NP MKE: Collaborative Motivation-Guest Blog Post By Danielle Schrupp

†My sister text me this morning saying, “What can I do to get motivated?” She is a stay at home mom to four of the cutest kids. I thought “How can I support her?” “I am eight hours away.” I text her back with a suggestion “Why don’t we have a competition in order to see which one of us can get more steps in each day?” She replied sarcastically “Oh sure, you will probably kick my butt.” “You are way more motivated than me.” I quickly replied “OH-NO I AM NOT!” “I have a slew of people who support and motivate me.” “Without November Project, I would have never been motivated to finish my first half-marathon last month.” “So, let me help motivate you!”

Let’s rewind a bit. My husband, Jeremy, and I moved to Milwaukee from Duluth Minnesota in August of 2017. At the time I told myself that “with this move I will become motivated and achieve a healthier version of myself.” Over the course of my life, I began similar journeys. I had failed so many times that I was determined that with this move I was going to change my life.

On a September night of the same year, Jeremy and I were enjoying a few beverages together when we suddenly exclaimed “LETS GET OUT AND MEET SOME PEOPLE!” So, we strolled across the street to our now local watering hole, The County Clare. We pulled up a couple of stools and began chatting with everyone around us. We were new to Milwaukee, so we were asking the standard “newbie” questions. “What should we see?” “Who has the best happy hour?” “Where do we want to party but not feel old?” We were getting a few suggestions when this girl sitting on the corner of the bar suddenly stated, “No-no, those are horrible suggestions.”

It was with this stranger and on this night that my journey began. Her name was Meghan Magee. She talked to us for hours about her favorite localities. Then she asked, “Are either of you into fitness?” I looked at Jeremy and stated/asked, “I don’t know, are we?” I then told her that I ran “a LITTLE,” but that I wanted to do something that would both challenge and motivate me. I told her that I needed something that would kick my butt into gear. That is when Meghan suggested a group called November Project and then exclaimed that it was free fitness. I have always been thrifty, and she said the magic words, “FREE!” We exchanged numbers and planned to meet up at November Project the following week. We then parted ways with our new friend and continued our evening adventure. We later “stumbled” upon MKE’s smallest bar. We don’t recall what came next, so don’t ask!

On the evening of October fourth, 2017, I set my alarm for 4:40. The next morning I nervously walked to The Calling, a giant orange sculpture by Mark di Suvero (thanks Jeremy), located in O’Donnell Park. I was early, of course, and anxiously walked up to two people who were standing there waiting for the work out to begin. I think my voice cracked a little when I said, “Is this where November Project meets?” Immediately I got an ecstatic, “YES!” and was embraced with a big hug from Christine and DG. They were chatting with me while other people filtered in. I was so nervous that I wanted to puke. I saw Meghan come around the corner and I thought “PHEW, I know someone!” We were partners for my first workout. I don’t remember much from that workout, but I know we did burpees, a lot of burpees. That day I felt muscles that I never knew that I had. Later that day Jeremy asked, “So how was it?” I said, “It was hard, but fun!”

Now, let’s fast-forward to today. I have been hanging out with Milwaukee’s NP tribe every Wednesday and Friday since I began almost two years ago. Ok, not every single Wednesday and Friday but a lot of them! The tribe has pushed me to become a better person on the inside and on the outside. I have fashioned relationships that I hope will last a lifetime! My tribe is a group of friends who encourage and motivate me every single day. They have enticed me to sign up for races and marathons that I never thought I could do.

For years I watched Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. I always said, “Someday I will run that marathon.” Well folks, on June twenty-second, I am running the Grandmas Half Marathon with my best friend! I am so glad that I made that personal goal two years ago. I would never have dreamed back then that I could accomplish what I have.

My sister and I are starting our competition next week! I plan to support and motivate her NP style; well… virtually. I will have to give her inter-web hugs and high-fives! Motivation does not come easy, well maybe for some, but with the help of others it is possible. I am achieving my goals and now help others to do the same. I have become a happier and healthier version of myself and I have November Project to thank for it!

Picture of Danielle Schrupp (NPMKE tribe member) crossing the finish line of the Milwaukee Half Marathon!
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