My name is Molly. And today I said goodbye to leading November Project Denver. Here is my story:
My love affair started some four years ago on the leg press. It was a Tuesday night, and I was at a gym that was indoors, for which I paid money (read: not free fitness) back at my undergrad institution in Boston, MA. As I was impressively pushing some between where 60-200 pounds, I noticed there was a man watching me from a machine nearby. He lingered a little too long, and a little too awkwardly, and I thought, “Oh god, he’s about to hit on me.” Finally, he made his approach and in some stumble of words said something like, “I see you here a lot and I was wondering if you liked to work out outside which sounds weird to ask because I see you working out here inside so I don’t know why you’d like to go outside”…. Okay, he’s hitting on me AND he’s bad at it. My eyes darted around looking for an exit strategy. Jump over the railing behind me and fall three floors to my potential death, or land on my feet like a cat outside the front door of my favorite burrito joint, Boloco? Either way was win win at this point. But after a few more stumbling sentences he got to the good stuff, saying “I’m part of this word of mouth, grassroots fitness group that runs Harvard Stadium every Wednesday at 6:30 am. Our homework this week is to to meet five strangers and invite them. My name is Rishabh.” Yes, that’s right, I went to college with and was recruited to NP by none other than Rishabh Malick. You may know him as the guy who shows up half way through the Denver workouts wearing all black and headphones, who maybe doesn’t say a word to anyone for the first fifteen minutes and when you try to talk to him he can’t hear you cause his music is so loud and his hair a little longer every time you see him. Moral of the story: talk to strangers. recruit strangers. In the old days, we used to say #recruitmoreracers. Do that.
Looking back at that first paragraph it appears this is going to be a long morning. So let’s just keep going.
When I finally did show up to my first workout in Boston of March of 2013, I was instantly hooked. It was a Monday Destination Deck. I met a group of strangers outside of that very same gym where I met Rishabh and we ran 3.2 miles to Fanuiel hall. This was the first time I saw giant men in spandex, and it was none other than the two guys who started this whole thing, Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric. And I thought, if nothing else, I will continue to come back to see all of these men in spandex, and not so much because I was into it, but because it was one of those scenes you didn’t really want to look at but you couldn’t look away from. All I knew was that these guys meant business, and this was something I needed to be a part of.
Begin paragraph three. Sadly, my time in Boston was coming to a quick close as I was moving to Denver for a job that July. I was already bummed to leave a community that I had only just met. At that time, there was Boston, and there were jokes about a little rogue group in Madison, WI lead by BG’s brother, and another in SF lead by another northeastern grad. The thought of doing it in Denver never crossed my mind. That is, until Rishabh (back again) asked me if we should get one started. He wasn’t in Denver yet but knew he’d be moving there in a few months for a job as well. I immediately said no, because I was “too busy”, as we all always are, and my job was too demanding. Well fast forward about 2 weeks when I accidentally met Dan upon accidentally showing up to what turned out to be the “first” meeting of the November Project Denver pledge and the rest is god damn glorious history. Hey, Rishabh, sorry about that….
If you’re still reading, this is where it gets sappy. If you know me, you know I don’t get THAT sappy (don’t worry I’ll go to therapy for it some day) so no need to get too squirmy in your chairs…. Friends, its been an incredible journey from day one. Looking back, I still can’t believe that the stars aligned for me to help grow and lead the Denver tribe back when the whole movement was just 3 cities strong at the time, and to now we are among a network of 33 cities world wide that is constantly growing. I am lucky to have witnessed the growth of the Denver tribe. We have been through a lot together- babies, marriages, new dogs, new races, new goals, deaths, job losses and Broncos/Patriots fueds. I am so thankful to all of you who have shown up, who have continued to show up, and have given others around you a reason to show up. This movement moves because of people like you. Please never stop smiling, never stop working, never give up on pushing yourself, on making this community stronger and please never stop leaning on the tribe in times of need. The tribe will always be here for you, because the tribe is strong. Which brings me to my favorite part: the tribe will go on. With or without me. And while that may be a scary pill for me to swallow, I take a lot of comfort in knowing that the fire will not. stop. burning. In fact, it may even get stronger without me. Just kidding, let’s not make that happen. We all know I’ll be trying to tell Woody and Matthew what to do for the next three months…. No but really, the only thing that will change is there will be less of my shrill screams. Don’t worry Chad, I will never stop screaming at you.
I believe the music to cut me off started playing about 3 paragraphs ago so I will leave you here. I’m sorry for dropping this on you today, Alli, but really this is just the beginning of my slow fade. So PLEASE, if you are here this weekend, please make it out to Cerebral Brewing on Saturday at 6pm.
Friday: FUBU run by my classmates Cam and Jake of 5:30 fame. Now that I write this I hope they know that means they have to stick around for the 6:15 too. $10 says they show up on a tandem bike. Don’t let it fool you, they are both faster than you. Meet at the Millennium Bridge West Stairs