Raising Kids With Grit
Outside Magazine recently did an article on 13-year old Lucy Westlake who is trying to become the youngest American girl to summit the highest peak in all 50 states. You can read it here. Currently, she has climbed 49 of them. Lucy is also a junior elite triathlete who credits triathlonfor the reason she has the fitness to climb like she does. Outside Magazine has coined Lucy the “grittiest 13-year old we know” which begs the question of how she got this way and how we foster this in more of today’s kids.
Reality check…life is hard. To thrive at school, work, and relationships, it takes grit. In the book, Grit, Angela Duckworth defines grit as passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Duckworth believes it is the main determinant of success, more so than intelligence or talent. I believe it is what we need to teach our kids most, and because of this, we make this a personal mission at Endorphin Fitness. Grit will primarily determine our kids’ future, and I believe that triathlon and endurance sports develop it better than most anything.
Endurance sports force us, regardless of our age, to set long-term goals and then work towards them every day, no matter how hard and against many obstacles. The amount of effort required to succeed in the sport is great compared to other sports. It requires a commitment to the goal, despite adversity.
Most people think getting in shape is the end-goal of being a triathlete, I believe it is the by-product of a much more important outcome: Grit. Learning to have grit changes lives, long-term. There is no better thing we can be teaching our kids to provide them a successful future.
For you endurance athletes out there, I hope this helps you appreciate the grit this sport has developed within you. For everyone else, don’t miss out – it is time to get gritty.