Grit. Ya heard of it?

“Community.” “Moment.” “Grit.” “[insert overused word to make Brogan’s eyes roll here].”

These words matter; they matter to us as NPSD, they matter to us outside of NPSD, and they matter to a ton of other people, too, otherwise it wouldn’t sound like a broken record hearing people use ’em. When, though, and how are they actually defined?

“Community” happens every time we hug and workout together but arguably more so when a filmmaker in the tribe helps a non-profit-er in the tribe capture an event on video, when a bike crew coordinates to ride together before the sun has risen, when someone needs a place to live or extra hands to help move, when a tribe member helps another tribe member realize his/her potential in x, y, and z ways. Sure, the word “community” may have piqued our interests when we first heard about November Project as the social animals that we are, but it is in the actions of tribe members on a weekly basis that truly define the word.

“Moment” is whatever you want it to be; that moment when the workout is done on Mondays and Wednesdays and everyone is abuzz in that post-workout energy, the moment of days, weeks, or years that November Project has taken on such an important role in your life, or the moment your alarm goes off and you make the decision to get your feet on the floor rather than snooze. Sure, the word “moment” sounds enticing when other people are sharing memorable experiences on Instagram or whatever, but when you truly live it, when you allow for that space in your mind to be fully content and grateful for THIS time and place, whatever form those may take, that is what defines the word.

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“Grit.” This one’s the big one for me. I honestly don’t give many fucks about how often the word is used when one is describing themselves or something they did. However, I think the most powerful definition of the word is when we show up in the rain, in the dark, in the cold, whatever weather condition, whatever state of mental health, whatever state of physical fitness, open. Open to work, open to get better, open to new friendships, open to racing, open to digging into the depths of discomfort to prove to no one else but ourselves that we are powerful and we are limitless. When we shed the excuse-laden neural circuits in our brains, something remarkable happens; we show the fuck up. For real. Not just in physical presence but in all the ways that we can truly show up.

When we dig deep, when we embrace the discomfort, when we acknowledge but detach from the uncontrollables around us, we find that we are capable of more. Not that where we are right now isn’t enough- because it is- but that when we break through a perceived barrier in one facet of our lives, we trigger a cascade of barrier-toppling thoughts and actions in all other facets. It may not be immediate and it may not be obvious, but we will know in our hearts that when we face a new, tougher, taller, stronger, more complicated barrier, we have already drilled our brains to resist the urge to turn around and find another path and instead to figure out a way to jump, climb, plow, maneuver our way through it. Grit, in fact, is defined wholly by doing, regardless of what’s on your next Insta post, regardless of how it compares to what someone else posted, and regardless of whether or not you receive recognition.

Grit is defined by a full commitment to doing what is uncomfortable to YOU- to embracing your ugly face when the going gets tough-so that you can go out there and give the most you possibly can give to this universe. It’s what YOU bring to this tribe to make us all better versions of ourselves. It’s a heck of a lot more rewarding than trying to see what happens when metaphorically your shirts are pressed, your hair is flawless, and avoidance excuses permeate the mind.

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