Guest blog by tribe member, Sam Lee
You’ve heard it a lot from the leaders this week but, in case you’re still unaware, this weekend is Pride in San Diego. If you’ve never been, I encourage you to head over to Hillcrest for the parade, or to check out the festival in Balboa Park – you’re guaranteed to get lots of hugs (and, come on, we all know NP’ers can’t get enough hugs!), to laugh and smile lots, and maybe even find yourself busting out some sweet dance moves to a refrain of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Be prepared: there will be glitter, there will be boas, and there will be rainbows.
Pride celebrations are an awesome opportunity for the LGBT and ally community to embrace our diversity, as well as to tout the many accomplishments that have been made in the fight for equal rights. We are fortunate to live in a city where it’s easy to take for granted being out and proud without the fear of being discriminated against, yet we were reminded by the shooting in Orlando that this is still a fight worth fighting and needing to be fought. The good news is that each of us has the power to shape a more positive future for our country and planet by welcoming others’ uniqueness with open arms; spreading kindness and love in the face of those who want to limit our capacity to do so speaks louder, resonates more fully, and lasts longer than any hate speech or act of violence ever will.
That outpouring of love and compassion is why the community that we’re each a part of matters the most to me. We all know that the leaders never fail to give us a great workout, but for me it is the positivity, acceptance, and unconditional support that each of you brings to the Tribe at6:29AM on Mondays and Wednesdays that keeps me coming back to November Project. This ranges from small words of encouragement up the PR Hill as time is winding down, to that crunch-time extra boost that you get from a race cheer station, all the way to the bigger-picture, often unsaid push to live your life to its fullest potential – yea, y’all truly are that inspiring. To its core, NP is about fostering a community that truly believes in and empowers its members, and you all never fail to deliver on that principle. I think that the love that we share with our fellow Tribe members, both within and outside of the context of workouts, has a bigger domino effect than we all probably realize; just by starting our days with a hug and some meaningful human interaction we are creating ripples which grow into waves that are reshaping our city in some really cool ways, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of that.
And speaking of being proud, I encourage you to take a little more time each day to show yourself some love and pride in who you are, and who you are becoming. The more that we love ourselves, the more that we are able to give and spread love to others, and even the smallest acts of kindness have the power to change a life. For those of us who identify as a member of the LGBT community, Pride is a special time to reflect on and celebrate who we are and the freedom we have to love who we choose. Being proud about who you are and loving fully and freely, though, shouldn’t be limited to a handful of days a year – we owe it to ourselves and the better world that we aspire to live in to always feel and share those vibes. Life is far too short to go a day without striving to show compassion to ourselves and those around us just a bit more.
Just like the spectrum of colors that were painted across our chests this week, you each represent one unique hue among hundreds that make our rainbow complete, and for that I could not be more thankful. Be bright, and be proud, San Diego. Happy Pride!
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