Meet Andi! (YEG)

Before we get to the main attraction a couple quick notes about this morning’s workout:

  • Great job today for all of you who raced 28:19 day
  • Congrats to Trent and Lee-Ann who earned Abe’s hat and t-shirt
  • The answer to your question, “What’s in the bag?” was NOTHING!
  • #justshowup 6AM
    • Friday – Walterdale Hill

AND NOW…THE REAL DEAL…MEET ANDI!

You can count on Andi to #justshowup with joy, kindness, a big smile and even some days…cookies! Andi has been a part of our November Project community for years and has embraced the core foundations of what it means to be a supportive, inclusive, positive community member. Whether you need a partner to do a long run, advice on your cable needs, a friend to explore with, or insights on how to make the most of a #traverbal, Andi is there for you! Below, Andi shares with us her November Project musings.

After I received the Positivity Award, Jen asked me if I could write a guest blog. “SURE!” I replied. I was still feeling overwhelmed by all of the feels of getting the award. I think in my emotional state I agreed too quickly. Once I got back to my car, I started thinking, “How am I going to possibly live up to the amazing guest blogs that have preceded me? And what am I going to write about?” 

November Project has been such a huge influence on my life over the last three and a half years that it now permeates almost everything I do. How can I possibly get that into a single blog? What am I going to write? 

Maybe I going to write about how I stalked November Project online for over a year before working up the courage to go to my first workout and then immediately regretted waiting as long as I did? 

Or maybe about my first workout, that day at the CBC building when I was partnered with #SexySeumas to run blocks and do burpees? 

Or maybe write about how I couldn’t walk properly for four days after my first Commonwealth workout? Maybe I could write about the fun stuff like slip’n’slides and peppermint castile soap? Or a winter “workout” at a really big hill in the wintertime when Jen isn’t in town to be our workout mom and stop us from just turning it into an early morning tobogganing session? 

What about my first Facebook official NP friend, Derek Kramer, who gave me a bear hug so big he lifted me off the ground after a muddy workout in Hawrelak Park. I didn’t know his name until he sent me a friend request later that day? How that is how I learn the names of most of my NP friends because I am the opposite of Jen and I am terrible with names? 

Or maybe my first -30 workout. The one where not realizing how cold it was, I decided to run the 6kms from my house to the Glenora Stairs, then I got chilled to the bone when I finally stopped moving and I had to ask Danielle for a ride home? 

Or maybe the -30 workouts that I keep showing up to even though I have had that badge since November 2016, and I really don’t need to go to a workout when it’s that cold? 

How there was once a workout where my toque froze to the ground while I was holding a plank? How that was also the day (exactly two years ago) that my stress fracture was diagnosed? And even though that sucked a lot – both the toque frozen to the ground and being sidelined by a stress fracture – I knew that because I had my NP family, it was going to be OK and there would be someone who was going to help me up?   

What about #Bummit2017, when those of us who couldn’t go to Boston stayed behind and had our own weekend of events? How that was the weekend that I learned that NPers will “show up” in your life when you need them most?

Maybe I should write about my sister and her concerns of my constant talk about my “fitness cult”? (#NotACult) 

What about all of the hashtags and inside jokes? #JustShowUp #NotACult #FakeBojan #FreeTheBuffs #Verbal #Traverbal “We Missed You” Blogs. #GrassrootsGear Tags. Passport shirts. Passport flags. Safety Third. Mean Jen at -29C. Andrew shirts. Cultural Centres (Sorry BG, but I am going to use the Canadian spelling). Vern and his Pickle costume that NP Vancouver claims as theirs, but we all know the truth here. How we will always be NP Canada and not NP Edmonton. Sunrise 6ks. Canada Day work outs in the fountain. The NP Wedding. See, now I have digressed into special NP workouts instead of inside jokes… I can’t write a blog about that!

Maybe I could write about my first #traverbal to Seattle when I ran the Blerch Half Marathon for my birthday in 2017? 

Or maybe just how awesome it is to traverbal. How you walk up a bit awkwardly or uncertain but you know it’s the right place because people are gathering at an ungodly hour of the morning. If it’s a new city for you, you probably know no one at the workout, but you are still welcomed with open arms both literally and figuratively. Maybe I should write about that?

Or how I quite literally planned and orchestrated my mom’s “bucket list” trip to France in order for me to be able to traverbal and get my tags in both Reykyavik and London? Or how I am certain that I am not the only person who has modified travel plans in order to go to a workout and get a tag? 

And how awesome is it that when you travel you can just post something on the local social page and you will be inundated with offers of running buddies, rides from the airport, restaurant recommendations, and maybe even free accommodation? 

How my passport shirt has tags on it from four countries on two continents? How there isn’t any more space on the front of my passport shirt, so now I have tags on the back too?

Or how I have more NP gear than I have anything else? Everything from socks to sunglasses, to shirts and jackets and buffs? (Can someone get NP tights? That’s really the only thing missing from my wardrobe).

What about the splinter groups? The ones that aren’t NP, but they kind of are NP at the same time? The ones in every city, not just ours? The Biker Gang, Need For Speed, Croissant Club, Tuesday Stairs in Seattle, Stair Mondays in Chicago, (now defunct) Friday yoga in Winnipeg…

Or how there is always coffee and breakfast after workouts in every city? How we somehow bond over our love of early morning workouts followed by caffeine, carbs, and conversation? 

Or maybe I should write about Adventure Cat. My cat that is chill 99% of the time and walks on a leash and travels in a spaceship-backpack. The cat who has come to workouts. The cat that I adopted through a fellow NPer who had posted on our social page about a cat who needed a new furrever home?

Or the buffs? The legend of the buffs and how our city is the home of the NP Buff, yet we’re somehow always the last city to get our buffs. Should I write about that? 

Or how when you’re injured, you can still show up? No one will judge you or push you. How there will probably be someone who will stop you from pushing because they know that you’re going to push too hard and injure yourself more. How at NP you will always be loved and accepted for being who you are where you are in your journey, no matter what? That would probably be a good blog topic. Mind you, that’s in our community agreements. 

Should I write about when I was injured and I showed up just for the pre-workout hugs on my way to the gym where I was doing modified zero-impact workouts? How those hugs were sometimes my only incentive to get out of bed and keep trying?

Or maybe I should write about the 23 months of modified workouts while I had the stress fracture from hell? How it was coming to NP and being with the community that kept me going during those 23 months? How not showing up wasn’t even an option that I considered? How I am still modifying my workouts as I rehab my leg, and how supportive and understanding our community has been? 

Or what about the unfettered belief that your fellow NPers will have in you? You want to run your first 5k? Your fastest 5k? A marathon? An ultramarathon? To make it up Walterdale once without walking? To make it up the stairs? How no matter what your goal is, you’re going to get nothing but support and, “You can do it!”s?

Or how your fellow NPers will always be in for a crazy, type-two-fun adventure, even at a moment’s notice? You need a pacer for 5am to run 25kms with you? You want to go cross country skiing in the backcountry? You need to learn how to knit? Climbs a mountain or three in a day? Or bake sourdough? Or get some plumbing done? Help moving? Or just a coffee and a heart-to-heart and a walk? 

How about a blog about how you could be anywhere and when you run in to other NPers, you immediately have a community? 

Or how you can be friends with someone you’ve never met in person? The people you connect with through the blog posts and social media and shared experience. And when you do meet in-person at something like Summit, it’s like spending time with a long lost best friend? 

What about the NP events? Summit, SnowGlobe, The Great Skate, marathon cheer stations… How it’s only when you miss an NP event that even the most introverted member of our community will have a twinge of FOMO? Because you don’t know FOMO until you’ve missed a popup workout at a marathon? 

How my NP family has been there for me through so many ups and downs? Heartbreak, loss, job changes, injuries, travel, laughter, celebrating the little things…

I have no idea what I could possibly write a blog about. All I know for sure is that as DG famously said, “THIS. SHIT. IS. GOOD!”

Until next time…SMILE! J

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