A love letter from Liz (YOW)

Congrats to everyone who showed up on time, who ran their first, second or maybe 12th sunrise 6k?  One of the beautiful things was- this morning there was ACTUALLY a sunrise. Thank you for sharing it with us, for running slow, running your first 6k, showing up for the very first time, for running  fast, hitting a PB, winning and being the last to join the high fives. We even had some runners show up at 6:29am.. they missed the 6am memo, but did they still run? YEP. Good thing we had a marker for the turnaround point. Sorry we forgot about the prizes for the winners- you know they would be great. You WILL see them next week, maybe Seumas and Caroline should wear the Sunrise6k winner glasses for the whole workout?  So that was today, many more amazing sunrises and Wednesdays to come.

Now, I’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Mackenzie, co-leader of November Project Ottawa. She lays her heart on the line with a love letter and shares her thoughts and feelings. You may wonder if she puts this energy on, or how she can be so loud. But that is genuinely her, all the time. I kid you not, I spend  A LOT of time with her. We spend time together everyday. She is almost ALWAYS like this. She keeps me feeling positive and wonderful, she brings everyone she comes in contact with up (with the exception of some dirty looks when she says hi to strangers on the sidewalk and they wonder why they are talking to her). These are the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. Thank you for Liz, you make me better and I’m so glad you said yes to lead November Project, without even knowing what it was. Now here for the love: 

Dear November Project Ottawa,

I would like to mention that this letter has taken me longer to write than it took everyone to complete the sunrise 6k this morning.  I think we should mention that this was our first sunrise 6k with a TAG. Jealous you didn’t get one? You should be. It was made by hand.  Don’t worry, there will be another one. If you completed the sunrise6k and didn’t bring a shirt, you can bring one next tag day. Stay tuned. 

If you would have asked me if I would be leading a free fitness movement each and every Wednesday in Ottawa a year and a half ago I would have said no.  But here we are a year and three months later. November Project was thrown into my life like confetti and every Wednesday, every social, every race weekend, summit and coffee line up interaction is like that simple yet explosive confetti moment all over again.  

Anytime and everytime I can talk about November Project I will.  I often just wait for the right moment when the initial introductions are done.  People begin avoiding eye contact cause you’ve run out of things to talk about, at this point their looking up at the sky, literally doing anything to avoid eye contact with you.  But then I catch their eyes and ask if they like to wake up early or if they’ve ever had a sweaty hug or finding themselves needing more from their city.

I’m not going to lie and say that I was once a quiet and soft spoken individual.  That’s never really been the case. However, I would lack the confidence to dive deep into conversation with friends and even more strangers.  A little surprising for someone who could now literally spend hours on end talking to strangers far and wide now. I would do the usual, often smile at strangers while walking by them but beyond that I would stay in comfort zone.  I would stick with my routine of eating, working, working out and sleeping. Do not get me wrong there were connections, ever lasting friendships and love formed throughout this time in my life, but it was comfortable. Then interjected this outdoor, free fitness movement that includes anyone and everyone. Would you be surprised to know that I really had no idea about November Project before Lauren Carter threw it in my life? I was just as excited for the bounce this morning as I was on January 18th, 2017.  Since then, November Project has flipped my idea of weatherproof on its head. It made me realize and recognize the value of my words. It made me understand when I commit, I must really commit and no half-assing it. It made me introduce myself to more people than I can count. So November Project Ottawa I am grateful for you. I am grateful for the connections and friendships I have made inside and outside of this beautiful city. I am grateful for those that inspire, me like my co-leader Lauren. I am grateful for other badass leaders that inspire me to bring more UMPH to Ottawa.  I am grateful for the socials, extra run clubs I go to, races I partake in, blood drives, cookies I bake, stories I get to retell and the moments I share with all of you.

I feel privileged and honoured to lead, explore, bounce, dance, hoot and holler each and every Wednesday.   Thanks for every single one of you that has showed up, continued to show up or are about to.

LOTS, LOTS and buckets of LOVE,

Liz

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. MEC Run this Sunday- 5km, 10km, 21km
  2. Recruiting challenge- two MEC run race packages given away to Stephen and Seumas for inviting new people to join this community. Who is next? http://events.mec.ca/node/196096 (you’ll see in this post from one year ago- an original “Work it YOW” tagged t-shirt. We’ve come a long way since then and won’t forget where we came from.
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