For most adults, the years start to blend together as we get farther and farther away from the days of summer breaks, school supply shopping in the fall, and even mid-terms and finals that once served as benchmarks to break-up the semesters in school. In San Diego, without much change in the seasons, the inevitable passing of time seems to just happen in an even more understated manner. Sure, people don’t swim in the ocean for a few weeks in the winter and others avoid running trails midday in August, but for the most part, few accommodations need to be made to our lives as we transition from month to month, year to year. Thus, in my 14 months in this crazy beautiful city, I’ve learned that we need to create space for things/changes/milestones/goals to be achieved.
As I chatted with Adam from Austin this morning pre-workout, I found once again how similar all of our November Project journeys are; first we #justshowup one day awkwardly, dilly-dallying around before the bounce when it seems like everyone there knows everyone else, bounce, get in a few hugs with strangers, get our blood pumping and muscles firing, take a picture, and then leave and go about our day. Maybe we show up to the next workout, maybe it’s the next week, or maybe it’s just sporadic attendance for a while. Slowly (or quickly for some), FOMO overpowers our hesitations, and we start showing up more consistently. Next, the flood gates open and a rush of powerful connections flow over, under, around, and through us. The key, though, is the decision to create space; to create space for awkwardness, to create space for physical discomfort, to create space for hoistees and partner push-ups and circuits where you may lose 1, 2, or 3 of your partners, and to create space for genuine-fucking-love. If the space isn’t there, there’s no room for the filling.
From the moment I started coming to NPSD, I felt tons of positivity, warmth, and joy from old friends and new faces alike to make me feel welcomed in to this tribe, but what has happened over the past week makes me even more astounded by the power this community possesses. When we all create space for others to enter our lives and for some to enter new roles in our lives, we learn new things about ourselves and subsequently become better versions of ourselves. Will anyone ever be able to actually replace Ashleigh and Angelo? Absofuckinglutely not. Not even close. But they’re not leaving the exact same space they once filled, and it is because of all of you that a new space exists. A new space for Eugene and me to fill, to make you clap twice if you can hear us, to push you beyond what you could do alone.
Often times, we encourage each other to not listen to what other people have to say about us and stay true to ourselves. However, sometimes what others have to say about us is a truer depiction of who we are than the voice inside our heads. When the offer to co-lead this squad entered my life, I learned that what Sheryl Sandburg said about me* ought to overpower any doubtful thoughts that crossed my mind. She encourages women** to rise up to challenges even if we don’t have every perfect tool in our toolbox at that very moment (I’m paraphrasing here). Essentially, she pushes us to create space for ourselves to find success in however we may define it by reaching higher than where we are today. Furthermore, the kind, supportive, and loving texts, FB messages, conversations, and hugs*** I’ve received from you all have lifted me to a version of myself that has the power supercede my frustrations at work, my cloud of student loans, and any negativity that infiltrates my days.
I cannot thank you all enough for creating space for me to enter as I get out all the kinks in our one-of-a-kind NPSD bounce recitations, as I try to learn all the names of the familiar faces that #justshowup week after week, and as I work to recognize and highlight those of you whose finish in the burnouts is in and of itself profound as much as those of you who finish fastest.
Here’s my challenge to you as you enter a new year. Create space. Create space for new goals that maybe today seem impossible. Create space for setbacks and injuries and curve balls that you will be unable to predict. Create space for racing harder against your friends and making friends with those you race hardest against. Shalane Flanagan will be the first to tell you that she didn’t win the 2017 NYC Marathon by training alone. Create space for asking questions and truly listening to others’ answers before formulating your response. Create space for even stronger human connections because it is through those connections that this movement is making the world a better, fucking brighter place.
I love you already, and this is only my first love letter. Way to race your faces off this morning, and do NOT let me catch you stopping your Russian twists early ever again.
Shira “I simultaneously love good grammar as well as run-on-sentences” Klane
*Ok, not “me” directly, at least
**Can also be applied to men, obvi, but women are the target audience for Lean In
***I’m talking Mitch Westwood-style squeezes
- MONDAY – Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park. 6:29 AM.
- FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 is the annual Team Hoyt Fundraising Dinner! Jim, Lisa, and Riley of Team Hoyt SD were at the workout today and they’ve always been huge supporters for NPSD, so show your support and come join the already 40 NPSDers who have tickets to go!