It’s strange how just one year can change your life (BAL)

The dear lady Allison showed up one year ago with her boyfriend in tow to our first #BetterThanBedtime fun run. “I’m a zebra!” she said, wearing a white shirt and black shorts. Her boyfriend did not seem pleased being in attendance. We weren’t sure we would see them again. However, slowly but surely, Allison weaseled her way into being one of the best parts of our mornings with her energetic spirit, kindness, and overall enthusiasm to learn and do and BE more. This is Allison B.’s story:

I used to absolutely hate hills. I mean despise them. I mean, I’d run 1 mile in a flat direction to avoid ¼ mile up a hill. So basically I hate hills 4 times more than no incline at all, but who’s counting? Hills were the epitome of everything that scared me, everything that was unknown, everything that was hard.

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So when I started coming to November Project a little over a year ago, and the Friday workout was hills, hills, and more hills, it was more than I thought I could handle. Yeah, I totally wanted to do this whole NP thing I’d heard so much about, and yeah, I wanted to become a better runner, and yeah, OK, you guys looked pretty damn cool in your neon grassroots gear. But the hills thing was almost a deal breaker. Baltimore Ave. from Linwood to Patterson was a half mile strip of nightmare.

And it’s funny, because now I’m IN LOVE with that hill. The hill I dragged Bobby down when we came to our first NP workout. The hill I just had to run repeats on after a job-winning interview. The hill I almost always end my long runs on. The hill I’ve made new friends on. That hill is home.

But the secret is, it’s not the half-mile stretch of incline concrete that makes it home, it’s the crazy amazing group of people that gather at the bottom of that hill every Friday at 6:30 until it’s time to bounce, hug, and sweat. The reason the hill isn’t scary anymore is because I know the tribe is there – either pushing me upwards or waiting for me at the bottom. Whether you’re sprinting/jogging/skipping up the hill or sitting at the bottom nursing sore quads, they’re cheering you on regardless.

They say that the people you surround yourself with should push you, challenge you, make you laugh, make you better, and make you happy. That’s a seriously tall order. It’s not often you find a group of people that fulfills all of those categories. Who says “I’m happy you’re here” and genuinely means it. But without fail, every week at the bottom of that hill, that’s exactly who you will find. A tribe of people who are weird and supportive and loving and amazing. #JustShowUp and you’ll know what I mean. I promise you’ll be better for it. I know I am.

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P.S. Happy NP Anniversary Beefstick!

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