Let’s Get Gritty

by Devin O’Neal

Have you ever pictured something that you knew was worth putting in the work for but you somehow couldn’t see yourself actually doing it?

I remember it was 2019 and I was fresh into my sophomore year of college. Everything was going as planned and it was smooth for the most part. It was around August of 2019 when I decided to pick up a habit of going to the gym. After being skinny for some odd 19 years of life, I was determined to stack on a few pounds of muscle and that was my only desire at the time.

I remember consuming upwards of 3000-4500 calories a day mixed in with hundreds of grams of protein. As I prepared for this journey I was headed on, I made a plan of how my life would look trying to incorporate something that would require so much effort and discipline. I could still remember my first day at the gym.  All I could think to myself was “Devin, what are you doing in here?”

Despite every feeling of thinking I couldn’t do something quite like going to the gym consistently, I did, and, needless to say, it was painful. As time progressed, my stature progressed. I took pictures monthly to keep track of results and I tracked every single last calorie I consumed for months. That little $10 per month seemed to be worth something. And every time it charged my account, I knew it was a $10 well spent. Until January 2020 hit.

I had exceeded my targeted weight and muscle mass for the time being, and then I hit a wall.  My gym attendance began to decrease, my calorie intake was almost cut in half, and I completely lost motivation. It was almost like the new year had an opposite effect on my daily habits. I couldn’t wrap my head around why I suddenly lost the consistency, determination and discipline I had exemplified for several months.

After some 6 months of trying to decide to go back, I wasted money, put in half effort, and arrived nowhere. I had a point of reference but not an ounce of motivation to pick up where I left off. Then I realized that grit was the very essence in which I had lacked. I had grit the entire time, but it was misapplied and therefore dwindled in the journey.

When discipline and grit were appropriately applied in my fitness journey, a certain weight or stature was no longer the goal. Despite the walls I hit, I chose not to throw in the towel and it allowed me to go beyond just a few months of hard work in the gym. Similar to your relationship with Jesus, it is the consistency in daily habits that will gradually draw you closer to Jesus and towards purpose in your commitment.

 Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,

“24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Like Paul says, “…I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave…”  Similar to how athletes train and push themselves further than what their bodies can bear, striking that blow to your body is an active reminder of the discipline and grit you are choosing in your walk with Christ. It’s when things get tough on the journey or simply in trials that come along in everyday life of being a Christian where you must show the strength of your character and determination.

What is it that you’re committed to right now? Maybe you are about to enter into a season of fasting or you have set some big goals for the new year. Wherever you are at in your walk with Christ, there is always room to apply grit to it.

So, how can you get gritty in this season of life you’re in? Because wishing you had discipline and grit does you no good. It only comes by being accountable, setting attainable goals, having the will to say no, and being honest with yourself in your weaknesses.

So, are you ready to get down to the nitty gritty or would you rather sit back and watch the rest of us attain our goals? Only you can choose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s