True Grit

The publishers of Runner’s World Magazine also publish a magazine titled Prevention. More women may be familiar with it than men – the target market is focused toward “mature” women. Regardless of age or sex, it does offer quite a bit of helpful information about exercise, nutrition, and life balance. In fact the sub title each month reads “Love Your Whole Life.” Who could argue with that phrase?

I just received my September issue of Prevention and at the back there is a section called “Postscript” that features a motivational quote. For September it is titled “Toughen Up”. The quote says that working out is more than physical, that:

…It’s a powerful tool for gaining confidence, willpower and grit. Grit is that inner toughness that gets you through life’s hiccups and heartbreaks. It gives you strength to push through the impossible…

Now, more readers may be familiar with the movie True Grit. The original with John Wayne as well as the remake with Jeff Bridges. Both played Rooster Cogburn who had True Grit – meaning courage and strength of mind.

Whether a motivational quote to workout or a description of a person – grit has to come from within. Inner toughness, strength of mind, courage, even faith – all forces that can only come from within a person. Heck, even The Wizard of Oz couldn’t give the lion courage, only show him where to find it. Like muscle, grit has to be exercised to be built up and strengthened. I do see the correlation between working out building a body as well as confidence, willpower, grit. Each time a swim stroke is improved, a hill climbed on a bike, or a speed workout at the track accomplished – the body and mind are strengthened. With that, the next challenge doesn’t always seem as daunting. The body has done it before and the courage (in heart as well as mind) is there as well.

Life leads us down paths that offer the opportunities to toughen up. Hiccups, heartbreaks, or hills – inner toughness – true grit – will give me strength to push through.

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