now she has perfect form. What will sticking with it get you?
OK. Back to those guitar lessons…
Photo credits: Ali Samieivafa CC BY 2.0