Love the Grind.

Below is the Hyannis Life article Coach Katie wrote for the August issue.  Enjoy the grind.

When I was growing up my older brother and I both did well in school.  The difference, however, was that my brother seemingly never opened a textbook in his academic career whereas I was the kid making flashcards, coming up with ridiculous acronyms, and studying hours for exams.  At the end of the day both of us saw success through our different methods, mine just required a little more effort and time.  It would have been simple for me to take the easy route, but I understood the value of a consistent effort and it ultimately paid off.

I also played hockey growing up, and had the good fortune of playing in college.  In hockey there are “scrappy” players and “finesse” players.  The finesse players make everything look easy and graceful, and often get much of the credit for beautiful plays and goals.  The scrappy ones are the players battling it out in the corners doing the dirty work- it may not be pretty, but it’s got to be done.  I was a scrappy player.  When I played hockey it never necessarily looked “easy,”- you could always tell I was working.  I worked hard on the ice, and spent countless hours in the off-season preparing for the upcoming year.  I loved the grind, and you could find me spending extra time in the weight room, running stairs in the weight vest, shooting and stick handling in the backyard for hours, or getting on any sheet of ice I could find to hone my skills.  When the season rolled around I was ready, despite the fact that I never had the look of a ‘finesse’ player.

Through both my experiences in academics and athletics I learned that there’s a great value in working hard, that it’s ok to be scrappy, and that you should never be afraid to lay it all on the line.  As I’ve gotten older the work ethic that I learned as a child has stayed with me and I still find that it’s only through extreme effort by which real success comes.  In his book “Mastery” George Leonard says, “ To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence.”

In my current position as a coach and athlete at CrossFit Hyannis I still remind myself to “practice diligently” while always striving to break through plateaus in my training.  I try not to get down when a skill or exercise takes a little longer for me to learn, when the strength gains come slow, or when someone is moving faster than I am.    It’s too easy to look at the person next to you and compare yourself to them and what they are capable of- but it’s not about them and where they are.  It’s about you and pushing yourself harder than you thought you could, while still supporting those around you who are doing the same. We can fill our head with negative thoughts as we look around the gym or other areas of our lives and see people who it seemingly comes easy for.  That person is stronger than I am, thinner than me, prettier than me, has more money than me- the list goes on and on.  Stop comparing yourself to others.  Get back to the grind, and embrace your own personal journey.

We are lucky to have our journey pass through beautiful Cape Cod.  Don’t forget to look around and take it all in.  We live in a place where many travel to so they can relax, have some fun, and often reconnect with loved ones.  Let these ideals be part of your daily routine as you move forward.  Appreciate the gifts you have, and try not to get so caught up in comparing yourself to others.

Whatever it is you’re working on- whether it be training for your first half marathon, preparing for your sport season, or even formulating a more consistent gym routine- don’t be afraid to put your full effort forth to work toward becoming a better you.  Just because things don’t come easily, it doesn’t mean they’re not worth pursuing wholeheartedly.  Far too often we want things to be easy, but there’s great value in the effort.  Come to love the grind and embrace being the “scrappy” one.  For me personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Know that if you continue to pursue excellence in all that you do, you will reap the rewards of your effort.

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