Celebrity Shot Co-Leaders Write the Blog: Dana & Andrew

Every once in a while you make a decision so good, you can’t believe you didn’t do it sooner.  As soon as #EmC2 left the workout this morning, we realized that we were the best co-leaders in the world…because we made the decision to pick Dana Bogan and Andrew Frederick to be the April #CelebrityShot co-leaders (but what took us so long!?).  AND we realized that we might be out of our jobs, because this morning was the perfect mix of intense fitness, fun, costumes, childhood memories and parachutes, teamwork, and ridiculous props, with watermelon afterward to boot.  We’re so grateful that we have an incredible tribe filled with awesomesauce humans like Dana and Andrew, and that they shared their shine with us this morning.  Without further ado, here’s our dynamic duo and their blog:

Some of you may have gotten your balls blown off this morning by a sudden gust of wind (unless you’re a wizard like Lisa Sugarman, I think she glued the ball to the spoon because that should have fallen), others actually ate turf after spinning around a harmless piece of plastic (here’s lookin’ at you, Old Man Sogoloff). For those of you who showed up, we hope that rekindling the joy of some old backyard games combined with the challenge of some old fave exercises left you with a feeling of nostalgia, happiness, and maybe sore muscles as you begin your week.

Both Andrew and I have been members of November Project for several years.  We’ve seen shifts in leaders and in members, have watched people move across the country and around the globe, have felt the devastating loss of community members, and have also experienced firsthand what it means to have a dedicated, supportive, and deeply loving community of friends to be there through the highs and lows of life.  We often show up to be a part of something greater than ourselves: To contribute to a workout that can’t happen if only 1 or 2 people arrive ready to play; To participate in an activity that seems crazy and wild, but becomes the new normal once you regularly frequent NP; To be there to encourage someone else, and be their butt carrot, or provide hugs and love to a friend in need.  The inclusive community that November Project has cultivated is such a cherished part of many of our lives, through which we have established friendships, created new norms, and worked toward improving some part of ourselves alongside hundreds of others.  All of these tenets are crucial components to what makes our unique community so special, but equally important is what showing up means to each one of us.  What is it about charging up stadiums, or running up the grueling Summit Ave hills, or powering through burpees that provides each one of us with a sense of fulfillment, appreciation, gratitude, or purpose?  We often become so enveloped in how we can provide and be there for others, and how we can contribute to the group, that we forget about ourselves in the process.

Message from Andrew:

Just Show Up is by far my favorite mantra from NP. Over this past winter I found myself finding numerous reasons why I shouldn’t Just Show Up. They were logical and based in selfcare, mainly focused on sleep or work or maintaining things at home. The need/want to contribute to the community, that once would have me out of bed before 6 three days a week, now did not have the same weight. Just Show Up would encourage me to find my way to NP to be there for the group, to be a part of the group. It wasn’t until recently I needed to shift my thinking on why I should Just Show Up (or not). I needed to show up for me. I feel better on days I go to NP. Not only physically but mentally. The endorphins from the exercise and the hugs keep me going all day. I can be real positive for others but it doesn’t come as easily for myself. I enjoy being positive for the tribe, and helping others see how great and beautiful they are. It seems oddly simple, but its important for us to remind ourselves of why we show up for ourselves.

Message from Dana:

I show up because I need connection, I need laughter, and I need people to remind me that whatever version of me shows up is welcome in the community, but also in the world. I show up because I know that if I slip away from November Project when I’m struggling in other areas of life, it will become so easy to try to slip away from life completely. I show up because there are so many days that the way I feel inside is incongruent to the way I appear on the outside, but if I surround myself by loving, energetic, and supportive people, I can pause the pain on the inside and be present to those who see me as something other than the way I see myself.  I show up because it actually helps me to be able to encourage others, to step outside of myself and see something greater, and to hold onto hope that there is a world that will hold all of the parts of me that feel too big to hold myself.

The reciprocity of a community is what continues to keep it alive; If we each bring wood to the fire, but no one provides a match, we’ve got a pile of so much to give, and yet nothing to start the fire that keeps us warm.  Conversely, if only a few people bring wood, and everyone else brings a match, you’ve got a forest fire-RUN!  Community works best when we have people who can bring what they need, offer what they can, and support one another in the process.  But knowing what it is that you need can be a doozy to identify, and even more complicated to assert.

There is a theory I once heard about filling a bucket.  We all have basic needs that are required to keep a solid base of the bucket, upon which other things can be offered from ourselves and others to fill the remainder of the bucket.  If our own needs are met, we can both give from our bucket to others, as well as take from others when our bucket gets low.  However, if we constantly give of ourselves to others without replenishing our own buckets, we are giving an inauthentic and incomplete version of ourselves.  If you’re always showing up because you’re fearful of being shamed, or you feel like you HAVE to because you need to help someone else reach their goal, you’re not only missing out on an essential component of a true reciprocal relationship, but you’re also forging a hole in your bucket.  With that hole, not only are you not able to have your own needs met, but anything that others give to you may not be felt wholeheartedly; Their love and support seeps through the cracks.  In an intentional effort of practicing self-care, we must first understand what it means to each of us individually to show up, to be present, and to fill the bottom of our buckets-the concrete that holds it all together.

How do we balance the desire to look outside of ourselves and be a part of something incredible, like the community of November Project, while also identifying our own personal needs and fulfillments that we gain from being individual members of the community?  Perhaps we create a new narrative, that begins with a bucket building business of self and then others, where we make it acceptable, ENCOURAGED, even, to say, “I show up because I need ____”, and begin to experiment with reminding ourselves of what we need of this movement, this community, and how it serves us, before we give of ourselves to others. 

How do you fill your bucket? What makes you show up?




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