Hi, I’m Jesse Buck-Brennan the newest co-leader of November Project – Los Angeles. You’ve probably heard me explain how I am a perpetual 7 year old. Yes, I still love eating cereal while watching cartoons or playing video games, but that isn’t why I’ll always be a kid at heart. Seven is when everything still has the potential to be AWESOME! Mom says I have to go to the dentist? Fuck Yea, that guy has the bubblegum tasting toothpaste! My wisdom teeth have to be removed, and I’m going to look like a chipmunk for a few days? Milkshakes for dinner, BOOM! Growing up with a single mom that busted her ass to make sure her kids had what they needed gave me a different perspective on life. I remember being jealous of kids who had more than me growing up, but my mom would always remind me that while we were poor financially we were rich in love.
As I grew up that much didn’t change until one bad relationship. A whirlwind relationship that was built on insecurities and emotional abuse. March 1st will be my 3 year anniversary of moving to LA. A move that happened because I was told if I didn’t move out then the relationship would be over and I would have to find a new place to live in San Diego anyway. So, what choice did I have? March 1st came and I found myself renting a room that was in the middle of the house and had one dirty skylight in the middle of the room as my only window. I would stand in the middle of my room and stare up at that opaque sheet of glass and try to figure out what to do. I had no money, was quickly maxing out my credit cards, and that unconditional love that I grew up with seemed to be a distant memory. I thought about moving back to New Jersey, but then the fading 7 year old in me got a helping hand.
I was invited to my first NP workout on May 14th, 2014 by my friend Tod. I picked Tod up and drove to the Hollywood Bowl. Angelo and Orrin were the co-leaders at that time, and Angelo was the first person to run up to me, jump, wrap his legs around me and hug me. Before the Bounce, Orrin asked for the newbies to come up front. I stood in a row with a few people while listening to Orrin say he wanted us to say our favorite vegetable. “EGGPLANT!” Now, eggplant is not my favorite vegetable, and I have no idea why I blurted it out before Orrin even finished explaining. The tribe laughed, and when we finally went down the line saying our names along with our vegetable everyone yelled eggplant when it got to be my turn. There it was again in my life, unconditional love. It would come back less than an hour later, when during my third and final lap of the J-Baby workout I lost my breakfast. Tod came around the corner, let out an “awww” then told me we were going to finish together. I wiped my mouth and jogged next to him; when we turned the corner I saw the tribe waiting in cheer tunnel formation. I returned the next week only to puke again, and again receive zero judgement and 100% love and support. I bought in to everything, and I cherished every Wednesday.
Since I started coming to NP I have lost over 30 pounds, raced multiple 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, marathons, and even a 50k, but the single greatest thing that I’ve gotten from November Project is my 7 year old self. I may still be broke as fuck, but like not ramen soup broke. I’m rich in love though! So with Animaniacs on Netflix and my N64 hooked up, I’ve got a big ass bowl of cereal waiting for me.
Do Great LA,
PS – I loved everyone’s energy this morning. Every time I ran back across the bridge I saw people asking how many reps someone had left and joining them in burpees, star jumps, or whatever exercise they were on. I love the support and I love you all!
Wednesdays in March – 5:27/6:27 am, Grand Park
– Check the tracker for meeting spots (https://tracking.november-
– This coming Wednesday On Running will be demoing and ruffling off some shoes!
Better Than Bedtime: Saturday March 4th, 5:00 pm, Pershing Square
– If you want to volunteer to pace sign up here: http://bit.ly/2kUTfTv
– Invite friends, co workers, other run clubs, etc to just show up! Let’s make some new friends and untie LA
LA Marathon Hydration Station, Sunday March 19th, Mile 19
– Peep this doc to see who is running when, and how to get involved with #cheergang and #hydrationgang http://bit.ly/2lvhjLr