All the PR Days

Since I showed up to my very first Wednesday at November Project Boston, there have been exactly 55 Wednesday PR days in the Stadium.  I have not been in attendance at every single one, but quite a lot of them.  Many I have spent racing my face off.  Most I have also spent at least part of the time tagging on the #paintcrew.  I’ve PR’d a few times and come close to PR’ing more times than I’d like.  I’ve watched thousands–literally thousands–of people climb those beastly stairs, attempt to PR, finish full tours, actually PR, cry, bleed, sweat…a lot, and simply show up.

In all the PR Days, the moments I remember most long after the days themselves have passed, are the moments of heart, grit, and connection.  The moments when someone lets go of the fear of not succeeding–however success is defined by them that day–and simply reaches out for it with both hands.  The moments when they are willing to take the risk of falling short, because they have confidence in their training and/or in themselves as the driving force behind them.  Sure, sometimes the effort isn’t rooted in a pure confidence, but more so in the desire to see what might happen, but it takes courage to push beyond what we know for sure we can do, and to keep exploring what we’ve never done before.  It’s the moments when the fear of NOT going faster or farther than we have before overrides the fear of failing in the attempt to do so, that we are able to push past our boundaries.

It is in these moments that I get fueled.  Of course, I love racing and finding my own next gear, seeking out a faster me as I drive up and down the stairs.  But seeing the hands shoot up on PR Days after we ask, “Who PR’d today?” that shit fires me up.  Just like I get fired up watching anyone in the tribe dial in their focus to someone else who is working their ass off.  You’ve seen it–you’ve probably felt it at one point or another–when someone is so close to the end, so close to that elusive PR, and giving it everything. they’ve. got.  And someone else is near them, next to them, dialed into them–maybe screaming like a maniac, maybe pacing them so they can get to the end now that their brain has gone completely off-line, maybe whispering in their ear all the things they need to hear in order to drive hard down the stairs, to turn and go without hesitation, to find that extra speed or that last gasp of anything to get up that final section of stairs and touch the rough concrete wall with both hands before bending, sitting, gasping, finally halting the determined drive forward.  Whether those connections happened between the best of friends or the newest of strangers, those connections–those intersections of our movement–make us better.  Watch sometime.  Pay attention to the sweaty hugs that happen right after people finish that tour.  Look for the high fives, the exhausted gestures of thanks, congratulations, celebration, and even defeat that we share with each other after those all-out efforts.  Humanity is right there in the middle of it all.

Again, it’s these moments of heart, grit, and connection that remind me week-after-week, workout-after-workout, and certainly after all the PR Days how special this is.  And I mean special in the “unique,” “unparalleled,” and “profound” kind of ways.  We have the opportunity to challenge ourselves, while fully surrounded and supported by an incredible group of human beings, to find the edge of our comfort zones, to find our limits, and to find our best–our personal best–each and every time.  In that group are butt carrots who always stay juuuust ahead of us, and those awesome people we used to be the same speed as but now who we edge past, and those faster-than-us fuckers who we chase down from afar, and the loud enthusiastic people, and the quiet ninjas, and the reliable friendly faces, and the guaranteed new faces too.  They’re all there, on all the PR Days, helping us find the gear in us that we can call “relentless.”  We can relentlessly keep racing and seeking our own personal records, because we’re never alone in the beautiful pursuit, even when it’s challenging as hell.  It’s the heart, the grit, and the connection of this tribe that gets us through.

Keep changing the world, today and all the PR Days.

wanna track your time from today? you can use the NP tracker, HERE.

still want to sign up for ECSMA? The North Face Endurance Challenge trail race at Mt. Wachusett on June 9-10?  More info & register HERE and use the code NP20.

want more NP? Two new NP official tribes came on today–join us in welcoming NP_Newport (RI) and NP_Providence (RI).  We’re at 49 tribes now, folks.  #worldtakeover

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