The blog today is written by one of the amazing, awesome, kickass #celebrityshot co-leader: Katie Caponera. She and Laura D’Onofrio showed us all what it looks like to put together a really great workout and have a lot of fun doing it! And the blog below is one you just might read and then re-read a couple of times, it’s that good. Big ups to our co-leaders today. THANK YOU, we’re glad you’re here! –EmC2
So that happened! Despite our rocky start (we were nervous!), I think it ended up pretty good! Were you surprised that Laura and I were your #celebrityshot co-leaders this morning? I was certainly surprised when Emily, Chris, and Chris called me over two Wednesdays ago to offer us this opportunity. At first Payne told me I was in trouble and I was legitimately terrified that I broke some NP rule that I didn’t l know about and was about to get kicked out of the tribe (because that’s how my brain works sometimes). I couldn’t imagine any other more likely scenario. So when Emily asked us to be co-leaders for a day I couldn’t really believe it. I had one of those moments when everything goes into slow motion and words start to sound like Charlie Brown’s teachers. EmC2 assured us that they had total faith in us and my first question was “What will everyone else think?”
Much is said in the media today about the importance of representation – of seeing someone like yourself reflected back too you so that you too can imagine yourself in that position of strength or power or authority or visibility. Which is why I think it is so meaningful that Laura and I – someone a little older than most tribe members and someone a lot slower than most tribe members – got to stand at the forefront of the tribe today and lead you on this adventure of a workout. Maybe I’m putting more meaning onto this than others might, but I so fervently hope that someone new or someone who’s been coming for a while but has been to nervous or shy to talk to anyone or fully embrace this phenomenon of November Project (gosh – who would do that?!?!) can see us and think, “Holy shit, if they can do this, than I definitely can!”
I’ve been at NP Boston through all three co-leader iterations and I never have pictured myself as co-leader material. Furthermore, I doubt anyone else would have guessed that Laura or I would be in contention for a #celebrityshot which is why I think it is so important and so valuable that EmC2 did and that they placed their trust in us. While I wasn’t able to imagine myself in this role, EmC2 were and they believed that Laura and I could stand up and lead this tribe for a day. These past two weeks I have gone through so many emotions in the lead up to today’s adventure – disbelief, elation, excitement, nervousness, sheer and utter terror – but I keep coming back to the words I once read that a very, very, very, wise women wrote: “The voices in your head can tell you exactly what you want to hear. So if they tell you that the cheers you hear are for some reason other than you are awesome, valuable, and deserve to be celebrated, then tell them otherwise.” Wrapping my brain around the reality that EmC2 wanted Laura and I to be your #celebrityshot co-leaders has been a true test in letting the voices in my head be the voices of this tribe and also the answer to my initial question of “What will everyone else think?” I’m so glad that Laura and I were given this chance to go on this adventure and that she and I chose to go on this adventure together!
NP has always prided itself on being a space in which all – young, old, slow, fast, skinny, fat, fit, couch-potato – are welcome and while it took me a while to truly believe that, I fully, wholeheartedly, and without reservation, DO. Though, I also am fully aware that sometimes it can be hard to keep that in mind when you are struggling or getting passed by someone faster or are the last one running in a Sunrise 6k*. So, if you ever doubt that you belong here, just remember that someone who finished dead last** in their last race got to lead NP for a day and that it was fucking awesome. Choose your adventure no matter how scary or hard it seems or even though you think you can’t make it through, because you are braver and stronger than you think and you have people who believe in you.
I was so lucky to have Laura on this adventure with me and she was so gracious to let me write this blog, but I couldn’t close this blog without some words from her:
What Katie said all the way. To express what this tribe means to me is beyond words. I’ve made amazing friends, family really, who see me for who I am without judgement. I am older than most and no one seems to care. And the trust Emc2 gave to Katie and I to lead today was one of the best moments of my almost 4 years with you weirdos. You all keep on keeping me young. Love, Mom.
*While I was last, I was definitely not alone as the first time this happened Bojan ran my whole last lap with me and the second time Dana came back out and cheerleaded me the last quarter mile.
**I was technically second to last, but the last finisher was clearly injured and limping so she would have totally finished before me otherwise.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM EMC2:
#PRday is on Wednesday. #JustShowUp ready to race your face off, race your butt off, race your heart out, race until you puke, PR, or go down trying! It’ll just be so much fun!
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