Embrace the Grind


I have heard this phrase since I was young, used in all different circumstances but with the same message. Lean into the hard parts of life and enjoy the process of growing stronger because of it.

My two oldest boys are in the middle of their first year of wrestling. If you have ever wrestled on a team or just in the backyard with your buddies; you know how exhausted a few minutes of grappling can become. After 18 months of home school and video games replacing team sports and playing outside with friends; my boys’ muscles were in for a shock. The day after their first practice my oldest said he has never been that sore in his life. Now, 2 months into the season he is still sore after almost every practice. This past weekend he had his first wrestling tournament and ended up taking second place.

I’m not sure if my fatherly advice is going over his head, but we talk a lot about the process of improving through hard work during practice. The reason he is sore is that he is pushing his body and breaking it down but coming back a little bit stronger and more experienced the next time. To improve in a sport like wrestling or almost any sport; you have to put your body through some pain and discomfort.

I want my son to learn this lesson early because it’s true for almost every other area of life. If there is an area of life you want to improve for either work or play; you need to put the effort in to see results. Stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone is the only way to truly grow.

I have needed to remind myself of this lesson as well. I’m still within the first year of a new job. I had a background that fits perfectly for the new position but many of the soft skills I was still lacking. Leading meetings, presenting to large groups, building presentations, and doing it all virtually are a few of the things I need to work on. Just like my son, I have had days where I’m “sore” mentally and worn down from the process of learning and growing. I need to keep reminding myself that each tough call or challenging client meeting is helping me grow and get better for the next call.

Another thing I keep reminding myself and my son is that things get easier as you learn the basics of a new skill. The first 6 months or a year of working on something new is the hardest, but once you have the basics down it’s more about refining your technique. And most importantly; the skills you now have can set you up for future success.

So if you have ever worked through something difficult and found the results were worth the effort; you know how to embrace the grind.


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