Today in Minneapolis we did a workout near the new Viking home, US Bank Stadium called Viking Quest which taught our members how to steal something of absolutely zero value (beer bottle caps) from each other while also paying tax (push-ups) on this literally priceless commodity. That’s about all you need to know. The rest of this blog is written by former #NP_MSP tribe member Matt Swiontek. Matt’s an awesome dude with big ideas, read on!

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Two weeks ago, I left my Minneapolis home to begin an adventure in my new, Grand Rapids, Michigan home. New experiences, joys, and challenges await me on this next journey, but November Project taught me one very important philosophy that I want to share with all of you.
On an early Wednesday morning in July 2015, I forced myself out of bed and reluctantly decided to try out this November Project thing. I made my way to the Mill City Museum, nervous about what to expect and what kind of people would be there. At an hour normally reserved for sleeping, I bounced around with this strange group, cussed a little, and sweated my butt off on the bridge memorial hill. At the end, the workout was dubbed the sixer, arbitrary prizes were given out and I headed home a little worn out and yet energized. I distinctly remembered thinking- that workout was tough, but I’m sure they don’t get any harder than that. I decided that I’d give this thing a go and kept coming back, week after week. I started to recognize a smiling face or two, hanging out at coffee with people, and seeing these kick ass folks at night and on weekends. A little over a year after that first morning, I found myself in a car, for 18 hours, headed to Canada, to a house, where we would all hangout for the next four days. This all happened because of that one morning in July.

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Looking back on the last year, I can tell you a few things: yes, there are harder workouts than the sixer. Yes, some days you wake up feeling awesome and some days you don’t. Yes, you will get faster and stronger, but that doesn’t make the workouts any easier (they’re designed that way on purpose- Ben and Holly are evil masterminds). And yes, it’s probably not a cult. The cool thing is, no matter how you feel when you start or how you feel when you finish, you’re always better off by being there.
As I look forward to my new adventure, going to networking events, trying out new running groups, or even walking up to a stranger, all seems less intimidating and daunting. Sometimes it works out like you planed and other times, it doesn’t, but on any given day, at any moment, all you can do is show up and put your best foot forward. No matter the outcome, you’re better off because you tried. So, as I move forward, I’m going to take a page out of the November Project playbook: I’m going to JUST SHOW UP. I hope you do too because I know you’ll enjoy the ride.

JUST. SHOW. UP. Guest Blog by Matt Swiontek
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