A letter to everyone I haven’t seen at NP in a while (Boston 12.7.18)

Dear tribe member who I haven’t seen in a while,

I realize that you might think we forgot about you.  And that there are probably more reasons than I could start to name that leave marks in your life, which cause you to have been gone.  Some big, some small reasons too.  And many reasons for not being here that fill your head and maybe your heart too with frustration, angst, guilt, sadness, disconnection, anger, or apathy.  And the idea of showing up is both one you want and one that you dread.  Because it’s been “too” long.  Because you’re not in the shape you once were when you were setting PRs.  Because you might not know anyone, and they probably won’t recognize or remember you. 

You are not alone.

I’ve been at NP long enough now to know that anyone who has ever chosen to let themselves care about November Project and the tribe of human beings who make showing up so very worth it, even in the coldest and darkest of months, e v e r y o n e thinks those same things if and when there is any reason that the consistent, regular, verbal-every-day, showing up changes.  We find the doubt, and we hold on to it because somewhere deep inside of us, we believe that it protects us from getting hurt by showing up and no longer being seen, and instead being invisible or unknown.  By learning that no one really is glad that we’re here, or that it never really mattered that we showed up.

That doubt is bullshit.

This morning I got to stand on the wall and lead the bounce, while I looked out at the mass of faces.  Bundled under hats, half-covered by buffs.  And within this brief moment, casting my glance across those faces, I found myself seeing face after face of people who I haven’t seen in a while.  It was like little, pleasant shocks of electricity in my heart–You!  And You!  And OMG YOUUUUU!  I had memories crash through my mind, and I was instantly filled with gratitude and happiness. 

Did you hear that?

I was filled with gratitude and happiness–NOT judgment, criticism, blindness, or apathy.  I was excited to see everyone.  And honestly, I only care where you’ve been because I’ve learned so. many. times. that people don’t usually go away because they just don’t care about NP anymore or dislike what we do–it’s that shit is going down in their lives.  Or they had to move, or their job changed and they’ve been battling with the schedule for months, or they’ve been injured or taking care of a sick loved one.  LIFE is busy happening for everyone and those aren’t excuses. 

So if we haven’t seen you in a while…

We care that you are out there.  And we’re glad that you are here.  Showing up is NOT about proving yourself, matching your old PR time, or having a good enough reason to have been away.  Showing up is about choosing to move your body.  Showing up is about choosing community and togetherness, to make us all better.  Showing up is about getting seen, meeting new people (always!) and hopefully seeing some familiar faces too.  Showing up is being glad you’re there–no matter what shape you’re in or how long it’s been–and trusting that we are STILL glad you’re here.

You can always show up.  We are always here–#weatherproof, outdoors, all year long.  You KNOW you can count on NP to have a workout, Monday/Wednesday/Friday in Boston, forever.  And if we’re going to commit to that, then you better believe your membership in the tribe (still for $0) will be good forever too. 

We miss you.

We’re not going to write a blog about how long you’ve been gone or shame you in some non-helpful way.  And we really do care when we get to see you again–just like I did this morning for all those great folks who showed up.  You’re out there and we’re always here.  So please make it sooner rather than later that we see you again.  Even if it’s been a while.

We’ll see you soon, we’ll greet you with a big ol’ bear hug or high-fives!  (Yup, we do that now!), and we’ll get to working out.  Just like we’ve always done.

Fuck yeah,

EmSauce

Announcements:

  • MONDAY DESTINATION DECK is at the Jamaica Pond Boat House.  6:29am.  Get a group and run there–workout like beasts– and run home again.  Or bike.  Or do neither but still show up. 
  • Wednesday: EmSauce and Capozzi will be reunited for the first workout in weeks…we can’t wait and we’re making it an official announcement.
  • ALSO WEDNESDAY 12/12: If you’re interested in helping out/contributing to the Toys-for-Tots toy drive that Bosco, Kelly Cardalino, and Lisa Sugamama Sugarman are organizing, bring a new, unwrapped toy to the workout and those dedicated folks will be collecting them at both the 5:30 & 6:30am workouts.  Any questions, send a message to Bosco Layne (IG @tabascosauce), Kelly Cardalino (IG @kellysuri), or Lisa Sugarman (IG @lisa_sugarman)
  • Next FRIDAY is PR Day on the hills, so get your racing faces, your big-kid pants, and your fast-feet ready. 
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