“There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships- and may they always be!” – Irish Proverb.
This latest installment of our NP love series is about friendship, and how November Project strengthens, deepens and progresses relationships. We’ll hear from a tremendous trio- James, Packy, and Jason. They are lovable, loud, and overall exceptional people. These rambunctious rugby bros have been spreading the love since day 1- love for NP, love for the DC Tribe, and love for each other. It is awesome to see. But don’t just take my word for it- here’s Jason, James and Packy’s version of NP LOVE:
- Just out for a casual sunrise 6k
JASON: Haddaway tried to define it in the early 90s, only to rhythmically repeat the question for fear of bodily harm, no more.
Nat King Cole gave each letter of the word its own quantifiable category, which an 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan then usurped in an elaborate cross-continental ruse of stolen identity to trap and reunite her parents, decades after Hailey Mills’ original attempt.
The truth is, when it comes to November Project, love has a number of different interpretations.
For many, love is found among friendly faces and open arms three mornings a week, for no other reason than just showing up.
For others, it is dispersed across members of multiple social circles, all converging in a unifying bounce.
The love of November Project can be seen in the confused excitement of someone’s first workout, and in the earned joy of a new PR.
For a lucky few, love is even found quite literally. For every loop around the Lincoln Memorial, there seems to be a new couple forming, a relationship deepening, or an engagement announced.
No matter the terms or interpretation, the love of November Project is REAL and it is WILD.
- Closed eyes, full heart, let’s cruise.
JAMES: Apprehensive. Humbled. Winded. Wildly under-dressed for the freezing late December morning, I clambered back to the car after my first exposure to November Project. Thoughts raced through my head; how many people lapped me? How long does it take before I’m good at this? Why wasn’t I able to get warm? I’ve since come to learn: everyone, a considerable amount of time, and mesh shorts and long sleeve tees aren’t appropriate winter running apparel. I won’t lie – I was touch and go after my first workout. I straight up said to Packy at one point, “At least I could tackle everyone here!” as if it was an understandable justification for what was, at the time, just a severe lack of cardio. Each workout I attended, I felt a barely-noticeable-bit faster, and even began to participate in the NP tradition of meeting strangers in increasingly intimate, compromising scenarios. Small, fleeting moments of triumph, laughing, and bouncing started to blur together. Something kept drawing me back in time after time, as if to say, if you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting, time after time. The “je ne sais quoi” which is often so elusive, is consistently the narrative at NP. It isn’t any one moment in particular – it’s all of them that make me love NP as much as Stanley loves Pretzel Day.
- I want YOU to #justshowup
PACKY: You know that saying that goes, “You never know how much you love something until it’s gone?” It doesn’t only apply to significant others, or pets, or that large pizza you just housed like Joey Chestnut coming off a juice cleanse. A year ago, facing reconstructive surgery on several of the bungee cord-like ligaments holding my knee together, I lamented the restrictions – nay, my own inability – to enjoy even the most basic athletic movements. A week after the procedure, applying even partial weight to my repaired leg left me winded. Fully straightening my leg became a distant goal, like a 5k p.r. or bench press one rep max. When I was finally given the ok (laced with enough conditions to make a corporate legal department blush) to try straight-line jogging, three months after surgery, I probably looked more like Barney Gumble attempting a sobriety test than a legitimate runner.
Despite all the awkward, achy motions, NPDC played Cupid, helping me rediscover the love for simple, foundational movements. When I was at my slowest, barely able to outrun a three-year-old sporting pullups, strangers reached out to offer PT tips. As I slowly reestablished a natural gate, newfound friends patiently delayed their hoisties or burpees while I completed a laborious lap or log. When I regained the confidence to sprint, this tribe pushed me enthusiastically to keep up.
A year ago I lost the ability to run, and discovered the hard way how precious it is. But in laboring to regain something I had taken for granted, I also discovered a new love. This community. This city. This tribe.
- We get by with a little help from our friends
So there you have it. NP love through the eyes of a terrific trio. Thanks for reading, much love.