Oriana’s Baggage (BOS 4.19.19)

Oriana used to live in Boston. She’s a pretty great human and we loved having her show up all the time, bring her great big smile and awesome hugs, and her operatic singing voice to every rendition of Happy Birthday thrown at a tribe member. But then she moved (back) to Canada. She was always pretty loyal to that country, so we had to know our time was limited with her, but again, we loved all the days we had.

Oriana came to visit last week, probably to do lots of things, but she was in town for the Marathon and she’s been showing up to every single workout while she’s here. Duh. She’s even thinking about showing up on Monday to LoveJoy Wharf (where the 4/22 workout is at 6:29am) with her baggage in tow–on her way to the airport, just so she can squeeze in every single opportunity to run, hug, sweat, high five, smile, laugh, work hard, and BE with the Boston crew before returning to the mother land.

Toby thought it was an awesome idea that Oriana bring her bags to the workout. He started thinking about all the funny ways to incorporate baggage into the fitness…and then it hit him. The metaphor of baggage and life and how we have to bring along our bags with us even to places when it’s hard or inconvenient. And what he concluded was this: The stronger you get, the easier it is to handle your baggage.

It makes sense. Literally. The more you show up and workout and get fitter and stronger, the easier it is to carry your bags around when you travel. The easier it is to lift and move and manage all the shit you carry along with you to be sure you have clothes to wear and the right shoes to go for a run, and your damn toothbrush.

And it makes sense. In the other ways. We all have baggage and history and life that comes behind us…sometimes pretty attached to us no matter what we do. But there are so many ways that we get stronger in life to help us be better at managing that baggage. Sometimes getting stronger physically, by feeling fitter, faster, and more physically empowered to take on difficult challenges gives us a mental edge over our stuff. Sometimes building a stronger community around us helps us to feel less alone, less like we’re the only ones with baggage, and more encouraged to keep showing up in life every day because we have a crew behind us, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us, and/or gently nudging us forward because they believe in us. And sometimes just recognizing that we have baggage and history and a story that goes along with us, gives us a stronger intention and purpose to handle those bags in a way that feels better. Just like when you have an actual bag that’s super awkward to carry and you hate it–but if you pack it differently or put it into a bag that you can put on your back instead of have to hold with your hands, it just feels better. Or you unpack it and decide what shit you don’t need to keep in the bag anymore…and you take it out and give it away or get rid of it. Then we find more strength and confidence in being better able to handle our baggage.

I don’t think everyone should always bring suitcases and backpacks to the NP workouts…but I DO think that when we show up and know we have some other kinds of bags and luggage with us, we can pay attention to the opportunities to get so much freaking stronger at NP. Physically, socially, mentally, emotionally. The bags don’t have to burden us, but they can hold important things we want to keep with us.

Oriana can bring her suitcase to NP on Monday and I really hope she does. We’ll probably incorporate it into the workout. All other baggage welcome too–just be prepared to get stronger.


Workout is at LoveJoy Wharf at 6:29am. BE THERE.


Be ready to race in the stadium for your fastest time/farthest distance ever. 5:30 & 6:30am. We will also be tagging #GrassrootsGear so bring your clean, dry shirts. Black paint only so black shirts won’t get tagged.

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