2 Years. 200 Workouts. 2-0-0 Red Balloons. (NYC)

Guest Blogger: Sara Beaney
As I boarded the 5 a.m. train from Rye into Manhattan on Wednesday morning, I was clutching three 4-foot red balloons. The friendly, portly conductor looked at me puzzled. I knew what he was thinking: “Is she on her way home or on her way out?”
“Excuse me, madam, but do those balloons say 200?” he asked.
“YES! They do.” I was beaming.
“And do you mind me asking you what you are doing with those?” He still looked really confused.
And so I told him all about November Project, our NYC tribe, our 2nd birthday, and our 200th workout.
“Wow, 200 workouts!” he said, looking me up and down. “That’s impressive.”
I spent the majority of the train ride scrolling through Instagram and reminiscing about all of my favorite NP moments. There simply wasn’t just one moment I could single out as my favorite, so I’d like to share, well, a few favorite moments here:
  • The first moment. Everyone remembers their first time, right? We made a dopey pyramid (which I take full responsibility for suggesting). What was I thinking? It was so “off brand.” I can’t believe Brogan and Bojan let us become a real tribe after that.

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  • The moment captured before one of our first group shots as an official tribe. The smiles, the desaturated color, the happiness.
  • The special, intimate moments I’ve shared and captured with people when I’m behind the camera, especially taking yearbook photos.

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  • The moments in races when you see (and hear!) the infamous NP cheer station. These race moments fly fast through my mind, as I replay Captain Myles’ race strategy in my head, as I take on the Fifth Avenue Mile, as I “sprint through the finish” of every race I run.

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  • The moments I take K-Shea’s #phototakingphoto in her absence.

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  • The moment I hugged Emily and said to her, “I hug you like I hug my children. I never want to let go.” She’s the daughter I never had, the sister I never had, and the badass, sassy running friend I love to have.

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  • The moment we went body sledding in the snow on our Upper West Side hill and had to create a human rescue chain for John Massey.

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  • The moment we had elimination sprints at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, with Matt Powers behind the lens.

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  • The moment we raced our first Sunrise 6K in negative degree digits.
  • The moment you hear that two tribe members you are really fond of are finally a couple.
  • The moment #belikebeaney first showed up in my social channels. Wow. [Editor’s note: We’ve also seen #beaneyknowsbest and #photobomblikebeaney, too.]

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Now back to the balloons! I successfully navigated them off the train and out of Grand Central (the low ceiling was NOT ideal) and into a cab to the workout. The cold air was making them deflate. Shit.
I just wanted to get there so the 5:30 group could use them in their group photo. I ran up the stairs, feeling like a kid, and handed the balloons to three people in the back row. Made it! #RACEEVERYTHING
As the 6:30 group gathered, there was a sea of smiling, happy faces, a tribe of bright, young things, and hugs, hugs, hugs! The bounce was about to begin.
“Beaney, come into the center,” John said. Paul then gave me the nod.
“What do I do?!” The look of horror and dismay on Paul’s face was priceless. Got him. Now that’s my #1 #NPFavMoment!
“AS IF I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!! LET’S GET A LITTLE BOUNCE!” And so we did. We bounced so high. There was so much energy, it felt like we were 200 bouncing balloons. I looked up and there they were, our 2-0-0 red balloons bouncing so majestically and celebrating right there above us.
This morning, I boarded my regular 5 a.m. train again.
“Good morning, madam,” the portly conductor said. “No balloons today?”
I gestured him over and showed him the pictures from our Wednesday workout.
“Wow, so many people,” he said.
As all of you know, there’s only one response I had for him.
“You know, one day you really should #justshowup, too.”
November Project NYC, two years and 200 workouts later, is so much a part of my life and who and what I am today. It empowers me to push myself outside my comfort zone in all aspects of my life. I’ve met people and made friends I never would have otherwise. I am so proud of John and Paul and what they have done and continue to do for all of us.
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Two years and 200 workouts later, being with them, their energy and creativity, is where all my favorite NP moments are made.
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