I want to be strong both physically and mentally...

I’ve joined GRIT because I want to be strong both physically and mentally and because I want to be the best that I can be.

GRIT provides an ideal environment to train my mental fitness, so that I can deal with my current challenges with work and school, with my past traumas having grown up in a war zone, and with anything I might face in the future.

For me, mental fitness means training my mind to understand and differentiate between fears and the truth, learn accountability to myself and my training partners, and stick to it.

I train at GRIT three times a week for an hour. I spend that hour with myself, at my best and at my worst, and I am learning who I am, and then take that with me out into the world with one goal in mind: to excel.

At some point during training and especially during a stamina cycle, my mind goes into a dark place and I start thinking how tired I am, that I can’t do this, that I’m not good or strong enough, that I need to stop. It’s these thoughts that make sandbag getups excruciatingly difficult, to the point where I don’t know how I keep getting up, one movement at a time, because, by all rights, I feel like I should not be able to.

This is when I remember Stephanie’s words about mental fitness and understand that the thoughts that are telling me to stop are not me, they are mental by-product of fears and insecurities and my mind’s panic mode response. They are not who I am. And, I don’t stop. I keep going until I finish 10 minutes of sandbag getups even though it does not get any easier. The fact that I keep going makes me realize that is who I am. I’m a fighter. And I don’t give up. This is my essence and this is what I train at GRIT.

At GRIT, we are a community and a family. Stephanie is a coach and a teacher; she gives support, advice, listens to us, and pushes us to ensure that we perform at our best.

In turn, everything I do in the gym has an impact on training partners. I understand that, if I walk in with a bad attitude or a chip on my shoulder, people can sense it and it intrudes on their state of mind. Likewise, if I come in with a positive attitude and a smile on my face, I can help boost someone up who might be having a bad day. It matters. Just as much as watching my training partner to make sure I can jump over and spot if needed, or cheer them on and maybe help on the way to that extra rep they’re struggling with. My job is to make sure that, if I have a bad attitude, I get rid of it and work through it before I walk into the door at GRIT. GRIT is where I belong and I want to do my part to make it a great place to train.

I train my mind inside the gym to be able to walk into everyday life confidently, with strength and integrity to myself and others. GRIT trains me to be the best version of myself, and I LOVE IT!

Natalija Svacina