“Picture This:” Guest blog from Michelle- BAL

In the world today it seems that there is a tendency to cling to the loudest among us, the most vocal, the most over the top, charismatic, in your face individuals. Sometimes that’s our tendency within our own ranks as well but I like to think, regardless of personality or level of extroversion that there is a place for you at November Project. Today’s post from Michelle proves that theory, and I hope anyone too timid or afraid to try something so “weird” or “over the top” gets up the courage to finally show up, just as Michelle did. Michelle will never be the loudest among us but she brings a positivity and work ethic the tribe has come to admire, whether you know her well or not. As Michelle says, “Come as you are.”

Michelle Bond 2

Picture This

You can get picked last, never fit in, wear glasses, be slightly too old or too young and still these people

make you feel welcome.

And, they mean it. Sure there are groups of friends who have been at it from the beginning, who

wouldn’t miss a Wednesday or a Friday or a track Tuesday  and all of the

social events in between. But they don’t make you feel left out, unimportant or unnecessary when you are there.

(Slow but steady, make it when you can, still living and breathing the mission in your own introverted way.)

Maybe this is just what it means to be an adult. Or, to be embraced by the millennials we all thought

were so self-absorbed and so unwilling to learn from what’s come before. But for some of us those old

high school cliques or not being good enough for the varsity team or the overly competitive nature of

sports just took the fun out of the whole damn thing. Turns out, not true. Not now. Not with these


NP_BAL is the real deal. It represents what’s best about this “day and age” and more importantly this

tired, awesome city. It says, “You belong. We are ridiculous and healthy and serious and committed all

at once.” It says, “Come as you are. We’ll be here for who you are now and who you will become and in

between we’ll make some memories, break some records, and do a whole lot of good for a whole bunch

of people.”

I’m not sure how the NP blogs get written. Do you get asked, or just go for it when the spirit moves you?

I decided I don’t care, I’m dropping you all a line.

I started my 38th birthday five weeks ago with six rash field laps, and a girl named Sally . I got tagged and booyah-birthdayed within

minutes of each other. All things I would have been too busy for, intimidated by or just unwilling to do a

short time ago.

I’m a relative newbie. Only jumping on board in August to see what the fuss was all about. It’s been a

brief four month journey with NP_BAL, and I haven’t gone deep with any of you. But I #justshowup and

good day or bad day, I know it will be better because I start it with a bunch of people who care about

the same things even while we may each be very different. And whether we’ve made it to every

breakfast or never made it to one, we belong just the same.

There’s something powerful in that kind of belonging. The kind that says anyone can participate, anyone

can lead. And that’s what’s needed in these crazy, sometimes sad and f’d up times. A bunch of people

who will take you as you are, who try to do better every week (multiple times a week), and who are

committed to cheering you on as you do the same for yourself – on and off the field, track, stairs, hills –

you get the picture.

It’s a beautiful picture.

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