As we wrap up a recruiting month and recall our November Project stories, I wanted to reiterate a point that Ash made in her post last week – there are so many November Project stories out there. And while you can say they’re a dime a dozen, there’s one common thread that you can pull through all of them – November Project changes lives.
I’m going to tell you about my life-changing story. Admittedly, it’s not that exciting. There’s no loss of life; no dramatic crescendo of how I’ve gone from couch potato to winning races; no addiction story or battles with substance abuse. But if you can spare me a few, I’d like to share how November Project has positively changed who I am down to my core.
Because I’m actually an asshole.
And if you want to read all the nitty gritty detail, you can read it on my blog, not on November Project’s.
But if you know anything about East Coasters, particularly Northeasterners, particularly New Englanders, we can be a bit uptight. I was always driven by career and money, and I always had somewhere to be and other people to see. I had friends, but my work relationships were strategic, and my intentions were ego-driven. Of course they were, because I was a rockstar, and I was going to earn six-figures and make executive-level by 27.
Which brought me to San Diego – hot ad agency, fancy title, fat paycheck. My “by-27″ goal, check.
Still, something was missing. I had everything. Hot job, big loft apartment downtown… I mean, I had a fucking 60” TV (Overcompensating? Most definitely.). Yet, I had nothing but my 80-hour work weeks, and nights when the only thing that could put me to sleep was 4 glasses of overpriced whisky and half a pack of cigarettes on my fancy outdoor patio overlooking the Gaslamp. Everything was nothing.
Enter, Heather Pearl. Through friends of friends, I met Heather – an hilarious, bubbly local runner with whom we had planned monthly sushi dates (we only did the one that day in May 2014). She asked, “have you heard of November Project?”
(Rewind) I knew about November Project from Boston. In fact, I met BG (co-founder) at WORK, as I had been involved in the New Balance Runnovation advertising campaign featuring November Project. Ask me about that story. It’s a GOOD one.
But I had never been to a workout. So that night, I dropped my first verbal to go to my first workout the following Wednesday at Kate Sessions Park in PB (We’ll be there again later this year).
That first workout, it was weird. I stood around on the outskirts of the group, pretended to stretch… A couple of people hugged me and introduced themselves. Awkward. Everyone was so happy to be there, and I couldn’t help but think, “Ok. What’s the catch. How are you so happy? What are you after?”
And since that day on May 21, 2014, I can’t even begin to do justice to the impact this COMMUNITY has had on my life.
Physically, though I had been a collegiate rower for years, I went from running 3-5 miles a few times a week to signing up for my first races. I went from thinking, “why the FUCK would anyone run a half marathon?” to breaking 8 miles, breaking 12, racing a 25k, to running 3 ultramarathons over the past 2 years.
My journey as an athlete aside:
After November Project, I quit my toxic job and took a 40% paycut to work at a fitness startup. After a few months I went to working for myself. And eventually went to working for a marketing agency who works on anti-addiction campaigns targeting at-risk youth.
After November Project, I left my financial and material motivations behind and found a love for using my skills to inspire and volunteer my time for others.
Through November Project, I met some of my best friends. And I can’t tell you how many times a day I will tell someone I love them and genuinely mean it.
In this moment, I am the best version of myself. I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been; I feel younger than I’ve ever felt; and as I type these words, I can say with absolute certainty that I’m the happiest that I can possibly be.
8 months ago, I was asked to take the role of one of my biggest inspirations, Lauren Padula, to lead this tribe – a role that I’d accepted, despite knowing a handful of people who deserved this more than I.
And as I see this tribe come together week-over-week, hear about these stories, read the messages from tribe members, and hear John Nagib yelling multiple times in the middle of a race that “NOVEMBER PROJECT CHANGED MY LIFE,” I’m re-inspired every time.
I’m so humbled to have the opportunity to facilitate and bring the same kind of change that I’ve personally experienced to others. It motivates me to push myself harder and to help the tribe connect deeper than on a physical level.
You’ve made my life brighter. Be bright, San Diego.
The stuff you actually care about:
- MONDAY – Last Week at Hill Street in OB! Hill Street and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. 6:29 AM. Just. Show. Up.
- SATURDAY – Triple Terrain Challenge starts at 7 AM at Mission Bay High School! 17-mile track to road to trail to road to track race. It’s an out and back, so come run a few miles or run it all! No registration fee or fancy sign-up. Just. Show. Up.
- RECRUIT! Monday, 2/26 is the last day for you to bring your recruits. Top 3 recruiters get a fancy jacket from The North Face! You will have the opportunity to order in the color and size of your choice. GET AFTER IT!