I’m feeling very strongly about the Tribe today. I’m feeling love. I’m feeling inspired. I’m feeling connected. I’m feeling supported. I’m feeling like this thing…this Tribe…this movement really matters and it is changing the world. It always has, but certain days highlight how powerful it is when we show up and pour out everything we’ve got onto those concrete stairs. Together. I’ve run the stairs by myself. I’ve run the stairs with a couple of friends. And I’ve run the stairs with the Tribe. At 5:30 in the dark morning. At 6:30 in the less dark morning. In the rain, in the snow, in the cold, in the killer heat. The hardness of the stairs just lessens when I’m with the Tribe. The darkness of the morning matters less because everyone is there shining their light. The weather matters less because the collective “we” is #weatherproof.
And something else special happened this morning.
I fell in love with the 5:30 group today.
The 5:30 group usually doesn’t get a lot of press–the photos are fewer because it’s just hard to take good action shots in the dark. Even the group photo here, usually doesn’t turn out as well as the 6:30 group, so it doesn’t get used most of the time as the lead picture for the blog post.
The 5:30 group is usually smaller and numerically “less impressive” than the 6:30 group. But what doesn’t get announced as often to the big bad world is that the 5:30 group is fucking fierce. I don’t believe that anyone just shows up at the 5:30 group in the rain because they happened to be awake and felt like a little jog in the stadium. You definitely meant to be there if you just showed up! And today the size margin between the 5:30 group and the 6:30 group was small. Way smaller than most Wednesdays.
And then there was the challenge. The physical challenge was Frogman1. This means attempting to complete 50 sections in the given time. No simple feat. It usually kicks your ass when you finish it. And when you don’t finish it, it makes you hungry. (Don’t forget to record your scores)
The community challenge was to find someone you don’t know and become Frogman1 partners with them. I choose to call these partners #StadiumDates. With this partner you were challenged to support them, cheer for them, find them in the stadium as you cross paths or with your voice as you call to another section. But do this thing TOGETHER!
And that’s where the magic happened today. I have never, ever heard any stadium group as loud, as supportive, and as connected for the entire workout as I did during the 5:30 group today. I realized that I wanted my stadium date Olivia to succeed today–to work hard and race her ass off. I realized that in those moments when I felt particularly tired and like the stadium was kicking my ass, I sometimes suffer or struggle through the moment on my own (because everyone else is hurting too!). But today, right in one of those moments Olivia called out EMILYYYYYYY and it fueled my fierceness, inspired me, and made me fight through the struggle. And, other times when I found myself in those challenging moments I also choose to think not of myself, but of Olivia–and I’d call out, and she’d call back. Amazingly, instantly, I wasn’t in this thing alone, we all did it together. I started to see other connections too–everyone in section 13 was in this thing together. Everyone at the bottom of any section was in this thing together. We have been loud before, and we’ve been supportive before, but this was something special.
The 5:30 group was amazing today. I have lots of love for the 6:30 group too, but I don’t feel bad saying that between 5:30 and 6:27 was the best part of my day. Because after reading this, even if it’s 3 of you out there who read this post, you will think about being the best tribe member you can be, no matter what group you show up to. You will remember that being a part of this movement means that you #RaceEverything and you strive to be the most badass athlete you can be. And it means you look for ways to strengthen this community. Sometimes it’s a loud cheer, other times it’s a silent side-by-side last section, or a hug of congratulations. It’s all of these things that make us better human beings.
Keep looking for ways to be an amazing Tribe member, just like you keep looking for ways to be a fitter, faster athlete.
Together, the Tribe is a tribe. And the Tribe is strong.