On February 6th, 2013, four people showed up to Bascom Hill and November Project Madison was born. Sarah Lindstrom was one of those people. She has been here since day one, and is STILL here! This is her story.
Like so many of us, I will never forget my first workout with November Project. It was a freezing day in February, and I was woefully underdressed. I had gone to a kickboxing class the night before, making me woefully sore, and there were about a million and one reasons to stay in bed. But I promised DG that I would meet him at Bascom at 6:30 and that I would bring a friend, so we just showed up. There were four of us, eyes wide, trying to move enough to stay warm. We ran up Bascom, threw Abe a penny, and ran down. We yelled words of encouragement across the hill and ended with an amazing sunrise and sweaty hugs. It was the greatest morning I’ve ever had, and I was hooked.
That was four years ago. FOUR YEARS! So many things have changed since that very first workout, it makes my head spin. Like DG and Meggie hadn’t even remet yet. All my best friends were nowhere on my radar, and getting me to hug strangers? Okay that I’ve always been on board with. #MidwestBest. It immediately pushed me out of my bubble, which seemed hard to do in a city I’d lived in my entire life. But here we were. You want me to wake up at 6:30 and bear crawl up Bascom? Crawl under strangers? Sure! Put on a banana suit and run through Madison? You got it. Lose my voice at trail races wearing a cheesehead? No need to ask twice. It quickly became second nature to do crazy shit, and this city/state/world is better off today because of that spontaneity.
The movement as a whole has seen me through a year in France, my college graduation, my first job, and the unemployment that followed. It drew me to Utah, to Boston, and even to Milwaukee. I’ve been every NPer imaginable, from the one who will not miss a single workout even if she’s dying to the one who chooses to sleep most days. I’ve been the girl that comes still drunk from the night before (Pat once told me I was the most reliable when it came to that, so can someone make sure that goes on my grave? Thanks), the girl who can’t stop yelling, the girl who wants everyone to shut up already. And I learned that they’re all important. You’re all important. We’re all important. In a world where strangers are seen as bad and scary, I’m pumped that I surround myself with people that look strangers in the eye and envelop them in a huge hug.
It will always be wild to me that this went from a gang of yahoos co-led by a guy who did a questionable job teaching me to swim to a certifiable, sponsored movement around the world. But it makes the most sense because this shit is good, and I will preach that until I die. Cheers to four whole years, Madison. You guys are all my favorites.