The Grit Test

“What better way to start than to dive right in” said a weathered old coach. The brother and sister were shocked, they were hoping for help, they both decided they had outgrown the little garage weight set and wanted to get serious. He could tell they were passionate.

“You think you have what it takes?” he inquired as his chair cried out in relief as he rose to greet them.

“Well what does it take?” the sister asked with sincerity.

Coach paused… “Nobody ever answered that question with anything but a soon to be destroyed “”YES!!””, interesting… It takes something you don’t know if you have yet. You can’t know yet. But we are about to find out.”

“A definite maybe then” she fired with a smirk dancing on a line few have tested twice.

“Well then, let’s begin. Grab kettle bells” as he turned his back. They glanced at each other and grabbed the closest ones to them.

He turned back towards them with an odd level of flair. “Face each other but give a little space. Are you familiar with a traditional kettle bell swing?”

Yes nods.

“Good, let’s see who can do more, BEGIN!!”

Startled into motion they begin. Coach begins circling in observation. No noticeable approval or disapproval. Just… observing.

Closing in on 20 reps the brother finally inquires “we are just going until the other stops”

Coach smiles briefly, then returns to observation. Circling like a mostly disinterested shark, just kinda checking out what has wandered into his waters.

Around 40 reps and they are quite regretting the weights they chose. Form is beginning to deteriorate. Shoulders and hips burn. Faces contorting a bit.

Passing 50 and things are getting interesting. Coach doesn’t seem to be noticing much. Avoiding eye contact. 65,66,67…

Form is sloppy, lungs are burning. “You know I’m gonna win, just give up sis”

81,82 and Coach is standing up straighter. They are both pretty sure eye contact is made but as they both pass 100 sweat is burning their eyes.

He said it slipped. It didn’t slip. 107 and a “slip” declares the sister the victor.

“Well done” the coach says to neither and both at the same time.

“We have a lot to talk about if you are serious about training here.” he said to their excitement that would have been there had they been able to lift their arms.

“Do you always put that kind of effort in?” he asked the sister directly.

“Not always.” was her honest answer.

This one was puzzling. and the intrigue was enough for Coach. “Come back tomorrow with a page about what your goals are and why. I had better see thought put in or just don’t waste the time”

They kids left a bit bewildered as Coach returned to his office and made notes on the session:

The brother has potential but the sister is a force. It didn’t slip and she knows it. She didn’t brag or boast. She has grit. She would have swung until she collapsed. It has been a long time since The Grit Test was passed. Too early to get hopes up but fingers crossed. 

  • The Grit Test can be anything, and a poor first performance is not uncommon even among elite athletes. If you have a passion you enjoy putting massive effort into LEAN IN!!!! This is rare and is the spark that lights the world. However, a mentor should get excited when a mentee passes The Grit Test. It is rare and special.



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