December 2, 2019

The Grind Redefined

This Post Is About That One Time I Got A Chance To Chill With Kawhi and LeBron. Did I say chill with? Oh, my bad, I meant to say “chill like.” Yeah, chill like. That’s better. So, what had happened was, I made a decision to go on a sabbatical. Right? Because I was burned out. My mind and body were just — OFF.

While on my sabbatical, I’ve had a lot of time to think. And, one of the things that came to mind is one of the keys to staying on the grind and not wearing yourself out. You see, most people think that the grind is all work, work, work. So many people are working their lives away, missing out on precious time with their significant other. Missing time with their kids. All in the name of the grind.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize that being successful, being great at anything, requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice. I recognize that doing what it takes to be a champion demands a serious work ethic, a commitment to the grind. But this sabbatical time has helped me redefine the grind.

Let me explain.

We’ve all heard ’em before: No days off. All gas; no brakes. 25/8. Everyday I’m hustling. Team no sleep.

As a pastor/motivational speaker, not only have I said these phrases before, but I have tried to live by them, but in the wrong way — in a misinformed way. That’s why I’m grateful for these two NBA champions, Lebron and Kawhi, because they have taught me a valuable lesson.

Over the past few years these guys have done something that has never been done before in NBA history. (Dare I say, that if you start doing this one thing that they did on the regular, then you will be able to accomplish something that has never been done.)

Kawhi is the first player ever to win Finals MVP for an Eastern conference team and a Western conference team. LeBron is the first player ever to lead his team back from being down 1-3 in the Finals to win a championship. Guess what they had in common when they did it. A season of rest!

Kawhi sat out nearly an entire season to rest up due to an injury. Unlike many of us workaholics, he put his health above all else, because all else doesn't matter when you're not in good health. And even when he played this past season, he took load management seriously.

Did you know that the year Lebron led Cleveland to win that ’ship was the same exact year that Lebron took off for two weeks right in the middle of the season to just rest?! By the way, this wasn't during the off-season. He missed seven games. Let me just pause right here and say this: When you get serious about taking care of yourself, you will have to overcome the fear of missing out on some things.

Lebron took some time off. I encourage you to do the same. Don’t kill yourself in the process of chasing your dreams. Take care of yourself. Make rest a habit. The grind includes rest.

Now that I truly understand that the grind includes rest, I have the chance to chill like the champions The Klaw and The King. And who knows, maybe one day I'll get the chance to chill with them, too.

Adapted with permission. Taurus Montgomery. July 31, 2019.


Taurus Montgomery is author of Set On Fire and pastors the Harbor of Hope Church in Benton Harbor, Mich.