True Grit: Doing hard things (& overcoming anything)

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Img 2949 1 | True Grit: Doing Hard Things (&Amp; Overcoming Anything)


When you hear the word grit what comes to mind?

I think: Teeth grinding. Jaw set. Eyes fixed. Focused.

Have you ever had a time in your life when you had to tap into grit—true grit?

Time and time again, I come back to my own recovery journey—and the ups and downs of it all:

  • The “grit” it took to even begin depriving myself food and pushing myself to go for hours (and hours and hours) on my Stairmaster
  • To the “grit” it took to tough out and slug away the weeks in and weeks out of doctor appointments, nutrition appointments and therapy appointments

    • Stripping my clothes off in place of a gown for weekly weight checks;
    • keeping food logs and trying with all my might to fight the eating disorder voice vs. making “healthier” recovered choices;
    • and being vulnerable to discuss with my therapists what was really going on in my head and my heart…
  • The “grit” it took to brave and weather the months spent in hospital beds and treatment facilities, being forced to choke down Ensures, Pop-tarts and grilled salmon—fighting the discomfort and physical pain of ‘re-feeding’ and ‘exposure therapy’
  • The “grit” it took to do something different (other than the eating disorder) when I got out of my last and final treatment—to begin nourishing my body to fuel it (not deprive it), and working out to build my body up (not break it down).
  • The “grit” it took to trust and believe that God had a bigger (greater) plan for me—than I had for myself.
  • The “grit” it took to start a business—a therapy practice—that does things differently than the status quo of current treatment offerings—blending a holistic mind-body-soul approach

What does “grit” look like for you?

By technical definition, grit means: courage and resolve; strength of character.

I “get” all these things far too well—and chances are…at some time in your life, you have too…

WELLLLL….When I first got word that there was a new gym in Austin named GRIT, I KNEW I had to check it out.

Come to find out, a likeminded, grit-driven, bad-ass woman-on-a-mission, Stephanie Twohey, opened the doors to the facility this past year—dedicated to empowering others to discover TRUE STRENGTH: From the inside out.

Stephanie was inspired to open GRIT after her first marriage ended, leaving her to answer the question: What now?—with two amazing sons by her side as well.

She had never thought about opening a gym herself, but had been into coaching and fitness for quite some time…and GRIT became a natural evolution.

Why not? She said. Why not inspire others and guide others in pushing through hard times?

GRIT was born.

I’ll admit, I was a little intimidated about stepping inside a gym with a name like GRIT—envisioning lots of strong people around me

And unfortunately, I am NOT the strongest tool in the tool box.


I am constantly my own worst critic when it comes to “getting stronger” and wanting to get stronger—fighting with all my might during my gym sessions to do so…only to realize that that darned 100 lbs. barbell is not going to go over my head (right now at least—still working on it gosh darn it)!

Nevertheless, stepping through the doors of GRIT and seeing this quote—part of the core values of the gym on mental fitness—gave me a new appreciation for the workout I was about to commence.

The gym alone embodied “grit” from a physical perspective: outfitted with all the toys any ‘box’ style gym could want—tires, sleds, pull-up rigs, kegs (for carrying not drinking), barbells and racks, kettlebells, dumbbells, airdyne bikes, you name it.

But, from the get-go, I could also tell that the “GRIT” went far beyond whatever workout was prescribed on the board or toys that were used.

Coach Stephanie introduced me to the smallish-sized noon class—perfect for a little more individualized attention—and we got right down to business: Warming up our arms and legs, then jumping into the workout for the day: An 8-rounder consisting of 3 kettlebell swings + 3 snatches + 3 push-presses (each arm), followed by a 200-meter run between each round.

At the end of the first workout piece, Coach Stephanie offered the class a little nugget of workout wisdom—educating us on what the style of training we were doing was good for us (this week was more of a ‘deload’ week, after a previous strength-building cycle) and explaining the importance of core stability on top of that.

After breaking a little sweat, core work ensued (everyone loves core) with Russian twists with a plate, planks, knees to elbows and glute-raises, and the session concluded with some much needed mobility work (ehhh…I rarely do mobility–#MoveBetterLifeMore).

In the 90-degree Austin heat, it felt amazing to sweat—and tap into the grit all individuals who workout on a regular basis know and love.

The best part?

Feeling like I got a great workout for me—not for competing against others for time; or comparing myself to the amount of weight others were doing…the workout was a time for self-reflection, and the greater meaning that things like fitness and training have provided me in my life: Representing GRIT (in a tangible way)—a GRIT I continue to clench my teeth, set my jaw and dig my heels into on a daily basis. (One more hashtag people: #WomanOnAMissionToChangeLives&BeWell).

What areas of your life do you find yourself tapping into your own GRIT (or needing grit)?

Game. Set. Match.

Dig deep. And go for it.



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