We can’t say enough great things about Chris Jolly, who received the Positivity Award last week. Jolly inspires and pushes those around him every week, is ubiquitous in the DC running scene, and is arguably the most fashionable NPDC runner (watch out, Dan Martin!). But enough from us. Get to know Chris from this Q&A and find him (and the PA) at the next workout! (PS — follow his adventures with the PA on Snapchat at @npdc_positivity).
1) How, when and where were you introduced to November Project?
I originally saw the runners from NP super early in the morning, as I was heading to Tenleytown. At first glance, I thought was a boot camp class or some other workout happening in front of Lincoln Memorial. Afterwards, I saw it posted on RWB’s social page. From there, the attempts I made to show up were failures — failures because I wasn’t focused and determined to get up that early. So someway, I made it up in my mind to make it there. I don’t know what I was thinking other than, “Lets see what this is all about!”
2) What do you remember about your first workout?
What I remember most about my first workout (August 2016) is (former co-leader) Kaelan introduced me and another guy as the two loners who didn’t get invited or had friends accompanying us. We stood in the middle of the cirlce, and people welcomed us by chanting our names over and over. Quite surprising, but I enjoyed it. I also remember telling myself during the workout, “I’m not as fit of a runner as I thought,” and running along the never-ending lengthy reflecting pool over and over. I also remember ending the workout, and saying to myself I have to come back and do better and this is exactly where I should be.
3) What motivates you to keep you coming back?
The photos! Also, to be honest, it’s the community, the intensity of the workouts, the drive from others, the competition within myself to do better, the way we are #weatherproof, the accountability of verbals, chasing the top-hat on PR day #futuregoals, and running with people within my pace group and challenging them and myself to push harder.
4) What does winning the Positivity Award mean and represent to you?
I appreciate being recognized first and foremost. I do my best to be positive with all interactions with people. Your energy rubs off on people, and you want to uplift people as much as possible.
5) What’s your favorite DC restaurant and your go-to food?
My first favorite DC restaurant is Founding Farmers; they have the best chicken and waffles I have ever had. Horace and Dickies has great fried fish. I love NuVegan. One can never really go wrong with anything on their menu. My last favorite restaurant would be Carolina Kitchen. Everything tastes great there.
6) Describe for us your favorite November Project moment to date.
It would have to be an event that was word of mouth only (alley races). NP set up in an alley beside H Street Country Club, measured 40 yards, drew a line with chalk, and we raced. One stripe on the face and you’ve lost, two stripes creates an X and you’re done competing. Running the 40-yard dash is a small challenge because it’s a very short distance and it takes some time to get up to speed. That was intense, and I didn’t know there were so many fast people there who liked to compete.
7) Give us your running backstory. How’d you get involved with running?
My backstory with running started with wanting to lose 20 lbs to get to a weight that I was comfortable at. I wanted to run more, and get back to my normal weight with less muscle. I went from running 4 miles periodically, to joining NP and running the Tryptophan 10k on Thanksgiving Day (my longest run). I then ran my first 10-mile long run with the long run crew (thanks to Ron who invited me out), and then my first half marathon all within a month — achieving things I couldn’t even believe. Now I’ve done a few more races, and run regularly with a couple of local clubs. I enjoy every moment of it!
8) What’s your top fashion tip for runners?
Top fashion tips would be to get some dry-fit shirts, and try to color coordinate. Dare to look weird and be comfortable!