Erica Holt is a special member who brought us up in spirits, broke our hearts by announcing her moving date departure, kept us alive with her e-updates from her new location, and brought us all back to the top when she returned to Boston ALL within the same year. Erica is a dedicated NP members and will be at everything NP all winter long… and NO, this isn’t me trying to push a seasonal verbal, its just that I know she has that kind of mindset and truly loves seeing all of the Boston faces each week. Here she is, the one and only, Erica Holt…
Jan, 2013. It was 2 months after finishing my 2nd and furthest ultra marathon. The high from my achievement was long gone, along with my motivation, and the frigid holiday season had added pounds, as they always do. It’s so easy to put exercise on the back burner when you have a family to tend to and homework piling up. I was in a plumped slump. A friend of mine had been harping on me for months about joining some workout group he was with that “ran stairs”….I live on the 3rd floor, the last thing I wanted to do is RUN up stairs. Reluctantly, I looked up November Project on Facebook and coerced a friend join me at the next Monday workout, which didn’t involve stairs. It was oddly warm that day. We ran a few miles to the workout and as we stepped onto the soggy grass at Titus Sparrow Park, we were greeted by about 60 other people that I’d soon be calling friends. Thirty mins and a deck later, I was sold. I could never have imagined doing sit-ups in the mud could be so…..exhilarating!! As we ran back home, mud butts and all, I was already thinking about the next workout. I was hooked!! By Wednesday, the freakish warm weather quickly turned to snow/ice/blistering cold again but nothing could keep me from the sweaty embrace of the tribe. As the months went by, we did Bojans in 2 ft of snow, we played Sharks and Minnows downtown, we raced in negative degree weather and in bunny ears. We even ran stairs. NP has a weird way of distracting you from realizing you are actually working REALLY hard.
Sadly, chapters close in life and my time with NP came to an end. My husband accepted a job in PHX and we decided to take a chance and move across the country. As I said goodbye to my tribe, that now stood second only to my family, I turned and waved as Brogan said “Goodbye, Erica Holt.” I was so thankful I had been a part of something so wonderful and rewarding! I kept in touch with the tribe over the summer and virtually supported everyone from afar, experiencing serious FOMO (fear of missing out). I sported my #GrassrootsGear proudly in a clueless city so hot I could barely survive a workout without having a heat stroke. Who builds a city in a friggin desert, anyway?!! We lasted a whole 3 months in Phoenix. Once the decision was made to cut our losses and move ALL the way back, the only thing sliver of light to the whole ordeal was returning to November Project.
Coming back was unreal! The hugs were amazing but the workouts were harder than ever. I was not as strong or fast as I had been and the calf pain from running those knee high stairs was very much a reality! When I started NP, I never thought it would be anything more than an exercise group. It’s an intense, supportive community of like-minded individuals that inhale motivation and exhale inspiration. It’s impossible not to get caught up in that! Without consciously trying, I’ve PRed my 5k and 10k times, we’ll see about half and full marathon times in the future. I have done more pushups and sit-ups that I ever imagined. I’ve run 100 sections with the tribe behind me, cheering for me, pushing me, motivating me! This amazing group of maniacs pushes me to my limits and I love it. I have become a better athlete and human over the last 10 months and owed it to this crazy, wonderful tribe.
Find a babysitter, roll out of bed, bundle up or whatever your excuse is and JUST. SHOW. UP. You are only cheating yourself if you haven’t tried it yet! You’ll never regret it.
Erica Holt – Mom. Wife. Full-time student. November Project Tribesman extraordinaire.