We’ve had a few people asking about who this Vinnie Cent character is that has descended upon Edmonton over the past few workouts. When #meanJen shut him down during the announcements, we decided that it’d be better if we let him tell you a bit more of his story and why he has decided to visit 30 NP tribes this year.
Throughout my journey I started noticing that there have been a couple burning questions that everyone is dying to ask me in the flesh. As an extroverted individual I absolutely love the fact that I have sparked the curiosity of hundreds of people across the continent. However, I began to realize really quickly that telling everyone everything about my story individually as beautiful, exciting, and intimate of a thing that can be, burned me out pretty quickly. The truth is there are many layers and stories to a lot of these questions and I want to create space to get to know your stories when we are spending time together too! So here I am to share my story with you in a blog post so that when we actually link up to chat, it’s not just the Vinnie show.
Hope you like it!
Question #1: What inspired you to go on this trip?
If you’ve ever asked me this at a workout and I seemed hesitant to answer its because the simplified version wouldn’t do your question justice. I didn’t come to your city to give you an abridged version of why your hugs, excitement and curiosity are special to me. The truth is you all are apart of something special and this roadtrip is about taking quality time to celebrate this something special with quality people. Ok, enough prefacing…into the story
1. The realization that our routine is not normal. Every Monday, Wednesday, and or Friday many of us wake up to workout in our cities rain, or shine. We aim to disrupt the norm, push each other to be better humans, and hold each other accountable to being the best person we can be. Over time what we do in each of our cities naturally becomes routine, and normal. For some the effect wears off and we lose sight of what makes November project great. The way we are wired it can be easy to forget what this movement is actually accomplishing and how powerful it is beyond the workouts, our own experiences, and walls of our city. Not everyone has a community that challenges them and holds them accountable to being their best selves. This movement has been a part of my transformation story and there are so many opportunities for you to connect with people and be a part of someone else’s transformation story EVERY WEEK.
2. Sharing and celebrating our stories. Turning 30 is a milestone year for many people. But not only was turning 30 the dawn of a new decade for me, it was a reminder of how fortunate I am to be where I am. When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia a blood cancer where my body began over producing dysfunctional white blood cells. To me there is no better way to celebrate these things than to take a leap, travel around, and connect with people that are showing up, building community, and making things happen in their city. If you want to know more about my story I invite you to check out my personal blog HERE (www.wirelessathlete.com/blog/vinniecent)
3. Quality Time. One thing I have learned in my travels to Summit, or the Boston Marathon is that there is a huge difference between going to Boston in its natural state versus going when it’s a special event like the Boston Marathon, or vacation. For me this trip isn’t about being a tourist, or racing, or trying awesome local foods…its about building a relationship with the people, and enjoying the city for what it is. No make-up needed for this traverbal date!
Question #2: Why the Cent symbol? Why are you Vinnie Cent?
So spoiler alert, my actual name is VIN-CENT in case you haven’t put that together. However, this nickname was not my doing. In fact I used to dislike being called Vinny and I had a specific list of reasons why.
1. Being Vincent my name naturally has a C in it.
2. I’m not your italian cousin Vinny
3. Vinnie sounded soft to me at the time….like Winnie The Pooh, ya know?
One day an ex co-workers 12 year old son asked me if he could call me Vinny. When I said no and gave him all the reasons, he looked at me and asked if he could call me Vinnie Cent. He claimed that in compliance to my stipulations
1. That had a C in it
2. It was more like 50 Cent, than your cousin Vinny and
3. It sounded hip
Much to my chagrin I ran with his logic. When I joined November Project Philly for the first time in 2014 I began to jokingly always introduce myself as Vinnie Cent until I realized people actually remembered it. So I’ve been rolling with that ever since. It even got to the point where people thought my last name was Cent (you’ll have to catch me in person for that one). The Cent symbol came about as a way to leave you with a gift of connection, and commemoration of what this journey is about. Always remember though….Vinnie with an IE, no Y.
What do you DO (For Work)?
Now this question caught me off guard at first because I started this trip fun-employed. But in April a company called Health Union reached out to me about helping them build a supportive online community around the topic of blood cancer. They launched a website called blood-cancer.com and I am a contributing writer and forum moderator on their team. I would like to invite you all to check out my profile and the articles I have written HERE if you’re curious.
If you think my story is amazing, then I would like to challenge and encourage you to Never Stop Exploring the people in your community. There are so many people that we workout with everyday with amazing perspective, and experiences. YOU have amazing perspective, and experiences. I hope my journey is a reminder to YOU of how incredible of an opportunity this is for all of us to connect, and flourish in living this dope AF life we have. Follow Your Heart #FollowTheCent
Now lets go out for a rip k bud?
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