The Grey Zone

It often feels like the pressure of black and white answers, opinions, and performances weighs heavily on our shoulders, yet we all know that most of life seems to happen in the grey zone.  We learn a new skill, set a new goal, or try out a new fitness trend, and it takes some time and practice to get to a point where we feel confident in adopting that new “whatever” in to our identity.  Many come to NP as “NOT runners” or “NOT huggers.” “NOT sprinters” or “NOT push-up-ers.”  NP brings us in to the grey zone where we get tricked in to running, maybe start to look forward to sweaty hugs from strangers, feel our knees driving closer to our chests while our legs move a little  faster than on our last solo run, or find ourselves pushing the ground away from us in to a plank position.

We often say NP is more than just a workout group, and it’s times like these that that statement rings truest. We are not always in the most positive, most fit, happiest states going in to NP mornings. Sometimes we sit in a grey zone of hardship in some form and show up to feed off others’ energy and positive vibes. Sometimes we sit in a grey zone of a semi-injured state and show up to be inspired by others’ journeys through injury. What ever grey zone you have been in or sometime will be in, this community is here for you with unyielding support, connection, and love.

November Project San Diego

We wore grey today- the color of brain cancer awareness- to honor the vibrant life of NP-Los Angeles’ member, Sean Early. For more about who Sean was, NP-LAX co-founder had this to say about him:

When I started November Project in LA I had no idea that these people showing up to these workouts would change my life and make me a better human. This morning we lost one of those very people that I can say whole heartedly contributed to helping me become the more confident man I am today. Sean Early you probably had no idea how your awesome taught me and so many others what it means to be a good human. Being insecure with my own sexuality, NP would educate me and bring forth all these amazing people from the gay community that broke down these stereotypes I had crafted. When Sean showed up one Wednesday morning I was immediately enamored with this phenomenal human being. You have no idea how much I looked up to you in the effortlessness that is you. Here is a gay man that navigates through his life with sheer confidence, no fucks given on what people think, and my god, the generosity. Generous with his smiles, his laughter and not to mention his cookies.  He always listened as he always cared about people. Not to mention he was a fierce fucker who would smoke you up the Hollywood Bowl stairs yet graciously encourage you to push harder. He was always kind, honest and brimming with light. This is just a see you later my friend because we’ll always remember you in those little moments. Thank you for #justshowingup!

A post shared by Orrin Whalen (@owhale) on

Looking out this morning in to a sea of grey that is usually filled with various neon colors also reminded me that when our inner lights may be dimmed, this tribe will always be there to hold space, hug tightly, and fan the embers to get our fires burning brightly again.

Remember, “Fuck them, be you.”

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