November Project by TheCardboardRacer (Guest Words by Morgan Brown)

Guest bloggers are usually excited to write about November Project. The very few times we’ve had we’ve had stories and views that are fun, funny, and inspirational to say the least. Now, when I asked Morgan Brown, a tall, overly chill, and quietly athletic NP (Boston) member if he’d be interested in writing, I was a little thrown off when he wasn’t really too pumped to take the job. This dude is so pro NP but he doesn’t want to e-hype himself? This was a lot to take in… especially for me… a many of many words. In the past few weeks of training on trail during the afternoon with this dude I’ve had my suspicions about him confirmed; Morgan DOES have a layered, twisting tale with volumes of stories that will one day (hopefully) be in his book. These gems are kept hidden under the quiet personality you may or may not have yet to encounter. A recent timeline that takes him all over the world in the last half decade, directly following a few casual years of pro baseball in more than one continent… oh… and lets not forget the chapters that came before pro ball as he was a Division 1 All-American after walking on to Harvard’s Baseball team during his undergrad years. Casual. This New England racer is a proud member of November Project and has been queitly beating you in all of the workouts for about a year now. Please join me in welcoming today’s hesitant guest writer and self-proclaimed “cardboard box personality,” Morgan Brown!

I am going to use my five minutes of writing to point something out. I haven’t won the positivity award. For almost a year now I have been to every workout with a very few exceptions. Now, this could be because my general demeanor and outward personality has a number of similarities to say, cardboard, but I am going to take this in another direction.

It is a very good thing that I have not won the positivity award.

This means that over the past year, as the numbers of attendees have swelled from a few handfuls to a few hundred…on a slow day… there has been a continual stream of positive, enthusiastic, and consistent folks showing up week after week.

Where did they all come from? I certainly didn’t recruit them (recall the aforementioned characteristics of my personality).

They come from all corners of the city, from Somerville to Dorchester, the North End to Jamaica Plain.
Fitness and building community and positive starts to the day for hundreds of people in this city (and now Madison and San Francisco) is a good thing.

It is especially a good thing when, despite the sometimes unwieldy swell in numbers and herd mentality we have the good sense to be considerate and quiet in the mornings, knowing that not everyone wants to be woken up and chose the same lifestyle as our group. This is building community as well.
I heard that these two former college athletes had created this group to foster similar levels of accountability to playing a collegiate sport, you had to show up because other people were showing up, depending on you, everyone was pulling on the same rope, in the same conditions, rain or shine. That idea appealed to me, along with the “race everything” slogan. Times were posted, accountability was ensured via public humiliation on facebook. After injuries curtailed a previous athletic career, and then living overseas for most of the last five years, I missed the engagement of being in a competition amongst teammates that lead to better results. I was dangerously close to becoming “a jogger” if I didn’t have someone to run with, so I have enjoyed the thrice weekly event of getting up and running with a group of similarly motivated folks, and while you may not notice it from me, I appreciate the positive and friendly nature of those around me. Perhaps most of all, I appreciate the fact that I am starting to look forward to improving, racing and competing again.

See you Wednesday.

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