New in town – Guest blog [MTL]

It’s hard to believe that it was only 5 months ago that I moved across the country – to this vibrant city that is Montreal. 

Well, let’s be real, it didn’t seem so vibrant at that time. It was the dead of winter, and boy, was the harsh Quebec winter a lot for this Vancouverite to handle. Oh, and I had exactly zero friends!

So when my new coworker told me about her run crew and invited me to run with them on the weekend (forever grateful for Néma!!), I knew there was no way I could pass up on the opportunity to potentially meet some friends. 

Despite it being the coldest morning since I arrived in Montreal, I layered up with my warmest clothes and set out to join the YAMAJO group run that Saturday morning. To my surprise, over 15 people showed up in that -20C weather, and all in good spirits. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. And also, truly #weatherproof. I remember feeling so impressed by these crazy Montreal runners!! And I was so happy to be out there with them.

I showed up every week for the Saturday morning run & brunch, and quickly developed some good friendships with other run crew members, including LC. So, soon enough, I learned about November Project.

My first NP experience was in February. I remember how hard it was getting up that morning, and how cold and dark it was while I ran to Place Jacques-Cartier to make it for 6:29 a.m. But more vividly, I remember showing up to all the smiling faces (still pre-caffeinated, may I add). I remember the bounce, I remember the high-fives, I remember the positive energy and good vibes. And I remember how accomplished I felt when I got into work that morning – what a great way to start the day.

Since that Wednesday, I have been a committed NP Montreal member. I can honestly say that I look forward to those early Wednesday mornings every week, because I know that there will be an inclusive group of individuals who will #justshowup for each other. What an amazing feeling it is, to start the day with all your favourite early-risers, while getting in a great workout (which are always so creative and FUN!). To soak in and reciprocate all the positive energy, through the most spirited high-fives. To start the rest of the day feeling so inspired and energized.

I guess I’ll leave it at that, for now. I am just so grateful I have found a community of like-minded individuals who share my core values of active living and inclusivity, and uphold those values so passionately. A community who has welcomed me into this city so warmly.

I invite you to join me on Wednesday, every Wednesday, at 6:29 a.m. It will be the best decision you’ve made all week. I promise.

Dora Hsiao

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