One thing I’ve learnt in the last 12 months is that discovering or even clarifying your identity is one of the most powerful things you can do as an individual. Actually, understanding who you want to be as an individual can clear up so much back and forth within your own headspace.
A book that consolidated this for me Atomic Habits, written by James Clear. I always think a great book is one where the information within it shapes how you think and act moving forward. Your habits are a direct reflection of your identity. Every single time you complete a habit is a vote for the type of person you want to be.
Whilst reading this book I realised I had never actually sat down before and pinpointed in my own head what my identity was. It wasn’t that difficult, to be honest – I am an open book. To be honest my method of pulling this together was simple.
"I looked at all of the different areas of my life and I was honest with myself – Family, friends, mental health, physical health, finances, work-life etc."
The one thing that was a commonality in my reflections was that being active is at the forefront of my identity and is the key driver of the majority of my behaviour. I feel that strongly about it that I have recently done a podcast on it. #104 - The Beauty of Fitness; In this podcast I breakdown in my own head what fitness teaches us about ourselves.
My personal fitness and active lifestyle has, for a long time, been a vehicle for so much in my life. I am not a professional athlete but it is what fitness teaches me and gives me that has made it a huge part of me. It is a habit and it is something that has provided me with more joy than anything else on this planet.
This week, prior to recording the episode, I kept seeing reminders of what fitness can do for people. And those were examples of why I love it so much. I’m not in bad shape but I’m not an absolute monster. I return to fitness time and time again because I adore everything that comes with it.
"My fitness journey has taught me so much about myself. It has challenged me in so many ways it’s ridiculous. It continues to do that on a daily basis."
Mental toughness. It’s very easy to say that term. What do I mean by that? Fitness has many challenges - just like life. You will fail. You will succeed. New challenges will present themselves. You will at points want to throw in the towel… all of these feelings happen to many of us on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis. That feeling when you just don’t think you can do anything else at work to get your desired outcome - I have it all the time. You then push through and it goes exactly the way you wanted it to – it’s an amazing feeling. Fitness is the same.
"When things get tough that is the time to increase the intensity and finish the job."
When you don’t think you have anything left your mind has the ability to push you that little bit further.
It’s just about showing up sometimes and giving it your all. You will fail - but who gives a shit. Coming back and standing in the face of another challenge is all that life is about.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey. Pushing yourself at whatever standard you are at is admirable. People that judge others negatively in this space are a joke because they are not in it for the right reasons.
"I have more respect for people starting their fitness journey when they are older, out of shape or in a bad place mentally."
It’s in those situations where you truly see the power of what being active can do for you.
There are so many forms of fitness and each has a different place. Also, the environment you train in can differ. I personally love group training. So much so I have invested my life into it. F45 is an incredible example. Crossfit is another. However sometimes there is nothing better for my mental health but to go out by myself on my bike for 4 hours roaming through the hills of West Sussex.
Your active lifestyle, believe it or not, is a part of you. Wherever you are in that journey, it doesn’t matter, being active is a way that you have chosen to live your life. Nobody can take that from you. Being active is the single biggest positive influence I have ever seen on human beings.
I have invested my life into that belief and have seen it time and time again. I challenge you to think about how it has made a difference for you and how you have carried over those life lessons it has taught you into other areas of your life.
Have a wonderful week and huge love!
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