This is my first group photo, on my first day of November Project, exactly 364 days ago. On June 30th, 2014 I participated in my first NP, a PR day of all days. After lapping all of the stairs of the Hollywood Blow twice, I was about as worn down as I look in that picture. But I was also something else, a combination of something that I couldn’t put my finger on exactly.
That mixed bag of feelings led me to do something very far outside of my comfort zone: after the workout, there was a small group discussing logistics for a race called the #SoCalCollisionCourse. Someone mentioned that I had some running experience. They asked if I wanted to join them on a relay race from the bowl to Camp Pendelton, where we would meet the SD tribe and have a camp out. The word “yes” came out of my mouth before I even realized I had said it. Peep this crazy team of misfits:
I hate to be cliche about these kinds of things, but my life changed that weekend. I was right around the corner from being in LA for two years, and I was starting to flounder. I hadn’t found the right people, I hadn’t found that thing that would motivate me to keep pushing forward. Looking around a campfire of 40 people, the vast majority of which I had just met hours previously, laughing and sharing this family that they had found, I knew that this was that thing. Where it went from there? I never would have guessed in million years.
On March 18th, 2015, you got down on one knee and asked me to become your new co-leader. I said yes so quickly Orrin needed to stop and make sure I understood what the commitment would be like. It’s funny because this is “work” of sorts, organizing and logistics, planning workouts, etc…. but it’s never once felt like it. Seeing all of you put in the effort, sweat and hugs on a weekly basis is more than enough motivation to keep working with this magnificent group of people. It’s been a dream, and one that I am so ecstatic to continue into the next year. I will never, ever forget the day I stood in front of all of you and you welcomed me into the role without any reservation or pause. I never told anyone this, but I cried when I finally parked at work that morning and let it sink in. I cried because I felt at home. It was a feeling I hadn’t truly experienced since coming to Los Angeles. It filled me up to brim. I have you all to thank for that.
A lot can happen in a year. A lot HAS happened in this last year. From being bestowed with the positivity award on Not So Casual Wednesday, to getting into a jump off with the one and only #PaulLeak, this last 365 with November Project has been anything but ordinary. To those of you who show up and give me your best selves and your energy at our workouts: I value and love you all so much. Every single one of these Wenesdays have been the highlight of my last 52 weeks.
That said, I want to thank a few people who have been with me from the beginning:
I want to thank Angel for being the master of all things logistics, for always being a calming and steady presence, and for the mass amounts of Angel face you grace us with every week.
I want to thank Danielle for being such a fine example of what living with joy looks like.
I want to thank Jesse for pushing me to work harder, especially when I feel like there’s nothing left in the tank.
I want to thank Korey for proving that, yes, Katy Perry is in fact running music.
I want to thank Angelo for setting such a fine example of what leadership looks like.
I want to thank Lauren Cortizo for being a goddamn freight train that I still have trouble keeping up with. You keep me honest.
I want to thank the rest of that SoCal Team: Casey, Charlie, Neal, Jenna, Gabe, and Laura for welcoming me into their relay race so willingly. You’re the reason I came back the next week. I knew all of you on different levels then, and I’m so happy to share this with all of you now.
I want to thank Kently for always making me feel like a million bucks, and for being cool when I was blatantly calling her “Katie” for the first few workouts.
I want to thank Anna Papuga for showing up next week.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank Orrin. You’re larger than life, man. I am constantly in awe of your motor, your energy, and your commitment to everything we do here. I look up to you like an older brother… ironic considering I’m older than you… but true nonetheless. You’ve been teaching me that I am always capable of pushing past of what I believe I am capable of from day one. You recruit with absolute reckless abandon, and I love that shit. Thank you, for being my partner in crime, and for everything else that you do.
The tribe is strong, and this tribe is my family. To the next year.
DO GOOD LA!!
FRIDAY – Meet at the intersection of Academy Road and Stadium Way in Elysian Park at the bottom of the hill. Location here!
You are all amazing and kicked the shit out of today. It’s not really news, I just wanted to say how proud I am.Share via socials: