Today we take a moment to learn just a bit more about two people who chose to be members of our NPSD community. We all know life isn’t sunshine and rainbows everyday (even in San Diego) and these two both understand how life isn’t about being the best. It’s about how we persevere and just keep moving.
Just Keep Moving
Guest Blogger: Mark Cayco
Thinking about what to write for an essay, really reminds me of being back in school, which ironically is what November Project does for me in many ways. We have all heard the jokes and comparisons to “adult recess”, but it’s more. Much more…. Elementary school recess, high school physical education, adult gym memberships, all that stuff mixed with hugs, a jolting charge & change up to the daily routine and kind friendly people who are there consistently to get your body moving, blood pumping and sweat dripping. Why? What’s the point? Well, because movement is life.
I used to work ER and labor and delivery and I have realized that from the first fetal kick, to our last gasping breath, movement is a sign of life. When we run, bike, swim, hike, push, pull and jump we are moving to have fun and stay in shape so we can have a better quality of life. Whether it is to lose weight, lower cholesterol, get stronger or faster, we are trying to improve ourselves and it’s amazing to have others around to laugh, scream and cheer us on. There’s something very pure and selfless about the leaders and Tribes meeting early in the morning, no matter the weather to put in work. It’s not completely free however; they do want something from you…effort. When we are gasping for breath after a sprint is when we are most alive, blood flowing, sweat dripping and lungs crying for air- sounds a bit like childbirth, so yeah, movement is life…. Keep moving November Project!
Being a Badass
Guest Blogger: Lisa Miller
I always describe November Project as the group of friends I always wished I had. “The most positive badass group of people I’ve ever met.” Then I go on a rampage explaining the extreme fitness level of the people in the group. When whoever I’m talking to’s eyes get big and I can tell they are thinking “I’m not like that. That’s not the group for me.” Then I go on to say, “I’m a slow runner. I’m always at the back thinking ‘I think I can. I think I can.’ and I’m still part of the group.” I tell them they make challenging workouts feel like recess.
I absolutely love being surrounded by such amazing bad asses. And while I’m content being one of the slowest ones, I’m excited for this opportunity to share where I’m a badass. I’m a teacher. I teach 7th grade Math in the inner city. My school is absolutely amazing! 14 years ago, it was the most violent school in San Diego. Now it’s a beacon of hope for the community. We change lives! We have graduated 100% of our Seniors the last 7 years in a row. This year 35 of our Seniors (they were my 7th graders) received full ride scholarships from UCSD. 80% of our kids leave us enrolled in a 4-yr. University. The other 20% are enrolled in community college when they leave. I love being part of this amazing village. A village of teachers and staff that become part of our students lives. I love getting to watch them grow up into poised, respectful and hard working adults (they don’t start off that way as 7th graders).
The way we accomplish all of this is by an incredible amount of dedication and grit on the part of the teachers and staff. It is HARD. Teacher burnout is a real problem in this country. I won’t bore you with the statistics. But, it’s bad. I work in the hardest age group, hardest subject, hardest demographic in an exceptional school that expects more out of us than any other school. And that is how we get the results we do.
NP came in to my life at a time when I had very little social life. I worked ALL THE TIME. All of a sudden, I have this amazing supportive community of friends that I want to be around as much as I can. I leave the workouts floating high on positive vibes. I can’t always go because of my work schedule. So, I schedule Dr.s appointments in the morning so that I can go to the workout before. Shhhhh! Don’t tell.
I am so grateful to Shira, Eugene, everyone that came before and now Anna for dedicating so much of their time and energy for this incredible community. You really do make my life better. Thank you!