When I sat down to start writing this blog about my road trip months ago I was confronted by one of my biggest personal challenges. For those who know me, it is no secret that I am a scatterbrained, idea junkie. My mind is a water slide of creative thought, and endless imagination. Many people see this as a fun, great gift, and when fully embraced it very well can be. However, there is another side of this gift that many people either never get to see, or are too protective of me, or my feelings, to acknowledge. The truth is that on the flip side of this gift, are things I struggle with – taking action, and staying focused. After all, how many ideas or thoughts can one person generate before reaching a saturation point and failing to ever embrace action? Before November Project I had little direction for myself. I was well aware of this issue, but I never knew where to start with my decision making, or where to focus my energy. My lifestyle was not familiar with exercising self-discipline, and the art of setting my own intentions. In some ways that can be seen as liberating and beautiful. But if you don’t pay attention, it can get you lost really quickly in a place you may or may not want to be.
As the weeks went by I was repeatedly confronted with how easy it was for me to get lost when writing this. I have so much to say about this trip, this movement, where I was before November Project came into my life, and where I am now. But like many other times in my life I just didn’t know where to start, or where to go. But with the help of some friends, I eventually focused myself on the question: What is this road trip about? What point am I trying to make? Well the truth about my road trip is that it was originally a compulsive decision born out of emotion. That’s right. This epic idea was an emotional response to…
1. a breakup that resulted in me owning a car
2. Post Boston Marathon depression/pre-Summit angst
3. Realizing that I didn’t want to wait to live my life anymore.
4, Celebrating my 30th year of life.
Does this mean I don’t really want to do it? Or that I’m thinking about breaking the biggest verbal I’ve ever made? No, and HELL NO. It just means that when I announced this trip, it was more of an idea that didn’t actually have a plan, or a vision to go along with it. All I knew is that I wanted to do it, but I honestly had no idea HOW I was going to do it. Facing that reality was scary at first because I have a history of crumbling under the weight of my own ideas. Sometimes I’ve become overwhelmed with sadness and worry thinking about how disappointed for me my friends would be if I didn’t figure everything out. It would be infinitely worse than the time I forgot my solo in the Newsies concert in front of my entire elementary school. I didn’t want to ever sing again after that because it can be hard to see that we have a choice on how to move forward through our pain and insecurity. It’s easy to worry about letting people down, or embarrassing yourself in front of people that matter to you. The thing about November Project is that when you tell your tribe members you want to do some crazy epic shit, you become accountable to everyone, including yourself for taking action, and staying focused. Over the years I’ve learned that friends don’t hold you accountable to embarrass you, judge you, or make you feel insecure. They do it because they believe in you, and look forward to you and your ability to move forward and pursue happiness even in the face of your personal challenges. The support from this community has helped me realize that I’m capable enough to be the captain of my life. And over the last 3 years, I have begun to learn how to chose my destination, stay focused, and weather the elements to get there.
With that in mind, I chose for my trip to start in Boston during the weekend of the marathon in April because it has been one of my favorite weekends for the past 3 years because of November Project. If you aren’t sure if you can make it to Summit, then this is probably your second best bet each year to see a bunch of your friends from tribes around the world. What better way to kick off a cross country road trip?!? Over the years I have gotten into such a beautiful routine of saying “I will see you Wednesday/Friday”, that leaving Boston, or Summit, or some gathering where traverballers are present always leaves me with an unfamiliar void. When will I see this really awesome person again? 6 months? 2 years? That was my feeling leaving Boston for the marathon, and again for Summit this past year, except during the latter it was multiplied a few thousand times over. That feeling left me with a couple strong beliefs. I truly believe that…
1. That spending quality time with the people in this community is worth going out on a limb for.
2. That there are stories that are worth traveling 10,000 miles to hear. I’m reminded of this with every blog post I read from one of you. Together our stories are an anthology of different backgrounds, experiences, and views that each of us can take perspective away from.
3. That seeing Manitoba and Saskatchewan, running around the Redwoods, eating authentic southern style cuisine, and learning how to surf in Cali, cannot wait until I’m 30, or 40.
4. That we show up to November Project because we are ready to be challenged, motivated, and inspired to do things, or meet people we never thought or knew we could connect with.
5. I believe…I believe….I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky….I think about it every night and day. Spread my wings and fly away. You get the point…
Belief is a powerful thing. It’s powerful because once you believe in something it becomes real to you. I’ve always come up with ideas like this without ever believing that I was capable of bringing them to life. If you are anything like me, being surrounded by people who are willing to believe in each other is a confidence builder that helps us face the challenges life throws our way as we each navigate through our lives trying to figure things out. To me that’s the special thing about this movement – the potential we have to come together, connect over a variety of things, and contribute to each other’s progress – fitness, or not. This trip is going to be a huge challenge for me, but the more I talk to you all about my goals the more I maintain belief in myself. The thought of how loved and supported I feel in this community brings me to tears in the happiest of ways because it has filled the void of a family life that I have been missing for almost a decade.
Since I plan to hit 30+ workouts, this trip will last about 6 months with the plan to end in Denver, CO around October. Below is a table of the tribes I will be visiting in no specific order. However, if you want to tag along and spread the NP love/hype, or host some whacky traverballers for a couple nights, just reach out to me, and I will gladly send you a more specific itinerary so we can coordinate the biggest tribe carpool relay/NP sleepover EVER. Your company is necessary for this trip to be epic so I completely expect a full ride the entire way!!! Otherwise, if you are interested in being mildly cool, then at least follow along with my journey by tuning into the How Was Your Run Today podcast, and by following The Wireless Athlete on Facebook and IG.
Regina (Queens City)
November Project starts with you just showing up. But the work for me has come not just in testing my limits at the workouts, but also in identifying what I have to give, and learning what I need to take. I’m bringing the adventure, and I thank you all in advanced for providing me with the direction, focus, and support that’s going to make this road trip not just possible, but memorable and life changing. I am also very awkward at goodbyes, so I am just going to wrap this up by saying… see you on the road.
Coming to a bounce near you