Surprise Appreciation Day (BAL)

This is not a joke – the tribe legitimately surprised us. Nick, Pat, and I were completely caught off guard as almost one hundred individuals ran through the park with our faces mounted on plates (also dressed like us) screaming and cheering. “Today is Leader Appreciation Day!” they said. Tears may have been flowing. And because of that, the three of us wanted to take this blog to share our appreciation for you: the November Project Baltimore tribe.


I’m going to preface this by saying, whatever I drone on about in the following sentences won’t even come close to summing up this morning. I just spent 30 minutes trying to figure out an adequate instagram post, then realized it was impossible so I ate some scrapple and went to work. 

As some of you know on Monday night I had the opportunity to speak to the Baltimore City Council about November Project. It was a proud moment for everyone I think and a good marker of what our tribe has started to accomplish in the city. However, standing in front of a group of people in suits and ties attempting to explain NP turned out to be exceedingly difficult and humbling in many regards.

The reason it was  so difficult was pretty much summed up this morning. I can’t stand in front of a bunch of government officials and explain why 75 people charging up a hill with paper plates, dressed in neon is special. I don’t have enough time or vocabulary to explain why hugging someone at 6:30 in the morning makes your day better or why having a chance to scream profanity somehow brings people closer together. I can’t explain why Uptown Funk is special to me, I can’t explain why breakfast will never be the same, I can’t explain why bouncing feels great or why a wooden oar handle can make someone’s week. Honestly…I’m not even sure I can explain in words why the tribe keeps showing up. It’s just a fact, like gravity or leotards.

What I ended up telling the City Council was that they needed to #justshowup. It wasn’t my best speech, not my most moving oratory, but it brought me to an important conclusion. All of these tiny moments can’t  truly be explained, photographed or written about. You just have to be there. I am so incredibly thankful for all of you and for the occasional reminder that all of this matters. Thank you guys for being there and thank you for creating something so unbelievable and letting me be a part of it. Keep spreading joy, keep growing the family and per usual…

Keep taking big bites out of life.

There are a dozen things I want to say and this may be neither the time nor place nor context to do so. But all I can say to each and every one of you is: thank you. Thank you for your positivity and smiles each and every morning. Thank you for being a light and a force to be reckoned with in this world. Thank you for your genuine nature and kind words. Thank you for being a kick-ass bad-ass crazy person that I love. Thank you for providing me with a community to call home. Thank you for making our dream a reality. Thank you for sharing YOUR dreams with us. Thank you for the text messages, the photos, the emails that brighten my day. Thank you for challenging me to be a better athlete, leader, and overall human on this earth. Thank you for letting me look forward to you each week. Thank you for dancing and cheering and hugging. Thank you for making me become a morning person! Thank you for the words of encouragement and your #hotpantsvanhorn leggings. Thank you for hanging out outside of NP. Thank you for allowing me to cry over you, as I sit here doing right now. Thank you tribe, for simply. being.  you.
Loving you always,



When my alarm jolted me awake at 4:40 this morning, I’ll admit, I wasn’t happy. It’s easy to lose sight of the significance of what this community – your community – is doing for this city during the weekly grind.

But days like today are a reminder of the beauty that exists in each one of you that November Project brings out of us. And most of the time, it doesn’t take an incredibly well-coordinated and extravagant performance like today for me to recognize it. What brings me joy from today is knowing the community that has been nurtured and molded outside of Wednesday andFriday mornings to make days like today happen. It’s the ridiculous thread of Facebook messages and texts, or the get-togethers on weekends or after work to really get to know one another. This tribe has developed friendships and relationships, celebrated the impending arrival of a new life to this world, and consoled one another through deaths and dark days. And it continues to do so long after the workout ends at 7:30AM. That’s the beauty of all of this. I’m all for ridiculous antics and hips-in hugs at 6:30AM in the morning, but what I really crave are the deep relationships beyond those early morning workouts that you have all brought me. So thank you, thank you, thank you.
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