After such a fantastic morning of hill repeats and #SpeedDating, we’re continuing our February Feature series with a love letter from none other than that girl who can’t help but smile… especially when we’re taking a ‘serious’ group photo, Robyn ‘Birdie’ Broker Mayer!
My dear November Project,
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years (one year, nine months, and 13 days exactly) since I first came face-to-face with your existence. I can so easily remember those initial moments together; the countless hugs I received within the first two minutes, the moderate shock at the immediate use of a hard f-bomb, the scorching feeling in my lungs after a round of stair sprints (yep, Clovers), and probably more than anything – the overwhelming sense that I’d found my people.
So, in honor of this weekend where we celebrate love, I present a tribute: three reasons why NP transformed my ordinary life into something fucking awesome.
1) The hugs
Here’s a secret: I’m actually not a hugger by nature. Pre-NP, I got really nervous whenever a situation came up where hugging was a possibility. I either avoided the exchange entirely, or I mastered the butt-out, sideways approach. And now? I hug literally everyone I meet. In fact, shaking hands with people feels awkward at this point. What I love about those warm, sweaty, hips-in embraces I get every Wednesday and Friday morning is the human contact it promotes. We live in a world where personal space has become glorified to a point of isolation, and NP debunks that sterilized way of life by forcing us out of our personal comfort zones and into the arms of friends and strangers.
2) The workouts
Let’s get something clear…I would never, ever do a burpee, a hoistee, or an I’m-a-Star on my own terms. Before I started doing November Project workouts, my fitness repertoire included a lot of running, an occasional plank, and a maybe-monthly spin class. I was injured every few months, and the entire routine of “working out” felt like such a chore rather than a choice. NP completely broke up that monotony. I look forward to NP workouts because they’re different, unexpected, and they force me to do something that I might otherwise be too uncomfortable to do alone. Running up and down a hill in the Highlands by myself before work? Hard pass. Racing with my friends up and down a hill with high-fives and encouragement all along the way? Hell yes. NP makes me fitter, faster, and overflowing with an obnoxious level of endorphins.
3) The people
I’ve been a runner for a long time now, but it was always on my own. I never knew many people (maybe anyone?) who shared the same type of love for getting up early to work out, and I always felt self-conscious for choosing to do so. I was elated, then, to find a group of people who not only did the same thing – but who kept each other accountable to actually show up. Real talk: it’s been terribly hard for me to get up and out of bed over the past couple of months; there’s often snow on the ground, it’s freezing, and the darkness is somewhat soul-crushing. Knowing that my tribe is also waking up and bundling up is inexplicably motivating for me, and it constantly keeps the winter loneliness at bay.
This community is raw, simplistic, and driven by a commonality that keeps all of us ticking: a desire to live our best lives possible. That is why I love November Project; it brings forth people who invest in themselves and in their happiness. On the surface it’s a free workout group, but when you dig a little deeper, there’s a vibrancy and authenticity to this tribe of people that’s exceptionally rare.
Since the beginning of my NP days, I’ve used the term “game-changer” to describe the influence of this group on my life. Looking back on all the workouts, hugs, happy hours, and more, it’s become clear that NP hasn’t just changed the game for me, it’s changed the entire sport. So, to all of you who have become a part of my weekly routine – thank you. Your presence has a greater impact on my days than you’ll ever know, and it’s a great honor to be a part of this community.
I love you November Project; stay weird and stay awesome. This shit is GOOD.
It doesn’t get more real than that. There’s love oozing out of every word, for each and every one of you. I know that so many of you have words and feelings that you want to share with the tribe. If this is the outlet that speaks to you, we want to hear from you!
Great work today everybody! Don’t forget to call your dates from this morning to set up a second date! Do you still need to wait 3 days… or just at least 3 minutes?
Go, leave everyone better than you found them,