By Michelle Runyon…aka…The Grass Roots Girl
Our team started thinking about and working on the idea for our fall t-shirt “Be Strong, Stand Firm, and Always Remember Your Roots” many months before the 2020 pandemic hit…and what it meant to me then still remains the same – plus a little more! We hope it strikes a chord with you, too, as we continue through the many challenges that come our way.
BE STRONG. Being strong – whether it’s mental strength, physical strength, or fake strength – is important. I did a quick Google search and found “mental strength” can be defined many ways. Of all the definitions, the one I liked best was, “The ability of an individual to effectively deal with the challenges, pressure, and stressors to present their best performance regardless of the circumstances.” Opening, running, and managing the store has tested and improved my mental strength in many ways, and the same can be said of Rachel, our store manager. We have problem-solved and kept going through numerous headaches, difficulties, and mistakes, even when we were exhausted and needed a break. Some days we simply have to suck it up and keep trekking on, ‘cause that’s what it takes to keep getting stronger. We’ve pushed ourselves to be able to run equipment safely and proficiently – unloading rock deliveries, loading trucks with mulch, soil and rock, and so much more. Before the store opened, I remember having little panic attacks in the middle of the night, thinking, “How in the world am I going to run that big loader?!” But here we are today – we both can do more than we ever imagined, and we haven’t caused much (if any) damage. 😊 Many customers and delivery drivers have underestimated us and asked if we have someone here who can load or unload them… (and we get it…have you seen our size?…lol…) but we both chuckle as we say, “Yep, that’s me!” and hop onto the task. Our mental strength has increased significantly, and our physical strength has developed as well because our job is very physical many days. But there is also fake strength. This is the strength we need when we are in charge of a task – the leader – and we need to be able to clearly lead the way, even when we’re learning and figuring it out as we go. It’s also the fake strength we show in front of our children, friends, or family, when they need to feel safe. Whatever “Be Strong” means to you, keep working it out, pushing on, and developing it, because not only do you need to be strong for your own well-being, but I can guarantee others will benefit as you become stronger!
STAND FIRM. For me, standing firm comes more in the form of being stubborn. I have an opinion about most things, and my husband can attest to the fact that I believe what I believe and think I’m right…even though, sometimes it turns out I’m not. ☹ For Rachel, standing firm comes more in the form of her beliefs. She is the most dedicated, loyal, kind, and compassionate person I have ever met, and has solid, strong beliefs that she never wavers from, and I respect her and try to learn from her daily. Whatever standing firm means to you – using your voice to get your opinion across or living out what you believe – now more than ever, standing firm is so important.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR ROOTS. This is our tagline for Grass Roots. When we came up with it initially, it had the double meaning of never forgetting where you came from and remembering physical roots – taking care of yourself (and obviously plants as well!). Yet as I’ve grown more than I could have ever imagined in the past few years, and things that were once hard have become easy, I never want to lose touch with where I began. My absolute favorite thing about opening and running the store is the personal growth I have experienced – but there is so much more I have left to learn! I hope none of us ever forgets the beginning of our individual journeys, so that we can continue to help and teach others, and also take the time and effort for our physical and mental health.
Be Strong – Stand Firm – And Always Remember Your Roots