Grunt: unsexy, natural, primal; raw emotion and brute strength; unhampered of social etiquette and competitive performance. In other words, completely liberating.
I had to grow up quickly at a young age. I never had many friends, certainly never did anything physical and ended up becoming a drug addict for four years. I was a sad, anxious, self-counscious, chunky and lonely pre-teen. Drugs and bad relationships were my answers to all of the above. It feels like forever ago now but there is a big difference between abstinence and recovery.
While I have been abstinent for several years, recovery is a tricky thing. Grunt work smashed all of that. All of a sudden I am being pushed around, getting bruises in odd places and learning to survive in a team. I’m learning to have fun naturally and truly be in the moment. I am smashing tires and lifting stones and being really loud while doing it; a far cry from my tendency to be as small and as quiet as possible. I never panic about the next rep or my score on the board with grunt. You play for the pure joy of playing; and getting jacked while doing it.
Had I only discovered it earlier to reap the lessons and values that grunt has to offer. It takes courage and confidence to let your inner child take charge and play. Here I am told that it’s ok to take myself a little less seriously and I have that place and opportunity to have fun. Here I am told that I am good enough just as I am… Here I feel that inclusion and “appartenance” that I was so deeply craving. Here I finally feel strong, confident and beautiful. I walk out of there feeling that natural buzz with my head held high. Everything that I felt was missing back then and still sometimes lack now, I get it all from grunt. This is what recovery is truly about.
At grunt, I am finally me. For that space in time I am enthralled with the moment of utter survival. Years of therapy, spiritual practices and self-medicating never came close to connecting with the essence of who I am like grunt has allowed me to do. I have never been in the presence of people that seem to want to live that as well and take you as you are regardless of your strength, personality and fears. Best weekly support group there is.
Looking back I have to laugh. I used to want to be skinny now I want big pipes. I used to think I needed pounds of makeup to be beautiful and now I feel hot covered in sweat and chalk. I used to have fake nails now I have blisters. I used to grind my teeth cause I took too many drugs now I grind my teeth trying to get that PR on my deadlift. How things have changed.
Grunts’ imaginative and wacky workouts are often centered on survival. These last few years have been about surviving but now, Grunt is not only teaching me how to survive, but how to live. Now, when life gets tough, I slam shit harder.