To me, GRIT training is about three things: (1) mental toughness, (2) physical strength, and (3) community. Of all the many shortcomings I struggle against in life, maintaining the will to push through challenges remains the most difficult; this requires mental toughness. Life is hard, and it’s easy to want to throw your hands up in the air sometimes. Training at GRIT has challenged me to practice endurance and perseverance through the toughest physical work my body has ever before encountered. While I am physically stronger and more enduring than ever, the mental challenge has been greater, and has the most far-reaching effects. This training has helped to motivate me to work harder not only in the gym, but also in graduate school and in my personal life. It relieves much of the stress of an academic job and helps me to maintain balance in my day and in my life, and ultimately to enjoy each day.
The physical side of GRIT training is tough, no lie. The intensity and variety of the workouts stand for themselves. Despite this difficulty, everyone manages to push through. As a result, I am in the best physical shape of my life, both functionally and aesthetically. However, since beginning training at GRIT, aesthetics has come to occupy only a secondary part of my fitness goals; now, it is primarily about my performance in the gym and in the world at large. This, I think, is what the GRIT philosophy has done to change my outlook, and this approach has been much more enjoyable than the push for purely aesthetic beauty. Because of this mindset, I find myself growing stronger, tougher, and more confident in myself than ever before.
GRIT is also about community and teamwork. Never have I found such an incredible group of diverse individuals with interesting stories to form a network of friends. A huge part of training at GRIT is training with each other; we encourage each other through the toughness of the workouts to get through it, and this makes it somehow easier than if we were to work alone. Furthermore, it has been very impactful for me to spend time with my fellow athletes outside of the gym, going for drinks, or to see movies, or to play volleyball at Zilker Park, or even to take an impromptu hip-hop class downtown. GRIT is therefore more than a gym or a fitness program to me; it’s a way of life.