Sometimes you need to see a lot of sunsets before you finally see a sunrise. What last year taught me was immeasurable.
I lost my soulmate in February. He was always by my side for the last 16 years. Max was my dog, my best friend, my fur child, and after his passing, I was lost, empty, scared and my instinct was to hide and to only see the darkness. But my November Project Virginia Beach Tribe and my “Hills and Thangs” NP group were there for me and they NEVER let me go down that path. It was even more amazing that just a few of them knew what happened, but they all helped me heal with their hugs, words, and support.
First, let’s go back to the “beginning”. I always liked to move, workout, be active, but eventually I got bored. I would always be the person that looked at a runner as they passed me and I would say to myself, “I wish I could do that”. But of course with an injured knee that possibility looked out of reach, so impossible to me. Luckily, one day, my friend Jennifer insisted I join her for a NP workout during their “Hell Week”. I was there in my car, nervous, not sure what to expect, not sure if I’d be accepted or liked and thought to myself “oh well, I’m here so I might as well just go ahead. Worst thing that could happen is they don’t care about me and it will be done in 1 hour. I walked up and Jennifer was there to greet me with a lot of people. Happy people. I was like “Damn, it is so early and everybody is smiling.” Then, everyone starts bouncing and I was just like “where am I, what is happening?” I was there bouncing, smiling and clueless about what was next. Then they explained the workout and I was like I am going to die, we were going to run on tracks. But I didn’t die, I ran and I received lots of “high fives”, “good jobs” and moral support from people that I just met 5 minutes ago. I was stunned. This was too good to be true.
Since it was Hell Week I came back the next day and the day after and since then, my November Project tribe has become my home away from home. Remember how I mentioned that I always saw runners pass me and I looked at them? Well NP is full of athletes, runners, real life bad asses and then me; the one that wished to do something but wouldn’t because everything looked so out of reach. It wasn’t until I lost my Max that I decided to change that and November Project has given me back something that I lost a few years ago. Confidence.
Since I started going to NP and joined the “Hills and Thangs” NP group, I am always excited to go workout. Even when I travel, I do the workouts at the same time that my tribe does them, and of course while wearing my grassroots gear with pride. This year, I ran 5K’s, 8 milers, 8k’s and 10k’s. It may not be a lot if you compare this to the other amazing athletes in my tribe, but one thing I learned from our leader Jill is that we all have our “own journey” and mine has been awesome. The first time I crossed the finish line I cried, yes i did, because to me it was amazing that I was able to do it. It was me, running! I wasn’t a spectator anymore. I was part of it. Now, I will keep running because it is my therapy, my escape, the time I like to imagine my Max is running with me, by my side one more time. Also, I run because all my NP friends are there too and who doesn’t enjoy running with friends? I sometimes still get scared but my tribe, with their rainbow magic that surrounds me, helps bring back my confidence!
I always loved sunsets, but now sunrises have a special place in my heart because it means new beginnings and a brand new day to work on a better version of myself. ~Love, Karin