Rhythm and Rhyme- a Guest Blog POEM- By Becca Nadler (Ottawa)

A year and a half or so ago, Becca showed up to a Lululemon event, by chance, one fall day. She said “yes” to show up on Wednesday. She said yes to strangers, to the unknown, the possibility of something great. Perhaps somehow knowing she needed a community, going through transition, figuring out life, career, post-university athletics, battling internal struggles, and life back in Ottawa… she showed up with a smile, a willingness, a sarcastic wit and the courage to just show up. Becca, often seen with her handsome dog, Alfie, pushes hard at the workouts, often one of the quickest females, no matter what the weather. Still showing up with that same sarcastic wit, she has made this community stronger, more encouraging and connecting with the tribe, one hug, interaction or listening ear at a time. Meet, Becca.

When given this chance to speak my mind

I searched for words that proved hard to find

To address a community unlike any other

My NP family; my sisters and brothers

Thank you for proving what we already know

Working out isn’t cancelled at thirty above or below

Thank you for greeting me with a smile and a squeeze

For giving me a reason to stand up when I’ve fallen to my knees

Before I go on, a quick disclaimer to make

What follows gets personal, not sarcastic or fake

Many of us have lived this at one or another time

And it’s slightly less awkward to share it through rhyme

For not so long ago, a darkness crept in

At times I was tempted to just let it win

I didn’t know things were different inside my own head

I forgot how it felt to live without dread

Slowly but surely my surroundings grew duller

Until I lived in a world without any colour

I didn’t understand how bad things had gotten

I just wished I could end it. Be completely forgotten.

While still weighed down with shame and fatigue

And trying not to blame that fateful Ivy League  

I showed up Wednesday morning with no friends of mine

Which hasn’t been true since that day at six twenty-nine

Although the darkness and pain weren’t lifted overnight

I met a tribe that showed me I had strength left to fight

A group of people reaching out to help me through the fog

(which was almost as effective as getting a dog)

Week after week my community grew

And reminded me of something that I think I once knew

How just one act of kindness can change your viewpoint

And that just showing up is really the whole point

When I started to write this, it was so I could say

That NP is special – unique in some way

But the truth is we’re not (just wait, hear me out)

I’ll let you know what I’m talking about

It’s not that NP is superior in style

We’re just ordinary people who go the extra mile

It’s not about special talent, skill, or top speed

It’s proving each week that by example we lead

I thought we were different, but when we meet at that flame

Our strength lies in the fact that we’re really the same

We show up to celebrate what our bodies can do

Without judgment or disappointment when the workout is through

We show up to try and be one day better

Whether to chase or become the day’s pace setter

We show up for the support, unconditional as it is

We show up for ourselves, for Lauren, for Liz

Nothing has been the same since that first Wednesday morning

When these wonderful people entered my life without warning

And immediately made me feel like a part of something real

No catches. No fees. No conditions to this deal.

Thank you for pushing me up every painful stair

And more importantly for laughing at the terrible jokes I share

Thank you for the mornings I will always remember

I am forever grateful to this Project in November

Thank you for sharing your morning with us, you wonderful humans.

Here’s to bringing “soles” together

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