In Praise of…True Grit

By Sal Ruibal
Photo by Jordan Manley

Grit is what happens when the shit hits the fan, geologically speaking.
Grit is what's left after a glacier spends a couple of centuries grinding a mountain of granite into a dark forest. Grit is what makes your mountain bike tires stick to the trail: Chunks of rock mixed with dinosaur blood and troglodyte piss turn into microscopic Legos that push against each other, allowing the knobs of your tire to rotate against the resistance.

Grit is also the mental force that turns that bike wheel over the steep trail, sending electrical surges from your gelatinous mammal brain to your legs, shocking the juicy muscles into jerky motion like meat monkeys in a Russian

Grit bounces up from the trail and launches sharp-edged rocks into your shins, taking bloody flesh samples from your body and then slowly, lovingly converts the damage into smooth, translucent scar tissue that resists tanning
rays and tattoos.

True Grit anticipates the grind and knows the damage done is less than the damage ahead. That knowing is what separates the soul from the brain.
True Grit turns the human stain into a patina that says, "I was here and I did that."