A Guest Blog – Meet Alex (Ottawa)

Alex reached out to us about a women in sport event she was helping out with and to see if we may be keen to get involved. We often will be excited to chat about new ideas that come forth, and will suggest they show up to NP, come workout with us, and go for coffee to chat more about it. So that’s exactly what she did. And then I’m pretty sure she has showed up basically every Wednesday she is town since. We’ve been able to see Alex’ role in the community evolve through time. We’ve seen her take on the lead of welcoming newbies, of being a consistent encourager of others, of inviting others to coffee, just to make sure they know it’s available post workout. She makes this community we share stronger, and through these isolated and challenging times, we still get to see her smiling face on Zoom, still lighting up the morning for others. Thanks for showing up Alex and for continuing to make us better.

November Project has changed my life. It has given me an environment and community to be a no body and a somebody at the same time. In the back of my head I can hear my mom saying “you’re not a no body!” Shh mom! Let me write! At this point in my life, I love having the space to be a no body.

What does this mean to me to feel like a nobody and a somebody at the same time?

I’m no author, ultra marathoner, homeowner, National team member, crossfitter, mother, wife, trailblazer. Yet I am surrounded by all these inspiring people every Wednesday morning. I am a human being that decided to join all these other human beings at 6:29am and work out. And that is who we all are. We are not attached to these labels. I am not attached to any labels. I am not the fastest, the one with potential, the girl that always wins, the little sister, the failure, the good girl, the quiet one. I am just a girl that decided to show up and I get to be who I want to be. I will be accepted, supported and loved just as I am. No labels, stigmas or past attached to my identity. 

I am also a somebody. 

November Project has helped me connect with my values. For years I was trying to figure out why I should get out of bed in the morning. Then once I started coming out to November Project, and a lot of the other community events, I realized how important COMMUNITY was to me. I wanted to show up because my friends were going to be there, then we were going to go to a local coffee shop and I may learn about other cool community events that were coming up. I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to create memories or fill my cup with this NP juice. 

I know exactly when I figured that I was in this. It wasn’t my first time anymore. I had a good idea of what to expect. I had an alarm saved on my phone. And it was then when Liz said “Turn to someone you didn’t come with and give them a hug or high five”. Annie turned to me and said “Good morning Alex! SO good to see you!” She recognized me. I hadn’t talked to her before, but she had noticed me. And she was happy to see me! That moment has stuck with me as that moment that I wasn’t only showing up for myself anymore. I wasn’t just a no body. I was somebody. 

When somebody greets you with a hug and big ol’ “HEY ALEX!” it is hard to feel like a no body. These feelings you get from love, support, being cheered for, high fived and greeted with huge smiles – it has enabled me to develop a healthy relationship with exercise and myself. I can feel like I am enough just as I am. I don’t have to give more, do more or be more than I am. 

Somehow NP brings all of these amazing people together. Somehow they create an atmosphere that facilitates that feeling of freedom and security. Somehow NP has the power of making me excited to wake up at 5:30am on Christmas Day, News Years Day, and EVERY SINGLE WEDNESDAY! 

And the ultimate gesture of being acknowledged as a somebody was when I was awarded the Positivity Award. Feeling an unspoken attachment to those who have come before me and feeling the excitement for all of those to come. To feel like I have a hand in sharing this movement is so powerful and rewarding in itself.

So I ask myself. When will this run out? When will I be tired of all this positivity, love and support? And then I realize that the answer is always the same. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because I have already gotten so much from November Project. If I need to take a break one day then that is okay too because I know that I will always be welcomed back. No questions asked. No judgment passed.  

For now, all I have left to say is thank you. Thank you to Lauren and Liz for being our fearless and reliable co-leaders. Thank you to everyone in Ottawa and around the world that show up to help keep this movement alive. Because of all of you, no matter what is happening in my life or the world, I can rely on November Project to be my solid, reliable and safe community. See you on Wednesday!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. Sunrise 6K coming up week of April 13-17, details to come so we can connect virtually
  2. Read some blogs from others cities and see what’s going on in the World of NP!
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