Four Years Later (Worcester)

Showing up for the first time to a group workout is scary. I don’t care how friendly and outgoing you think you are, it’s scary as hell.

I had heard of November Project that had just started up in Boston, but to drive from CT, I’d never get there and then return back to Worcester for work in time. I then started to see these tagged shirts popping up everywhere and thought, Lord, this is some shit. This is a CULT. I immediately assumed it wouldn’t be my thing. Forget that. I’m content where I am. (emphasis on CONTENT)

Fast forward a couple years. November Project is now a thing in Worcester. What is my excuse now? I don’t have one. Yeah sure, I could say “I’m not a morning person” , but besides that, I had no answer. My excuse was fear. I had been part of a few running clubs where I knew everyone, and everyone knew me. I knew I could show up, be myself, and the only stress I’d have is what to wear and if I was running fast enough. Now I am going to subject myself to a LARGE group of people who all know each other and just try to blend in?

October 7, 2015. I just showed up. I was the very obvious new one that was creeping toward the back of the bounce, avoiding hugs and eye contact, and just seeing what this was really all about. By the end of the workout, my legs were like jello, I met some new people, but I wasn’t “sold” totally. After that, I went back here and there until it got really dark and cold and said no way. I will never forget my friend Ben O’Meara publicly shaming my gym selfies every Wednesday morning. I sort of figured I was safe from people noticing my absence, but Ben ALWAYS noticed and never hesitated to call me out.

The guilt FINALLY got to me. Maybe a little FOMO, too. That following spring, I had a huge 12+ hour race in April and a rather strict training I was following. I told myself when that was done, I’d go give it another go. And I did. I’ve been there ever since, and now co-leading since April 13th, 2018. (Note: this could’ve totally been worked IN to my training plan, but I was using the excuse one last time)

It’s funny, the things that keep you away initially don’t even cross your mind later. I never think “what is the weather looking like, will I bail?” It’s more like- “what is the weather looking like, So I dress appropriately” Although, I still haven’t figured out the best secret to warm feet in February. Tips welcomed!

November Project is just as much community as it is fitness. And as far as how often and what factors play a part in when you show up, that is up to you- but I look at it this way. We just show up for one another. When it’s bright, and sunny, and perfect conditions- it’s great to get together and enjoy those conditions together- But when it get’s dark and cold- Not just outside, but in your own life- These are the times its MOST IMPORTANT to show up. For yourself, For others.

If you’ve been contemplating showing up, or coming back after a hiatus, sleep on it. We’re there every single week, and you’re always welcomed. 52 Cities are waiting to meet you.

Holy Cross Stadium, October 7, 2015
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