Written by Sam Schafer:
Ten weeks ago, I went from a recently accomplished half iron(wo)man in debatably the best shape of my life to being confined to a boot. Turns out, I fractured my tibia with a prescription of no running for 8 weeks. At first, all I thought was “ten weeks of not going to November Project.” What I soon learned was this setback was the reason why I needed to show up.
A year and a half ago, I decided to just show up to November Project Chicago at the Totem Pole on a Wednesday at 6:28am because I missed being a part of a team like back when I played tennis in college. I soon learned that this is not a team. This is a family. A family with people of all ages, shapes, sizes, nationalities, careers, shoe sizes, etc. This isn’t the family that you only see twice a year during the holidays that you struggle to make small talk with. No, this is the family that you love endlessly and the second someone new joins the family, you immediately love them and care for them as much as the first person you met.
NP Chi has always had an “injury deck” for those who cannot participate to hang off to the side and do whatever they can do that day, whether it is stretching or band exercises. Recently, we decided to rename this to “recovery deck”, changing the mindset from “I am injured” to “I am recovering”. While at this moment I am talking about physical injuries, not everything we see is visible from the outside. Respecting each and every individual on that particular day is all we can do. So often, we believe that injuries are an excuse to not show up. It is an excuse to sulk and complain about all of the bad in your life. Find your why and I will guarantee you will stop making these excuses. Why do you show up to workout before the sun rises? Why do you show up when it is -40F outside? Why do you show up on New Year’s Day after being out all night? I can guarantee you it is not only because of the amazing workouts our leaders put together (shout-out to Nez and Kaitlyn!). I show up for the community. I show up for my friends. I show up for myself.
November Project is not about being the fastest, not about being the strongest, not about being the person that can do the most burpees in a minute (if this is you, do NOT tell anyone because they will make you continuously prove it); November Project is acceptance. It is about giving 100% of you that day, whatever that looks like. If your 100% that day means not running, then don’t run. If your 100% means biking 30 miles before getting a full tour on PR day, then more power to you! So often, we compare our successes to others. In this generation of social media, it is easy to get caught up in what others are doing and all they accomplish. I challenge you to stop comparing. Stop thinking you are not good enough. Every single day you show up, you are good enough. Remember that.
I once heard a quote that said, “You’ll have good days, bad days, overwhelming days, too tired days, I’m awesome days, I can’t go on days. And every day you’ll still show up.” In the last two months, I have felt every one of these days and I believe I am not alone in my thoughts. So, regardless of what kind of day you are having, please know you are not alone, you have your November Project family and keep showing up, please.