Skip to Main Content

What Does It Take To Become An Olympian? Chapter 2: Pure Grit.

  • 1 Year, 6 Months AGO
What does it take to be an Olympian?
Chapter 2: Pure Grit

 Before you read this post, take a second to imagine and define the meaning of “Pure Grit,” as it relates to sports. Some may have no idea what I am talking about. But many of you will direct your thoughts to the Nike and Gatorade ads. Athletes who are drenched in sweat, and are performing activities that embody strength, endurance, and determination.  Those scenes are the essence of Grit.
 
They had to get those ideas from somewhere, right? There must be a true source that allows these ads to replicate such intensity.
 
I am currently writing this blog post in my down time between two training sessions at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Ca. Talk about athletic talent and inspiration! I wonder how many gold medalists I have said hello to in this month of being here. I wonder how many world record-breakers I have sat with in the cafeteria. I am awe of these athletes, and also recognize that I must have done something right to be standing here today.
 
We are in the final stretch - 6 months to go until the Olympic Games and 5 months until the 16 ticket squad is named, it was very easy to think of a title for Chapter 2 of this series.
 
What does it take to be an Olympian?
Pure Grit. By definition, Grit means courage and strength of character. Synonyms include – bravery, backbone, spirit, will, fortitude, toughness, resolution (decision making), determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance, and the list continues.
 
Grit is only exerted once all physical, mental, and emotional limits have been breached, and all that is left are fumes of determination to get you across the finish line. It is painful. Entering into your phase of grittiness means that you have exhausted every lot of comfort. We physically fall every time we finish our last set of sprints. Muscles are torn every day so that they can turn into something stronger.  We are mentally and emotionally drained at every moment – Am I good enough? Will I make it? The Job is never finished. Am I eating, sleeping, resting, and hydrating enough? Am I happy? Not usually. Grit isn’t Joy. It’s work and strain.
 
But if these hours of grit stretch us one centimeter closer to our goal of a medal in the Olympic Games, then bring it. If it allows me to be the one standing there, then keep it coming.