Welcome to “The Grind”
By Spiker Helms
“The grind” has become a popular phrase in the business world. It describes the daily routine of being in a cubicle pounding out emails and answering phone calls. In baseball this is far from the true meaning. The word itself makes me cringe, but love it because it embodies physical, mental, and emotional strength. It’s a complex and wondrous process of aching muscles, high pressures, and countless hotel beds; but god I love it!
My love of sports began at age four when my mother signed me up for a five year old soccer league. She lied about my age out of desperation, to keep her sane from the insanity she called Spiker. It was an outlet for her because I was an energetic, extroverted, and fun loving kid who was a ball of energy. I always pestered her to time me in an imaginary race or throw a ball for me to catch. She never had a master plan to create a professional athlete; she simply needed a break from me bouncing off the walls in our house. With good fortune and hard work, I did play three memorable years of professional baseball. Those years of my career were unbelievable! The stress was high, the nights were late, and it introduced me to “the grind.”
As much as I could not bear the thought of another ratty clubhouses or ordering out Chinese, the grind stays with me in a special place in my heart. It taught me that the body can be tested, and re-tested over and over again. To be successful at it you have to embrace it, make it yours, and be passionate about your process. When passion is lost we begin to see a career spiral out of control. It’s a place where the little boy who loved the game disappears and a hallow shell of a man remains.
Having passion for my process has transformed me into the man I am today. I love the hustle, and the time spent in creating something special. Just like in a professional season you are building your skill level to a point where it gleams for a playoff push and championship run. This is a topic that transcends sports, and many people subconsciously shy away from it because they want easy comfort. Enjoy “the grind,” do the opposite, and embrace it because it is a great feeling and it will comfort and guide you for years to come.
This article is dedicated to my mom Cathy Helms who passed away in October of 2012 to breast cancer. I love you mom, Happy Mothers Day Weekend!
If you have a story about “the grind” and it’s place in your life we would love to hear about it.