This woman needs no introduction… but because that’s what we do with our guest bloggers at November Project, I’ll give it my best shot. There are some people you run into in life that you know have the stuff. When I first met Shanae and waved hello in passing on Summit Ave I realized that her nickname must become “Electric Smile.” Knowing little about her, what I did know is that she had the stuff. As an active student at Emerson College she comes to us in the mornings with very little sleep under her belt but never without her electric smile. She’s the winner of yesterday’s #PositivityAward and is aiming for her first Boston Marathon next month. Take your time as you read this post and please share it to the ones you love as inspiration for how to JUST SHOW UP. Ladies and gentlemen… Shanae Rebecca!
If anyone would have told me that I would be training for the 2014 Boston Marathon with November Project six months after running my first EVER half marathon, I don’t think I would have believed them. Athletes run the Boston Marathon – and not just athletes – elite ones! “One day,” I would have said, “but this isn’t my year.” I would have rattled off that my dream would be to make Chicago my first marathon (fast and flat), and after YEARS of racing – I would attempt to qualify for Boston… I would have used very apologetic language (A bad habit I’m still trying to break) and it would have been totally non-committal.
On December 16th though I received the following text message from my friend Monica who was deeply affected by the events that transpired last April…
I was sitting at the Thinking Cup when I received that text. I was astounded! “WOWZA! 26.2 miles! That would be amazing! Maybe I shouldn’t though… It might re-trigger emotions I ..what about ‘running in’ Lauren – wait, this is moving too fast!” As I looked down to text my initial hesitations, the charm from my recent Alex and Ani purchase reminded me “What’s For You Will Not Pass You.” Up until that point, I had been attending the workouts regularly and had accomplished some pretty cool NP, but also professional and personal, milestones. I just couldn’t let the opportunity to run on her behalf pass me – I had to practice what we preach at NP and JUST SHOW UP!
It was in fact showing up that led to…
*completing my first tour around Harvard Stadium and weeks later a FrogMan1! *shedding 25lbs and 6 minutes off my time to PR the Hyannis Half with a 2:02 finish!
*Meeting some of the greatest people on the planet! (Hi, FRIENDS!)
*Learning how to give a REAL HUG (Hips in, yall.)
SHOWING UP with all of my fears and doubts, but also my smile, hugs, and determination would be the continued goal. There was nothing to worry about! I would have NP and NP would have me through the good and the bad– and not just MWF! A long run on the course any Saturday or Sunday morning means seeing familiar faces and sharing enthusiastic embraces! Training with NP means you’ll have someone to sit with at the Marathon Clinic, but also someone to celebrate with or even salsa dance with on Friday. The tribe is a family!
I’ll never forget when NP became one of the most important parts of my life:
When Orrin Whalen (newest leader of NP LA) first invited me to an NP Workout last April, I kindly thanked him for thinking of me, but said “No Way!” I finally dropped a verbal and met Orrin for Destination Deck: Tennis Courts on the eve of my 22nd birthday. I had been training for my first half marathon with a few ladies from Black Girls Run – a grassroots organization working to get more African American women moving and grooving in the fitness community, but I was avoiding the inclines. Orrin thought my training could get kicked up a notch, and surely it has!
To think that one of my final hours as a “wild” 21 year old was the first spent with NP makes me chuckle. I figure SHOWING UP is just the beginning of adulthood. That’s why accountability, attitude, awesome, and attendance all start with an A, right?
Just under 40 days away from April 21st, I owe many thanks to the Boston Tribe for keeping me honest during my training and pushing me closer and closer to the goal. The Right on Hereford, and Left on Boylston will be special this year for more reasons than one, but my excitement for the Mile 18 NP Hydration Station and Cheer Squad will be unmatched.
Training for Boston with NP has reignited my love for this city in a way my heart didn’t know to wish for. NP provided me with the tools to train, but also a place to build my confidence for mental prep. This IS my year to run 26.2 miles and cross the finish line. All I have to do is SHOW UP.