I read an article the other day about how we’ve been socially conditioned to treat people we don’t know as “other” and act as if everyone is out to get us and is actively trying to make our day more miserable. Think about it — by the time you’re old enough to walk, the concept of “don’t talk to strangers” has already been ingrained into your brain. Now I’m not going to dive into some philosophical debate about the demise of social cohesion in this country, but I think you can agree that most of America’s default attitude towards strangers is simply “stay away from me.”
And you know what? November Project is taking this approach to strangers and completely flipping it on its head. Instead of avoiding strangers, you are hugging them. HUG. GING. THEM. Like full-on, “I was able to get a rough estimate of the density of their hip bone, oh man this hug is lingering a bit longer than expected so I’m starting to nervous laugh a little bit” hugging. And there is so much beauty in that.
Take a look at today’s group photo at the top of this page. How many of those people did you know when you first started coming to NP? One? Five? ZERO? Take another look and tell me how many of those people are the ones you now spend a majority of your free time with, or grab a meal or coffee with once a week, or now share a bed with (#NP_relationships). Ten? Twenty? All of them?
A friend once told me “never underestimate the power of a smile.” I’m going to tweak that a little bit and say “never underestimate the power of a free, kickass workout with people who will push you to be a better runner, athlete, hugger, and all-around better person.”
November Project isn’t for everyone, and we’re okay with that. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take that joy and positivity that you leave every workout with and infuse it into other aspects of your life. So smile at a stranger. Say “thank you” to the bus driver and wish her a good day when you get off. Because a little bit goes a long way.
Oh, and tell them to get their asses to November Project.
- Congrats to Ay-ay-ron (you’re going to want to click that link) for winning this week’s Positivity Award. We’re going to get you into a race one of these days.
- The North Face Endurance Challenge Series comes to Washington D.C. this weekend. A bunch of us will be running over the course of the weekend, so if you’re free come check us out!
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