by Dana Cavalea April 09, 2021

1 Comment

Hi Team...

A few weeks ago I sat down and spoke with my friend, Coach Brix.

Coach Brix is a grinder coach from Pennsylvania- and we talked about what is missing amongst most people today....

We came up with this:

The desire to grind.

The desire to be great.

The desire to do whatever it takes.

During our talk- I mentioned how important it is to jump in the trench.

Do the gritty work that must be done at the start of most careers- and the work that often stops getting done as title, status, and income tend to rise.

Remember yourself as a 21 year old- that first big job, that first big opportunity?

Do you remember how much effort, passion, and fire you gave that opportunity?

An unbelievable time in the life and career of most people.

The work was hard.

The reward was low.

The satisfaction was high.

When I first started my professional career with the Yankees- I started as an intern.

I worked for free- 10+hrs. per day.

I loved it.

It was amazing.

I also remember getting hired full-time by the team, spending most of my day working with top athletes like Derek Jeter and a bunch of other All-Stars...

And the reality was, I was not able to afford my own place yet- so, after each game I would have to drive back to my parents house, which was 90 minutes away from the stadium and live in my childhood bedroom at my parents house.

That was a long drive after a 10-12+ hour day, often beginning the journey at midnight, only to do the reverse commute 10hrs later. This went on for a few years.

Do you know what that does to you?

It makes you fight- fight for change in your life. It teaches you that you have to fight your way out of your current situation.

It is that fight, those hard times that teach us to always take the stairs...

You see, we have heard it before- but there truly is no easy way to the top of anything.

We must dive into the trench...

We must do the work...

We must take the stairs...

My career started as the guy on the back of a tram at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, in between classes and in between my internship with the Yankees, the Bluejays, and the Pittsburgh Pirates...

I had to do whatever I had to do to make it work and get myself out of my current situation...

AND- I loved it. Not always- but most of the time, especially when I saw things change, even slightly for the better.

I embraced the grind of starting at the bottom and working to the top.

Am I still climbing? Yes!

Are you? Let's hope so.

WE must keep climbing.

Stop looking for the top and stop waiting to arrive... or, for some, stop acting like you already have.

It is the climb that keeps us excited to wake up tomorrow. 

It is the climb that gives us the greatest rewards.

It is the climb that challenges us to think different, work harder, and take key risks.

Stop solving problems in your head- get back to work.

In the work comes that actions that are critical to get the pay-offs...

Personally, the goal is to be great and help as many others to achieve the same.

Be great- and everything else follows.

That is what I want for everybody here- to do your best and embrace.

To love the battle.

To love getting dirty.

To love being different and never settling into a life of ease.

Do it.

As my buddy Kenny Dichter, CEO of Wheels Up always says:

"When you start sleeping in satin sheets, you sleep a little later each day. Put those hard, rough cotton sheets on your bed and you will be up at the crack of dawn each day."

Let's go!

Be great!

Take the stairs!


How Professionals vs. Amateurs PRACTICE for Success. Click Here To Listen.

Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

1 Response


January 07, 2023

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

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