The most anticipated event of the year has come and gone and it was certainly worth all the hype. So many incredible opportunities and experiences to name. I’ll do my best to summarize the weekend concisely but with due diligence to its magnificence, while not falling into the trap of writing an essay very few of us have the time to read. Not because we cannot prioritize but merely because I have a feeling many of the tribe will be doing the exact same thing. We will want to read it all and speaking of busy, I haven’t had the chance yet to sit down and investigate whether this assumption is true. In any case, here is my glowing report. No promises that it won’t turn into an essay. English Major problems.
NP Summit = epic weekend for tribe leaders from across North America to meet, learn from each other, and celebrate the greatness that is November Project; past, present, and future. This is done in many ways; through sit down conversations regarding many facets of what is important to NP, how we can collectively improve it, and sharing in our experiences that only serves to further enhance all that NP has brought to our lives. This in of itself is invaluable. Next point on the NPSummit agenda of awesomeness is the North Face Endurance Challenge. The very sight of it produces awe as hundreds gather to put their hard work, sweat, and sheer guts on the line and not to forget the magical strength of support received (in the form of cheering, high fives and hugs, etc) from everyone, no matter what part of US or CAN you call home. Where else does one get this kind of experience? I’ve known a plethora of similar experiences in sport but I cannot say that I’ve witnessed the equal of NPSummit. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to observe and document it through my own eyes and that of the camera lens. Being sidelined by a kidney infection was extremely disappointing for someone like me who LOVES relays. Loves! They were my favourite part of gym class from elementary on and to this day and when I hear the word relay I immediately say, “Count me in!” It incorporates what I love most about sport; the challenge, the hard work, and the unity. The equal dependence you have with your team mates. Each person is just as valuable as the other (similar to rowing; each seat is equally important). In my opinion this kind of exercise could not be a better representation of the values that NP encourages and thrives off of. Everyone is important, everyone deserves the chance, everyone is included.
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. ” – Vince Lombardi
“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.” – Warren Bennis
The North Face Endurance Challenge was preceded by a Salt Lake City NP PopUp. If locals didn’t know about NP before, a solid number definitely do now! This includes street randoms, construction workers and the fuzz who wanted to know why hundreds of people had gathered at the State of Utah Capital Building. A property that had clearly stated “No walking on the Grass.” Naturally we respected this…the boys with badges just showed up to reinforce it, I’m sure. They happened to stick around to watch while even the construction workers paused their labour to take pictures/video of us with their phones. Mission accomplished. We had an amazing turnout, a super fun workout (as always) and are one step closer to bringing NP to Utah. Stay Tuned 🙂
So what did I personally gain from NPSummit? Well, if you’ve read this far you’ll know I haven’t much more to say. It was an experience unlike any other, it reinforced my place in this fitness movement, and wholly enriched my understanding, my appreciation, and my love for November Project. So to my wonderful co-leaders and especially our co-founders, thank you. Thank you for your tireless effort to bring NP to fruition and for your dedication to your passion that has inspired so many. I said to Brogan after we met a couple of years ago at my first ever NP workout that if I ever created a tribe in Toronto I would start saying, “In tribe we trust,” because on my first day at NP (Nov 2013), I departed from that workout with that line in mind. I believe it was inspired by how readily apparent it was to me that NP wasn’t just about being fit and healthy, it was equally about community, and from that union a bond is formed that can only have the foundation of trust. We trust each other. We believe in each other. We inspire each other.
“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippmann
“And that’s all I have to say about that.” – Forrest Gump
Claire aka. ClutchShare via socials: