This future dentist entered our tribe and lives and we have never been able to shake her – nor would we want to. Her spirit is infectious, her humor is out of this world, and her smile is perfect….for obvious reasons. She has fully embraced Baltimore and has made this tribe and this city her home. Summit took her international travel virginity and having her in Canada with us was really….just the best. This is Maggie Saludis, and this is her story:
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Blue Mountains, ON to be a part of the The November Project Summit- the biggest gathering of NP Co-leaders and tribe members that happens once a year. The weekend was wild, beautiful, and about as much fun as a person could have in 72 hours, yet strangely enough it was also very monumental. This is because Summit marked a lot of firsts for me: my first time out of the country, my first time getting a passport, and also the cap on my first full year as an NP Baltimore tribe member.
Summit became the milestone that allowed me to take a look of how NP has affected my life and assess what I think of being a part of this tribe. My gut instinct was to open my computer and write how November Project was everything I have ever wanted in a fitness community. The people are great, the workouts are challenging, and the price can’t be beat. However, that statement just didn’t seem to do my feelings justice.
To say that November Project is everything I have ever wanted is to do the tribe (and all tribes) a great disservice. This is because a “want” is very fleeting. A person can want to see their friends more or want to get in shape. A person can want in any capacity: from the comfort of his/her couch or the safety of a familiar social circle. So, I must amend my statement: November Project is the best thing I have ever decided on. Anyone can want, but deciding on something is going after what you want and going at it with supreme effort. Deciding on something is what gets people up at the crack of dawn knowing that stairs and burpees are waiting for them. Deciding on something makes you vulnerable to whatever you may experience. Sometimes that experience is bringing a bunch of wonderful people together for a work out. Sometimes that experience turns into takeover.
While at Summit I made the realization that every November Project tribemember is a decider. We all come from different backgrounds and lead different lives, but every single one of us has made the decision to give the neon-clad sweaty hugs a try. A person who shows up to NP is joining other deciders who have the same drive to show up to the workouts and who value the love and support the tribe offers.
This is very important. I think that when you meet another person for the first time you’re really not sure what you’re getting into. Are there any common interests? Do you value the same things? Are they an asshole? You’re essentially rolling the dice. Meeting someone new at November Project is like rolling weighted dice calibrated to hit Yahtzee. I noticed this more than anything else at Summit. It’s not every weekend you wake up and decide to talk to strangers from 29 different cities around the world, and in the real world that would be a lot of dice to roll. Meeting up with members from other tribes was invigorating. Right away I could feel their energy and knew I wanted to be their friend for the long haul. Half-hour conversations would end with the feasibility of visiting each other (exactly how far away is Calgary from Baltimore?). I believe these budding friendships, these human interactions, make NP the success that it is.
I know when I went to Summit I climbed a mountain, worked out, sweat, hugged, raced, and took in some amazing views, but the core of the experience came from the people. The people are what I won’t forget no matter where I go in life, from NP_BAL and all over. So thanks, November Project, for being what I decided on.