I Dream of Steps

Our most recent workout, sans steps

Dear Director Vogel and Superintendent Vietzke,

My name is Ruth Logan and I have been a member of November Project DC since September 2015. I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position and allow November Project DC to run the Lincoln Memorial steps along with other national park sites in the District.

Two years ago I graduated from college. I swam competitively and co-captained my senior year. Following graduation I was apprehensive I would find another strong, supportive community to work out and grow with as I had with my teammates. Luckily, I found a welcoming, fun alternative.

After living in DC for several months, a best friend introduced me to November Project. When I came to my first workout, at Meridian Hill, I was chosen to go into the middle of the huddle and demonstrate a hug with our co-leader. This hug, and the following hour, was a mixture of confusion, smiles, and breathing pants. By 7:30, I was tired but I did not have to question if I was coming back. I was hooked.

A week or two later, I was hooked twice over, this time to Wednesday mornings in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Oftentimes it is the crack of dawn but so many people #justshowup. I am convinced we show up 50% because of the people and 50% because of the location. The people welcome you with smiles and the Lincoln welcomes you with solid, grounding steps. There is nothing like running up with your friends and reaching the top, only to see the best sunrise in our city. The steps make the workout. The steps are our reason for waking up so early.

The view from the top

As a history buff, I always cherish the National Mall, especially the Lincoln Memorial. An incredible amount of history has been made at this particular site. When I stop in awe at the top of the Memorial, I often think of the student demonstrations, civil rights events, and one important speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which took place right here. How amazing it is that past, current, and future leaders speak, walk, and even run on these steps.

In a few short months I will be moving overseas for a new adventure. I am very sad to leave DC. One time and place I will miss most is Wednesdays 6:30–7:30 am at the Lincoln Memorial, racing others and my past best times. As crazy as it sounds (because it is physically painful later on), I would love to run a few more “Lincoln logs” (aka laps of the stairs) before I depart for the Peace Corps. Please grant me, and many other crazy athletes/friendly running mates, this great privilege at a place we consider home.

Thank you very much for your time and I hope to see you at a workout soon!


Ruth Logan