Tribe Member Spotlight (ATL) – Stein Esser

Stein Esser

Age: 29

Hometown: Macon, GA

Lived in Atlanta: Since 2006

Atlanta Neighborhood: Cheshire Bridge

Occupation: Health Informatics Consultant

Biggest Turning Point in my Life: Last summer, I realized I needed to change. I was at a low point mentally that affected me in pretty much every facet of my life. When you have depression, it’s kind of like living underwater where the world around you is obscured but the thoughts in your head are amplified. The way I coped with these episodes was to mentally checkout, go on autopilot, and ride it out until I was able to surface to my normal state. But, by mindlessly going through the motions too often, I really felt like I lost my sense of who I was. Even though I am very fortunate to have family, friends, and a very strange little dog here in Atlanta who have all helped me over the years (whether knowingly or unknowingly), I recognized that I needed to make more of an effort to grow and get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to be true to myself but do it in a way where I become more kind, more positive, and more available to others.

I made it my goal over the summer to experience new things and to meet as many new people as I could. It was challenging (I’m introverted AF) but it led me to November Project Atlanta (née Fitlanta Movement) at the end of the summer. My sister, Coco, told me she went to a group workout at 6:30 am where they played rock, paper, scissors and then jumped around for 45 minutes. The skeptic in me definitely gave her a WTF face but she also said it was free, my apartment’s gym was going through renovations at the time, and my exercise regimen mainly consisted of eating a bag of tortilla chips and passing out on the couch when I got home from work. I showed up in late August, got (unexpectedly) welcomed with hugs by Christian and Alexa, and then proceeded to get my ass kicked by the workout. There was a sense of camaraderie (something that I hadn’t experienced in a long time) that was evident. Needless to say, I’ve been hooked ever since.

#WhyIShowUp

November Project has become an outlet for me to push myself and more importantly to make meaningful connections with other tribe members. I genuinely value the motivation and encouragement that they provide. Hopefully, I’m able to return the favor. Through it all, I feel like I’m back on that path to self-discovery.

That’s why I show up.

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