If you want to see me get excited all you have to do is ask me one question:
“What is November Project?”
Regardless of what my mental state is, it will switch to excited and elated all of a sudden and you will get me spitting all kinds of things at you.
In a normal situation, this makes people excited, then confused as to how I am still talking, and only once did it nearly get me detained at the border.
All that to say what we have always said: “This shit is good”.
It has been 1826.21 days (leap years included) or 43,829.1 hours or way too many effing minutes, like almost 3 million of them. Ok, true story, I was just having fun there and then I was like “wait how many weeks have I been a leader for?”.. 260. I laughed out loud, that can’t be right, but it is 260.
No wonder I can talk about the beauty that is November Project.
This community in Vancouver all started because I said yes to something that I did not expect to be what it is today. What started as 8 people running up and down some stairs on a Wednesday morning has become a thriving, growing, sweaty mess of human beings that will laugh, cry, grow, sweat, swear, swag, and sprint their asses off if their leader tells them to. I have never been part of a community that will dress in black and white, as geeks or bullfighters, and go to a bar, and then facetime another city during a social… just to be more social. A community that stands in the rain to cheer on people they don’t know while they run a half marathon. A community that will voluntarily fly across the world to run in a race the distance of which they run on any other Sunday in their own backyard, just because a 7-foot tall giant told them it was going to be ‘FUN’. Or for me to be so entrenched that I would get up at 4 in the morning to drive an hour while I am on vacation, just so that I can go work out in another city that is ‘close’ to me. Or lastly, stand in front of 354 people and yell “Y’ALL GOOD?” and have all of them resound with the two sweetest words in the world.
As Mel hates me for not acknowledging, I am an Olympian. The irony is that my life as a leader for this cult-classic-workout-thing has made me more visible and recognized than having Olympic rings tattooed on my chest. I was literally in Boston and someone saw me and yelled “Daddy Rich!”. I mean common, how does this happen? The easy answer is a great co-leader. Mel has been an amazing sounding board, inspiration, counsellor, hype woman, Instagram guru, calming voice, SCREAMING PRESENCE, plane buddy, teammate, and sister I could ever ask for. She will keep being that for everyone in Vancouver until she dies, holding the positivity award in her sleep. By the way, this will also be the day she relinquishes the binders with all the workouts and her leadership. Without her, I would not have been able to do this as long as I have.
Verner is cut from that same cloth of crazy too. I watched as people from our community drove to Burnaby Mountain to watch this crazy bastard hallucinate through 100 miles of trail and hills. Making an impact on his first day, Verner has become one of my closest friends and someone that I will never fully understand. I am not sure if it is because yes he is literally a doctor and way smarter than me (but don’t let him diagnose you, leave that to Riccoh) or if it is because he is the most compassionate caring human being, or because he runs so many ultras. He will cheer you on although you are clearly in the most pain you have been in weeks struggling up whatever forsaken hill he is easily passing you on. He is also full of amazing ideas, a natural god-given talent for making people do things that they would not do on their own (you know who you are rogue runners). This guy will be amazing for our city and we are more than lucky to have him at the helm.
What I’m trying to say is this:
I have been blown away by what these last couple thousand days have brought me, taught me, and shown me. I have been honoured to be given this life-changing experience, that you have all shared with me. From coast to coast to Iceland and beyond, you have all changed my life for the better and starting next week I can’t wait to be on the other side of that Y’all Good?. Because there is only one way to explain how great this whole thing is, it’s with a little “Fuck Yeah”.Share via socials: