I have looked up to you from the moment I met you. So impressed by your youthful spirit and willingness to give this November Project thing a go.
I love your November Project story…I believe the story goes that you asked Brogan for an interview about NP and he convinced you to come to every workout for a month before you would publish your piece. You called this challenge “petite November project.” This is a lofty goal for any human, let alone one who was in the middle of earning a degree from Harvard AND lived easily 40 minutes outside of the city. Evidenced by your blog and this photo:
I’d say you “drank the kool aid” and learned to LOVE NOVEMBER PROJECT. You nailed it at the end of your month when you said “the fitness aspect of November Project is a mere side benefit to the playful, inspirational, dare I say spiritual community that I have found.”
Maida and I had an immediate connection in November 2012 when I had read about her “petit November project” and realized we had a mutual friend. I introduced myself one Wednesday, huffing and puffing, after a workout at Harvard Stadium. You see, that friend we had in common was one of my dearest friends from high school, Stirling, who had just lost her 8 year battle to cancer in July 2012. Stirling was a fierce athlete and competitor, she never gave up on anything (before or after her osteosarcoma diagnosis) but was also the most upbeat and friendly person you would interact with ever. I know that if it had been one year earlier, Stirling would have been tackling those gigantic stairs at Harvard Stadium with Maida and me. For that reason in addition to the runners high that comes after X many sections of the stadium, we had a special moment that morning at the stadium and acknowledged our mutual grief over Stirling’s passing, hatred for the beast that cancer is but also our mutual love for the community of November Project.
OK I did not intend to make you all cry this Friday morning, however, you cannot fully understand our relationship until I set that scene. Now that I have done that, I can lift you up again – because although Stirling is not able to be at the stadium or the stairs at Rash Field with us, she left this world giving motivation to her loved ones to live their lives to the fullest. I continue to be motivated by Stirling when I don’t feel like running or training and because she can’t, I will. It is forever a reminder that life is short and sweet and we need to take advantage of all the things we are able to do. This is why waking up to be at NP at 5:30 is a no-brainer. There are only so many days we get and I know if I start my day with November Project I am living that day to the fullest.
On Wednesday Maida “traverbaled” to NP BAL and I was so so SO excited. I pulled out my oldest piece of #grassrootsgear, complete with it’s terribly done 80’s cut off vibe just for her. We got to run the stairs together, Maida even told me “I forgot how much fun this is!” Maida was so enthused with the adult recess that is November Project she asked about the location for Friday hills. I told her it’s a little further from their hotel, but still Maida “verbaled” for Friday. Not only did she just tell me, she also put it in writing…! To quote her blog circa November 2012: “I had given my “verbal”, which in November Project parlance means you had better show up. To make matters worse, I had even put it in writing-on, of all places, Facebook.”
Well this morning at 6:30 while the sleepy faces of NP BAL were bouncing and hugging, I didn’t see your face. “OK, maybe she got lost” I thought, I mean this isn’t her home city after all. And then hill after hill I would hope to see your face running towards me and at 725 when we were wrapping up there was still no sign of your traverbaled self.
Baltimore nightlife must have taken you by storm, I am not surprised, it can do that to the best of us. Needless to say, Maida, WE MISSED YOU this morning at Patterson park. I hope this means we will get to see you on another traverbaling adventure soon. Regardless, Maida, I think you’re kick ass** and if I grow up to be 50% as youthful and inspiring as you, I’ll be pretty jazzed.
** I learned on Wednesday Maida has run the BOSTON MARATHON OVER TEN TIMES**