Taking the Bull by the Horns – Guest Blog

This week is a big week for NPYVR … Richard, our long standing/been here since the beginning co leader has had a life altering surgery … in that, he will no longer be able to procreate because that dude has babies coming out of everywhere! We all wish him a speedy recovery, but since you’re gone for the week … WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME FUN!!

We are always in awe of what our guest leaders come up with and tend to hang onto those workouts and use them again because they’re a perfect balance of radness and difficulty. We are pretty stoked to ask this individual up and just knew a theme would accompany him.

Without further adieu, a story about friendship and a mechanical bull…

Summit 4.0 ECSON … Richard Hortness, Melissa Garner (The MSA) and Graham Wickstrom … Reppin’ Vancouver, BC (also wearing our first pairs of Knockaround Sunglasses)

“People’s journeys to November Project start in different ways; word of mouth, working to achieve goals, finding place within the community. Mine did not, it started with constant nagging and a mechanical bull. My name is Graham Morgan Oscar Wickstrom, and and this how I got here.

I would like to think it’s true when one seeks out to achieve something, persistence can often out last resistance. Not in my case, when Mel (future Vancouver tribe leader at that point, but very persistent) first asked me to come and join NP Vancouver, it was a hard ‘no’. Not because I didn’t like the idea, more of I liked my own time better. Coming from years of working in film, I had come accustomed to cherishing my personal time from so much lost on finding nude body doubles at midnight for the next day amongst other things.

Mel tried, not in a guilting or annoying way, but every time I saw her she would at least once bring up, ‘Would you like to come up to November Project, give it a try?’ Again and again the answer was ‘no’, and Mel and I are friends for some time. She still has in writing from an ill fated trip to Las Vegas she gets my Batman onesie if I did not return, and I really like that onesie.

Then came the fateful day that comes upon all of us once a year, our birthday. In this case it was Mel’s, which started as any Canadian birthday does with alcohol and curling. Somewhere in all fun adult activities, she managed to bring up again, ‘Hey, do you want to come November Project?’ It was her birthday, so I said that was her present, I would finally come to November Project, then I got on that mechanical bull and I have not regretted it since.

Well, I do regret I didn’t last longer on the mechanical bull, but not going for the first time. It was a cold day which just happened to be by chance in November over 3 years, I came thinking I’ll be a stand to my word and go… and have been going ever since.

Between then and now, I have given as many crisp high 5’s, cheered others on as we did as many burpees as we could, and sweat because it was fun. After that day I said ‘yes’, it was hard to say ‘no’; I enjoyed the community, the idea supporting others to achieve better. I’ve met new friends almost every week and tried to inspire them as they inspired me.

The awesomeness I have met along the way from Fort Collins to Baltimore, Boston to San Diego and beyond, lives with me which I try to pass that along with every cheer and high five.

People start coming to November Project for many reasons, mine just happened to be a birthday promise I made on my way to a mechanical bull. Everyone’s reason is different, but it is fucking awesome all the same.”

We are the night … or really dark morning … Mel and Graham (guest leader)


Once again, an epic workout complete with the Batman voice and a onesie… Could you ask for a better morning? (And apparently two utility belts…)

Have a great week! Oh, and of course, FUCK YEAH!

Mel xo

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