Bridges Built Through Grit

Caminante, no hay Puentes, se hace Puentes al andar. (Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.) – Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Meditations in Motion

I like to begin my runs at our local rec center, rather than from my house. There are more options if I do, which I appreciate. If I begin at my house, I have only two choices – I can run downhill, into town or uphill, away from town. The problem with both routes, after I leave my little street, is that they involve long stretches on a road with no shoulder and a significant amount of traffic.

For this reason, I drove into the rec center this morning to begin my run. Snow was in the forecast, but I hoped to beat it. I thought I could be back to the rec center and in the warm shower before the snow began.

It has been a downright balmy Autumn here in southeastern Pennsylvania. I reasoned that even if it did begin to snow during my run, the snow would not stick to the roads.

My sketchy plans were ruined, however, when, still a mile and a half away from the rec center and my warm shower, it began to sleet. And rain. My face was pelted with tiny ice pellets.

I ran as fast as I could back to the rec center, but I got soaked and cold. The picture above is me in full teeth-chattering shiver mode.

Meditations in Motion

Winter gives runners a chance to develop our grit. The grit that we develop through running in adverse conditions can benefit us in other areas of our lives.

We need grit to sustain us in our relationships. Even though I cannot imagine my life without my hubby, we have been through challenges typical of most long-term marriages. Both of us have, at one time or another, fantasized about packing it in and living alone on the beach in Hawaii with no responsibilities, no cares, and no squabbling. It was grit (and love) that allowed us to hold on when we felt like giving up.

Meditations in Motion

We need endurance in our parenting. Bill and I were in our late 20s when our youngest son was born. I cannot say that raising three boys on a shoestring was easy. I yelled too often. I didn’t listen enough. I could have been more encouraging. But, somehow, they all made it to adulthood. We’re still all on speaking terms, and actually enjoy each others’ company. Fortunately, we all have a similar sense of humor. And grit.

We need strength and tenacity in our friendships. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have propped me up, given me inspiration, or been strong and steady when I needed help balancing. I want to return the favor. I need grit so that I can show up and be tough when the need arises. My goal is to be a friend who can be counted on, no matter what.

Meditations in Motion

Faith takes patience and perseverance. It seems like the path to faith should be easy and smooth. In reality, it’s more often messy and unsettled. I pray for restraint and forbearance. I must acknowledge that some days are just easier than others. Some days, it takes all the grit I can muster to keep the faith.

Running long distances increases the grit I have in reserve. Because I have pushed through the wall in a marathon, I know that I can keep going when I feel like I want to quit.

Because I have put my head down and powered my way up long, steep hills, I know I can do difficult things. I have practiced regularly during training runs.

Running gives you self-confidence. It teaches you to keep breathing your way through the difficulties. Inhale. Exhale. Make it your mantra until you have overcome the obstacles in your way.

Registering for a race a year in advance, then aiming your conditioning for that particular event makes commitment a way of life. We stumble out of a warm bed while it is still dark, gulp a cup of coffee as fortification, and begin putting one foot in front of the other because we have dedicated ourselves to the task. Grit takes devotion.

Meditations in Motion

Training builds bridges over the chasms of self-doubt and insecurity. It helps us get past weakness and impatience. Training lets us know we can endure. We build those bridges with our sweat and resolve, with our grit and our will.

A few weeks ago, I was looking up horoscopes for an article I was writing. I found this horoscope and saved it for future use. (From creators.com)

Grit isn’t really something you have or don’t have. It’s like sweat. It’s made in the moment you show up, and get to work.”

Winter is coming. Time to get your grit on.

I am linking up with Clean Eats Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, blovedboston for Weekending, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs  for the Coaches’ Corner, and Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for their Weekly Wrap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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60 comments

  1. Indeed, life is an endurance event. And do I ever hear you about parenting — in looking back over raising my two boys, there are many cringe-worthy moments and times when I was shrill and impatient. But they got through it (displaying their own endurance) and I treasure their friendship now, even if they do love to tease me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The farthest I have ever run is a half-marathon and I agree that it helped me to gain a sense of grit. I like the way you explained how your commitment to running has positively impacted your relationships. I hadn’t thought of this before but it does take grit to keep long term relationships going. Nice read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re in the middle of a blizzard, so yep, winter is here! I got my grit on driving home after dropping my son off in Madison. That was scary. I’m grateful to be home and safe and cozy.

    I 100% credit running for giving me my grit and my fighting spirit. The benefits just keep coming as I battle RA, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you’re home safe and sound too. We are terrible drivers in the snow here. Schools close and people leave work early when just a few inches have fallen. I guess we need more grit!

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  4. Great post! I’m very grateful my sons all made it to adulthood despite my stressed parenting skills. I just love it when we are all together. Finding running 10+ year ago definitely brought me a new sense of empowerment. If I could do that…then anything was possible. It certainly spills over into all aspects of life. Thanks for linking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I am sure every parent looks back and thinks of things they wish they would have done differently. We do the best we can. I remember how strong I felt when I first began running. I loved that feeling! 🙂

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  5. ooooh, I love that quote about grit! YOu may remember, as I was running that (HILLY) marathon in North Carolina a month ago, I came up with the mantra “too much grit to quit.” Believe me, those 26.2 miles were the toughest I’ve ever run, but I never had any thoughts of quitting (though I took the liberty to walk a lot more than I’d anticipated). All runners have grit. Thankfully, it shows up when we need it most.

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  6. I like to think running brings out the grit in me that was already there, formed by a patchwork of difficult childhood, shame, child loss, countless things. When the going gets tough in a race I tell myself (and I tell the athletes I coach as well) I’ve done harder things. Beautiful reminders!

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  7. These analogies are so on point! I really love reading your posts because you have a unique way with words.

    I will say that while I prefer running in the winter, it’s not easy! It does really help you develop your grit which is always a good thing.

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  8. Running has definitely taught me about the extent of my resilience and my grit! Grit is definitely a quality that is helpful to lean on when times get tough.

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  9. I think this is my first time on your blog and I love it. Grit reminds me of the film True Grit. My Mum was a fan of John Wayne but I wasn’t but I did love this one. Running – I tried but need to start again. I am questioning my marriage right now so that bit of your post resonated a lot – thank you #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes! I can attest to how running builds grit! And how that grit helps me tackle other difficult situations. I set out for a morning run in Bozeman once, and by the time I reached the mile marker, a full-blown blizzard had swept in. I sprinted back in the last vestiges of visibility!

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  11. Have you had a different fall from me on the other side of the river? I felt like I enjoyed fall for maybe 2 weeks max in October! It felt like it went from 80* on October 9th (I only remember because I went to a cross country meet that day) to nearly winter. The weatherman said over half the days in November so far have been below average temps. I checked and last year I didn’t turn on my heat until November… halfway through October I was putting it on this year! I certainly need the grit to bear the cold; signing up for the winter series again keeps me motivated but I certainly enjoy running more when it’s above 40* minimum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know! We went out to Colorado mid-October, but my flowers were definitely still blooming when we got home, and the farm stand was still selling green beans, peppers, and eggplants! There was no frost.

      I just couldn’t sign up for the winter series due to my hip injury. In fact, I am going to give it a 2 week rest from running! 😦

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  12. You Americans sure have a funny accent and way of spelling English.

    You kept saying ‘Grit’ while i kept reading ‘Commitment’. 🙂

    But you are right – training helps with just about all the things we do – even acting on Instinct can be improved by training ourselves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Both winter & summer (for me) tend to be character building, shall we say. And our winter started really early & doesn’t really appear to want to let up, as it’s snowing again at the moment (just when most of the sun had been washed away).

    I do believe that running builds confidence tremendously — it’s one of the benefits you never think about when you begin to run, but are so lucky to receive.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Running gives us so much. I used to tell my cross country team (and their parents) that running would help them get through anything that challenged them through their lives. And build character, responsibility (cross country is a team sport), and, well, grit. Though our grit is built in the summer when we must run in spite of 90 degree heat by 6 am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is so true. Running toughens us for the challenges life throws at us. I have had so many benefits from running over the years. I don’t think I realized that you are a cross country coach. That’s so cool!

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