IF THE HAT FITS: The season of the grind has begun

·2 min read

Jun. 4—Well here we are again.

It's summertime in Oklahoma — meteorologically speaking — and that means it's all about the grind.

Summer pride workouts have started across the area, and any notions about the word "vacation" have been thrown out the window. I mean, yeah. Everyone is going to get some time off, but for the next few weeks, they're going to be hard at work as well.

One might think "why would you work so hard during your time off from school?" But to that, I'd say one should never stop working on themselves, their passions, and their dreams.

Here are some fun examples. Do you think when the McAlester and Pittsburg girls basketball teams hoisted their gold ball championship trophies that it all just came to them easily?

Or when McAlester football recorded the most wins in a single season in school history on the way to the most thrilling state championship football game of 2021 that it was just given to them?

Nah, the ability to hoist those trophies and play in the big games was fostered in the offseason and started with last summer. It was grinding in the heat of the Oklahoma sun; it was "one more rep!" on weights; it was leaving a scrimmage only to go shooting on their home goal in the driveway.

It all started with the commitment to push themselves further, and teams in our area across all sports are doing just that once again this summer.

Some teams are seeing new coaches, new faces to their roster, or some are being introduced to completely new schools. But when they lace up their shoes and line up for instruction, they're all coming together with one goal — to become they best versions of themselves they can be.

Heck, it's something I even do here at my job — just in a slightly different way. I work hard every day to be better, to improve my writing, and to get stronger with my coverage and how I share the stories of our amazing student athletes. And even for me, what you see during the season? It all starts in the summer.

So whether you're lifting, running, hitting, catching, working out, shooting extra baskets, or participating in various camps, just know that it's all worth it. Because whether you're lifting up a championship trophy in a few months or leaving it all out in that final game, it'll be all worth it.

Because you've pushed yourself, became a team, and most likely discovered even more about who you are as a person — and achieved a personal growth that will last you a lifetime.

Happy grind season, everyone!

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.