Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Identity


Two 'non-real' foods that I need to have on hand at all times: Chocolate chip Quest bars and Peanut Butter smash Progenex...not in excess, but a daily dose.

Got hooked on this stuff by Paul Farmiga, amazing member at Montclair and Social Media extraordinaire! This cold brew over ice with a serving of Whole Foods whipped cream on top is a perfect summer drink

Olivia's Elementary school has an incredible garden in what once was 'dead space' in the center courtyard of the school. This was at the end of the year when we had a picnic lunch outside in it - one of the things on my list is to get a garden started at home...

Food for the brain: Here is the pile of books next to my side of the bed. It's an impressive pile...however, the fact that I have made VERY little progress to get through it is an issue...Along with the garden, this is also on my list. One week in LBI should help this along. Some great reads in here: The Alchemist is my all time favorite...and any Michael Pollen book is awesome...The Hard Call book...apropos leadership blog yesterday - an important one for me to finish. 

Identity is defined as: "the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others." For such a succinct and simple definition it is a very elusive notion. Since we've started this challenge and I've been discussing nutrition at length with people and have shared a lot of my own experiences with food and fitness, it has made me think about my own identity. For many who haven't otherwise known me, I have become the nutrition guru (or that crazy person who knows the calorie count of every food...). That made me think about identity in general and how challenging it can be to retain at all times.

It is a natural thing for us to pigeon hole people into who we believe they are. In fact, I would argue we even do that to ourselves. I'm obsessed CF person. I'm a workaholic. I'm a mother. I'm a (fill in the blank). But, in reality, we are none of these singular labels. Our identity, even by definition, is what makes us different from each other. By that statement alone, we are unique and far more complicated than one simple label.

What truly makes our identity so complicated is that even when we have the awareness of who were truly are and what makes us unique, it is easy to lose sight of it. When life is going well and we are content with things, it is simple. Simple to stand by who we are, what we represent and see our identity as a positive foundation.

However, for most of us, this foundation is shaken from time to time, for some more often than others. The true test of character and an enduring quality of an individual is the ability to not lose sight of our identity when we are stripped of all the positive reinforcements. 

What are positive reinforcements? The support of friends and family, the job we love, the ability to enjoy the small pleasures in life. When life gets hard and the situation we find ourselves in is fighting against us, can we still stand firm in who we are and our identity?

That is the test. 

Tonight I was fortunate to applaud another group of participants who were committed through 60 days of revamping their habits, addictions and desires to make tremendous progress in the nutrition challenge. Perhaps the biggest take away and reason I felt this was an important blog to write is the fact that our identity is not "CrossFitter" or "Nutrition nut". Instead, we participate in and challenge ourselves by way of those things because of who were are. We are drawn to activities that push us and that remind us about drive, commitment, appreciation, and the connection to something beyond the physical. THAT is your identity. 

Understanding that has helped me be grounded in the things I do and why. It has helped me remember the fiber of my identity that is so tightly woven and not simplify my existence to activities or labels. It has held me up on days where nothing around me feels familiar and steady. It is a reminder to 'know thyself'.

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