November Project Ramblings
After reading what NP Washington is going through I felt compelled to write. Pass it on to those that matter.
About two years ago, my son (Trent) discovered a group called the November Project Canada in Edmonton. He works at Commenwealth stadium and would see them as they ran the stairs and decided to check it out. For the next bit I would watch him leave in the wee hours of the morning and in any weather. I thought he was nuts, especially when he was disappointed one time that it didn’t reach -30 C and he didn’t get his badge that day. (Don’t worry — it still happened another time) He would invite me but I had all my excuses — too early, you guys do too much running which my feet would hate (and they do), and how would I get to work. As he continued to #justshowup, I would see the friendships he was making and I became more and more curious. On one holiday Monday, I joined him at the work out. I was right — they like to run (it was bridge wars that day) but I had fun. I also saw why Trent enjoyed going — the people. It didn’t matter if you were slow, look like a walrus doing burpees or modifying an exercise. I showed up a couple more times on stair days during the summer, but then work started again. I really wanted to go and finally in December, put on a few layers and made the decision to show up. (and I can still get to work on time) I think what cemented in me to continue going happened on my second week. It was the Sunrise 6K. Again my excuses kicked in and I told Trent I would just run stairs as I would be slow. He convinced me to try and it didn’t matter the time. So off I trudged and at the 3K turnaround point, I noticed was pretty much last. What impressed me was everybody still waiting, cheering and not seeming put out waiting for me. I have continued to go and have even done a few 5K runs this spring. (I have learned what #FOMO means and have experienced it) I am close to completing the lower bowl of the stadium in ½ hour and continue to push myself. I am even thinking of doing a 10K this summer. (and yes my feet still hate me) I go because of the people and the encouragement. It is free (which is always big in my books) and fun. I watch these people (of all ages) participate, and volunteer for many other things in our city. We even spent on workout doing a river valley cleanup! If there is any group you will never have to worry about — it is a group of November Project people. They will represent your city with pride and enthusiasm. They respect their environment, just want people to get active and feel welcomed. No membership, no expectations other than to try. It is not about fast, best or elite. I’m not sure why you are worried but there are bigger issues in this world than a group of people who like to hug and get some sweat on.