BG and I get asked, “How do you two manage crowds of several hundred people [this morning we had about 700 between 5:30AM and 6:30AM groups] without going insane?” Well to answer that question, I’ll describe my activities from this morning that may reveal our “secret sauce”.
I rolled up to the stadium at 5:10AM. There I saw our friend Laura a.k.a. DJ Phoenix pulling out her music-playing-and-mixing-setup out of her car. We recruited few members to help us bring all her gear from the car to the top of section 19 where she set up her makeshift and very professional DJ booth. It only took a little sneaking, crawling, hundreds of feet of sketchy extension cables and my new skill of circuit-throwing to add power to our DJ’s setup… once I got down off the roof and returned to the tribe… yeah… We’re still 10 minutes from the bounce. Stay with me.
At 5:30AM, with few hundred of my closest friends, I raced 37 sections as fast as I could. Result, a PR. Boom. Go me.
After I caught my breath and got my legs back under me, I jogged from section 1 back to 37 to tag some early group Grassroots Gear shirts. There, I was accompanied by few injured members that, despite their injuries and inability to participate in the workout, decided to come out and help with the tagging process.
At 6:30AM I joined BG at the bottom of the section 37 where he started the bounce. The music was loud, the adrenalin was flowing, spirits were high, people were ready to crush some stairs. I started the first wave of racers at 6:35AM and continued with flights of 10-14 racers each 15-30 seconds for the next 15 minutes. Then I passed on the starting process to BG who was bringing in the newbies just in time to see the last group of “big kids” start their race. I jogged over to the top of section 1 (finish line) where some of the faster cats were just about to wrap up their PR run. I looked at the bleachers above the section 1 and the Paint Crew was plowing through the 5:30AM group’s pile of shirts. Seeing that they don’t need my help I got into the cheering mode hoping that loud noises and F-bombs will help people run faster up the last section.
Did it help? I don’t know, but as people were whispering their scores to the time keepers while trying to catch their breath, I was able to her few that said “That’s a PR”! That line always puts the smile on my face. I always love that.
At 7:30AM, after singing some odd form of Happy Birthday and taking the group photo (which was the only photo I took this morning as our boy Scott Yellow was doing few rounds with his camera), I was ready to leave the stadium. But not until I helped DJ Phoenix break down her station. I asked few of the dudes that look like they can lift few pounds if they can help with the process, to which they replied the only appropriate answer “Fuck Yeah”!
At 8:15AM, 3 hours after I got there, I was on my bike going home.
BG’s morning wasn’t that much different: Between LIVE-time social media, leading the bounce, running the newbie meeting, petting the dogs, kissing the babies, cracking the jokes, he was running around like a wild man. When we got on our bikes to ride away from the stadium we both agreed that this morning was epic!
But why was it epic? We didn’t do anything different from what we usually do. I made you read all the way down to the bottom of the page without revealing the secret sauce!? Well, if you were reading it carefully the secret sauce would kick you right in the face!
Remember DJ Phoenix? The Paint Crew (Big20, FoulBall & Team Stencil-Gloves)? The time keepers, Scott’s photos, all the people that helped out with moving things, and those who are always picking up trash? They ARE our secret sauce. Our secret sauce is Deniz, the Turkish Warrior of Peace & Kindness, who came today at 5:15AM to drop off his cooler of orange slices on the rocks, dashed out for a quick pool/pond workout, and came back at 6:30 to race his life away! Our secret sauce is the collection of people that help us with all of the little things that we would not be able to pull of on our own. Our secret sauce is the collection of leaders of the unstoppable 17 cities that are waking up at the crack of dawn three mornings a week and get paid in hugs and highfives. Our secret sauce is the two NP co-founder wives that provide unconditional love and support to everything that we do regardless of how silly it may appear. Usually people don’t reveal their secret sauce because they’re afraid that someone might steal it. We just gave you the sauce. Enjoy it, add to it, write about it, tag it, share it, whatever.
We had an amazing morning with more than a side of special sauce.
These are the times of the people that completed the full tour this morning.