It began nearly one year ago to the day. I took a sip of some koolaid and I didn’t like it, I LOVED it!
And so the journey began. I made a new Wednesday routine. I woke up with my wife, we smiled, we got our grassroots gear on and headed out to workout with our NovemberProject buddies.
If you haven’t heard of NovemberProject or NP for short you must be working out in the wrong places. Then again if you’ve never worked out you must not read a newspaper, have watched FoxNews, or Korean TV. NP has been making lots of noise and not just when we bounce and echo the leader during the warm up. NP has made a footprint in local running communities all over the country and now even a few places around the world.
There are three things that make working out with this group so unique. First, the leaders John Honerkamp and Paul Leak while both are accomplished runners it isn’t there race resumes that bring people to the workout. (Nor their profile photos)
They do something that few people and organizations actually achieve. Yes of course they accept all athletes in every shape, skill, and pace but what is truly special is they embrace and encourage a community that welcomes without judgement every person for who they are. In an otherwise harsh New York climate they somehow found the magic potion that breaks the silence, cold looks, & stern faces. NovemberProject brings people together from all social classes, job descriptions, and various boroughs to a place of equality where hugs, laughs, and words of encouragement are the only acceptable forms of communication.
That brings me to the second reason NovemberProject has been such a fantastic addition to my routine. This managire of people never stops encouraging one another. Whether this is your first run ever, your first run with NP, or you are training for an Ultra you hear nothing but positivity all workout long. There are runners that lap you during a workout and heck some of them will lap you more than once but even these runners; with their perfect form, despite their fierce competitive nature, cheer and encourage you to push yourself harder than the last lap.
Finally having gone to a year’s worth of workouts, much like the post office these folks are weatherproof. To truly understand the meaning you had to experience the winter here on the east coast. Regardless of temperatures plummeting to near -20 on Wed mornings the group met.
When the snow came and left foot after foot of icey snow, the group met. And you might have guessed it, even when temperatures pushed a sweltering 100 with 100% humidity the group met. Without fail the group remained committed and met at 5:28 & 6:28 with our leaders taking command of the workouts, positive vibes remain strong, and we all grew together not only as runners or athletes but as people.
While NovemberProject will make you a better runner, a tougher more persistent runner, and especially a more positive athlete. All of which will allow you to dig deeper than you ever thought possible on race day but in life it will make you a better person and in the end isn’t that what we all are trying to achieve.
Happy NP-versary, here’s to many more! #BOOM #wakeupthesun