The Story of Colleen and Bob Scott (YEG)

On the surface, these two are responsible for creating our maple leaf stencil. However, the two of them (and their dog Kaiah) mean so much more to our tribe. If you’ve never looked to either of them for inspiration or support, you will after reading their stories. Take some time, and get to know our favourite power couple, Colleen and Bob Scott.

COLLEEN SCOTT

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I’ve been working out in the mornings for many years now. I love mornings for exercise. You get up, you do it, and it’s done. I didn’t want to be that person that had to buy a bungalow in my older years because I couldn’t climb stairs. We heard about NP from a friend. I was looking for different activities to do in the mornings and thought this would be a way to mix it up. I attended my first NP workout and was hooked. I was amazed that someone would offer free fitness during the early morning hours. This was exactly what I was looking for.  The enthusiasm, encouragement and warm hugs are worth the 5am alarm.

 IMG_2529.JPG“I didn’t want to be that person that had to buy a bungalow in my older years because I couldn’t climb stairs”

What I love most about this group is it’s all inclusive. Multi-cultural, young, old, slim, heavy, all fitness levels and even dogs are welcome. I have never felt out of place or that I didn’t belong. The workouts are as hard or as easy as you need them to be. Our life with NP does not end with those half hour workouts 3 times a week.  It just begins, with volunteer work, races and social events. I’ve seen NP people welcome others (that have family out of province) to their homes for holidays and birthday celebrations. It makes me smile to see such goodness and caring. When Bob ran his first marathon, there were many NP tribe members there to cheer him along and meet him at the finish line. It was absolutely amazing and we were both so grateful.

IMG_2533.JPG“I have never felt out of place or that I didn’t belong.”

There is no disputing that exercise is the best stress buster there is.  With Bob’s health issues I’ve dealt with a lot of stress these past few years. We are still in various stages of treatment for his cancer and the early morning workouts make it bearable and help to get rid of all that negative energy. I have never been so proud and amazed to see Bob’s transformation over this past year and a half. He used to be part of our “girl running group” but “us girls” can no longer keep up with him since he joined NP. He has pushed hard and achieved all his goals. Every day he inspires me to be better, to be stronger.

I can’t thank Nadim and Jen enough for all their hard work and selflessness. . They both spend so much of their own time, posting pictures, writing blogs and creating workouts. One or both are at every workout, cheering us on and shouting words of encouragement. There is nothing better than hearing “good job” as you run those stairs, or run those hills. I want to thank Andrew, for bringing November Project to Edmonton.  Andrew is all about giving back to the community in many different ways and is an inspiration to us all.

My hopes in sharing my story, is that it will encourage other people to come out to experience November Project and have it become part of their own story. This group has become so much a part of our life now, and I am forever grateful.

BOB SCOTT

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As a youngster through junior and senior high schools, I was a member of the track & field athletics team. My focus was towards the field events, as I did not have much of an interest in running.

Fast forwarding through 35 years of mediocre and sporadic physical fitness brings me to December 2010; it was at this time that my life would take dramatic turn. At the age of 50 I was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer and scheduled for surgery in February 2011. The next 16 months were spent rehabilitating from my surgery and monitoring my condition. After suffering a recurrence, I spent the summer of 2012 at the Cross Cancer Institute undergoing radiation treatment. It was after my radiation treatment and subsequent oncologists visits when I decided I needed to prepare my body and mind in case of another recurrence.

I changed my diet and supplemented it with an assortment of vitamins, minerals and herbs. I started doing some running and the odd boot camp with my wife Colleen and some friends of hers, mostly for recreational and therapeutic purposes. One of Colleen’s friends had heard about this thing called the November Project, and she suggested that we all go and give it a try. I was all for it, as it was something like this that I wanted to add to my routine.

So in September of 2013, we went to our very first workout with the November Project.  I remember parking in the lot below the Glenora stairs, it was still fairly dark as the days were getting shorter, and a younger guy approached me and asked where everyone was meeting. I said follow us up the hill to the Legislature grounds, and we ran to the top together. It was at that time that I realized that I was running and chatting with Olympic Gold Medalist, David Pelletier, and I suddenly realized the scope of what it was that I was heading for. It was completely overwhelming, not knowing anyone outside of our group, and being surrounded by people, media and celebrities. The workout was a deck of cards, push-ups, sit-ups, and sprints around the reflective pool. I hadn’t worked out that hard in many, many years. I was very rushed to get home and shower, in order to make it to work on time. While driving to work that first morning I reflected on what had just happened to me, and loved the feeling of invigoration, and loved the energy of the group workout. I decided that I was going to try it again. It was then that I began to search out on Twitter about how and where the workouts were to be and when. I immediately started following Andrew Ference, Jen Ference and Nadim Chin. It didn’t take long before other November Project Canada tribe members started to follow me. I loved the camaraderie, and loved how tribe members were reaching out to ensure that I knew where to go and when.

Beyond the obvious importance of Nadim, Jen and Andrew, there are about a dozen other people in particular that were very instrumental in my development as November Project tribe member and long distance runner. Two of the first people to reach out and connect were David Arsenault and Tanis Smith. I remember how impressed I was that Chris Hum had run a marathon in Hawaii, and his enthusiasm for others to run it again with him. I was always amazed at the speed in which Judy Garnier ran, or the strength that Cathleen Bell exhibited. I have just named a few, but know that all of you ‘Tribies’ have impacted me in one way or another.

IMG_2530.JPG“All of you ‘Tribies’ have impacted me in one way or another.”

With my stubborn, competitive nature, and witnessing the success of other Tribies, it drove me harder. After I decided against doing a marathon run in Hawaii with everyone else, I couldn’t get the thought of at least trying one marathon out of my head. So with a lot of thought, I took the plunge and registered for the Edmonton Marathon. After a very dedicated training program lasting 18 weeks, I ran my first marathon, and I ran it in under 4 hours, thus meeting my goal. To this day, it remains as one of my top achievements.

I never could have imagined two years ago that I could say today that I ran a marathon. And now, I find myself training for yet another marathon in Vancouver, and this time I have set a lofty goal for myself, I am attempting to qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Since those first days of discovery with the November Project, many things have happened to me. From establishing casual friendships with extraordinary people to running my first marathon. I have lost weight and kept it off, and I feel even stronger now than I have in my entire life. All along I am still battling my illness, this is why I choose to continue on with the November Project. I want to be as strong as I can for my treatments.

IMG_2534.JPG“I want to be as strong as I can for my treatments.”

I am honored and privileged to be acquainted with Andrew, Jen and Nadim. I commend all three of you for your tireless commitment to maintaining the free fitness ‘World Takeover’ here in Edmonton.

None of this could have been accomplished, if not for the ongoing encouragement from my biggest supporter, my Love, my wife, Colleen

I am never looking back, Fit for Life!

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