Sunrise?6K (YEG)

-20 degrees and a snowy dark path…pretty much the perfect conditions for a November Project Canada Sunrise 6K! Congrats to all of the tribe who ventured from their cozy nests this morning to share in community and a little running race.

Speedies Tyler and Jen took the #raceeverything titles today and many others hit PBs. Those are great measures of success. But for me, the more important measures of this morning’s success are that:

  • so many of you chose to #justshowup
  • hugs, laughter, high 5’s and smiles were abundant
  • families came together to share the experience
  • some of the best frosty, icicled faces were on display
  • out-of-town guests introduced their Edmontonian families to this November Project thing they do at home
  • we have built this amazing COMMUNITY that continues to overwhelm me.

Can’t wait to see many of you Friday morning as we celebrate Christmas together. Meet at the zoo parking lot at 6AM for a very special NP Canada workout. **Please leave your beloved pets at home for this one**

Some people think we are crazy for meeting Christmas Day but when we say every Monday, Wednesday, Friday we truly mean it! This community we have provides us each with something special and you never truly know the impact that just showing up has on those around us.

One of my favourite NP moments occurred our first at our first NP Christmas workout. I’d like to share the words of a tribe member who showed up for her very first NP workout Christmas morning. This is a great reminder as to why we choose to meet on Christmas.

In July 2013 I noticed on Twitter that the “new guy” coming to the Oilers was tweeting about some early morning workout thing.  Seriously?  If it wasn’t at some god-awful hour, I might consider working out with some random strangers.  I left for Italy later that month to play in a soccer tournament and spend some weeks “rediscovering” myself.  When I returned, the hype around November Project was growing.  I thought about going, but was a little bit nervous.  Nervous of what, I’m not sure. I guess of trying a new thing…a new thing that I was actually choosing to do, not because I “had” to, but because I “wanted” to.  

In late December, I set my alarm to get up for a Monday workout at the Legislature, but chickened out shortly after the alarm went off. On Christmas Eve I was sitting at home, alone, feeling a little bit sorry for myself. My son was at his dad’s for Christmas, and while I knew I had many friends who’s houses I could have crashed at for the night, I didn’t want to intrude.  Plus, there were these crazy November Project people who were planning on meeting Christmas morning to run stairs.  CHRISTMAS MORNING.  Now really, if the captain of an NHL team is showing up to run stairs at 6 am on Christmas morning, it MUST be something special.  

So on Christmas morning 2013, I made the walk to the Royal Glenora stairs.  It’s amazing how many excuses to turn around and go home you can try and come up with on a short 10-minute walk.  But as I made myself down the dark stairway and saw so many bodies huddled around at the bottom, on Christmas morning, I knew I couldn’t turn back.  I did the stairs, stayed for the picture, got a hug from Tanis and went home happy I had made the decision to go.  Whether I would return was yet to be determined…  

Fast forward to almost a year later.  Despite it being a year of injuries, I have run more than I have ever run in my life. I have signed up to run the Honolulu Marathon, something I have continually talked about always wanting to do and train for, but have never actually having the gumption to do it.  

November Project has encouraged me to quit talking about wanting to do things and actively taking steps to making things happen.

November Project reaffirms my belief in the power of community each and every day.

November Project has helped my transition from a world of doing things because I have to, to doing things because I want to.

November Project reminds me that we need to be accountable to ourselves and to those who support and encourage us.

November Project also is a reminder that the best things in life really are free.

Until next time…SMILE! J

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