For Brian and I, everything about last night was unexpected and genuine. From my “poor sport” attitude surrounding a bike ride to Ballard that made no logistical sense (my house is in Fremont and Kaitlin insisted on meeting at Brooks only to ride back to Ballard; stupid!) to Brian’s legitimate anger when he saw a group of people recreating a bounce, we had absolutely no idea what was happening last night. Below, Brian and I have each written a small piece that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of our gratitude, but it’s something.
Brian – It’s hard to find words to express what this tribe means to me. Those of you who know me probably realize that if I was talking about this out loud I’d probably keep rambling on about it and explaining it in different ways until Casey chimed in and put everything I was trying to say in one perfect sentence.
This tribe has given me so much more than I ever could have expected. Anyone who wonders why I excitedly jump out of bed when my alarm goes off two hours before sunrise on a rainy and windy January morning and can’t wait to go hang out at Gas Works Park obviously hasn’t been to November Project. Starting my day with hugs and a bounce and an endless supply of sweaty smiles is a dream come true in the weirdest and most wonderful way. This tribe isn’t a workout group, this tribe isn’t a social club. This tribe is family. We sweat together, we laugh together, we struggle together. We gather at the starting lines together and we cross finish lines together. We are strong together, we are beautiful together, we are unstoppable together. A year ago we started something together, having no real idea where it would take us. Today we are stronger than ever and, although we have come a long way in this past year, we still have no idea where we can go. Together.
Casey – Some of you have heard this story because I love telling it. In January of 2015, Brogan Graham came to Seattle and threw down a pop-up workout at the Seattle Center. Following the workout, BG and I sat down for coffee. He asked me about my upbringing, my family, my friends, my work, my education, my athletic accomplishments, my athletic goals, and finally asked me if I was ready to start a tribe in Seattle. He put me on the spot and I stumbled. He cut me off and said, “It’s okay. You’re not ready.” I missed my chance.
BG and DC’s Kaelan Dickinson came back to Seattle on June 26, 2015 and put on another pop-up workout, this time at Gas Works Park. Again, following the workout, BG and I met for coffee. I was prepared this time around and told the big guy I was ready to take on the challenge. The following Wednesday, July 1, we began the pledge to join November Project. Eight Wednesdays went by, more than 100 members joined, and on August 26, one tribe formed. November Project Seattle.
I could not have predicted what this last year would become. I’m a better athlete, a better leader, a better friend, a better man. I’m a motherfucking morning person. None of it would be possible without November Project and the amazing community of individuals it has built. Last night was about Brian and I and I can’t thank you enough for that celebration, but November Project is about you. I don’t do it for the workouts (lol, obviously), or the photos, or recognition, or the lifetime supply of spray paint, I do it for the smiles on your faces, the sweat dripping from your brows, the high-fives, and those hips-in hugs.
Continue hugging your neighbors, continue loving this city, continue building this community, and continue to just show up. You’re doing something truly amazing. I love you all. The tribe is strong.