The NP (Nurse Practitioner) at NP, Meet Lee-Ann (YEG)

She’s a ray sunshine. Her kindness is matched by her determination. Seems fitting that Lee-Ann shares her story the day after Mother’s Day. Her two sweethearts have an amazing role model. Meet Lee-Ann!

I imagine every one of us can still vividly remember our first NP workout… I mean, how do you forget something as bizarre as that?! A friend had told us about NP, and Jorgen, with great foresight, determined that if we were ever going to try this free fitness movement out, it would have to be before the darkness and frigid temperatures of fall set in. And so we arrived at a random parking lot on the edge of the Ledge grounds one chilly Monday morning in August 2015. I remember sitting in our car in the empty lot at 5:50 am and thinking, “What are we doing here? Did we get the spot wrong? Should we just go home?” And then… the swarm descended😂 Piles of cars coming out of nowhere, pulling into the lot and then people piling out of said cars towards the infamous “pin drop”. So we followed… and soon ended up in a raucous whirlpool-esque warm-up led by Andrew, then told to “find someone you didn’t come with” and commence speed dating circuit training. I sincerely apologize for anyone that had to endure log roll partner push-ups with me that day- what a riot 😂 We survived the workout, posed for the picture, hugged “someone you didn’t come with” (pretty easy pickings for us newbies) and headed back home. I couldn’t walk for 2 days after… and I was hooked!

I’m not entirely sure what we originally had hoped we would “get out of” NP. But looking back on the last 3.5 years I am humbled at all that it has become in our life. Jorgen and I are incredibly fortunate to belong to a deep-rooted community that exists within his work family in Young Life. It is a faith-based group that is simultaneously tight-knit and widely inclusive. I didn’t think that such a group could exist outside of Young Life, until we found you. To our Young Life family, we describe NP as the “Young Life of the fitness world”, full of high fives and hugs and inclusion and acceptance and… a place to belong. I think that’s the thing that I value most about NP- each and every one of you by choosing to #justshowup, by choosing to step out of your comfort zone and meet a new friend, by choosing to be yourself and give your all and cheer like crazy at every workout- YOU create a space for people to belong. And that is something severely lacking in our culture today. 

NP has been a huge blessing to us. While completing my Masters, the availability, consistency, and accountability of the NP workouts helped keep me afloat amidst a sea of papers and clinical courses and exams (and the company was pretty decent too 😉 ). Technically, you could even say NP got me my first job as a Nurse Practitioner (you’ll have to ask me for the story in-person if you want it 😉). The workouts quickly became our #datemorning (date nights are so overrated, amiright?!) and I love the example that that sets for our girls: prioritizing our relationship, exercise, discipline, and community. Our girls LOVE coming to the workouts to pet your dogs, collect your high fives, and cheer on your sit-up reps (and very occasionally do a few reps themselves 😂). It makes my momma heart so happy to see my girls interact with such amazing humans. They say it takes a village… I prefer to say that it takes a tribe 😉

As a non-morning person, there are many times I want to hit that snooze button and skip the workout…. to which Jorgen always replies, “Well, I don’t want to die young, so I have to go!” Then I start thinking about how I’ll have total FOMO if I don’t #justshowup and usually the combination of these two motivators gets me out the door and to the workout, a decision I have yet to regret. 

NP has challenged me in surprising ways and helped me achieve goals I would’ve never openly admitted to having. Attempting the Old 96er twice helped me realize that I’ve always chosen “safe” fitness goals- ones that I know I can easily accomplish with minimal training or the point of which is just to finish without any actual time limits. Failing the Old 96er twice was humbling in a really great way. When I did finally crush it, I was both ecstatic and keenly aware of how much the encouragement, comradery, and coaching of fellow tribe members were essential components of that success. NP introduced me to trail running at the Boston Summit. Before that race the only kind of running I liked to do was chase a soccer ball 😂 

A few weeks ago it was that same kind of support that pushed me to try my very first run over 10k. I rounded the corner into Emily Murphy Park as the Croissant Club hooted and hollered when Mike Cameron proudly announced I had just completed my first 25km run!!!! Had you told me 4 years ago that I’d eventually run a half marathon, I NEVER would’ve believed you. That is the power of a movement, a community, a tribe of amazing people spurring one another on to accomplish great things both within and also far beyond the fitness world! 

NP Canada, thanks for being you. You have been such a gift to me, my marriage, and my family. We are so glad we chose to #justshowup , we only regret not doing it sooner!

Much Love from one of your friendly neighborhood NPs at NP (and her adorable fam jam),

Lee-Ann

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