We Can Do Hard Things. Alone. Together.

  1. We had an amazing group of badasses locally and across NP land accomplish some pretty legit running achievements this weekend
  2. Sometimes we decide to do hard things, and sometimes hard things decide to find us. In both cases we have to #justshowup
  3. We are going to have a lot of fun next Wednesday running 6k at Sunrise, taking gorgeous pics and sharing our personal stories – and free Brooks shoes are up for grabs

YETI 24 Hour Challenge

Over the weekend, several members of our NP Columbus family decided that they were not going to let the quarantine life take away one of their greatest joys – running. Morgan Green, Stephanie Baker, Anna Snyder, Miranda Kibler, Leather Kilburg, Michael Pawlus, Robin Dobler, Katie Montemayor, and John Kohlhepp set off on solo adventures where they were tasked to run 5 miles every four hours over the course of a 24 hour period, completing a total of 30 miles each. Some decided that the race challenge wasn’t enough, so they also opted to start their fun in torrential downpours, high winds and darkness. Some further decided that 30 miles wasn’t quite enough, and tacked on an extra mile to complete the 24 hour 50k. The level of fierceness can not be understated in this group!! I know more people have seen these efforts and are planning to run this coming weekend, too.


What made this experience so much more special, though, was how everyone running supported each other in the most NP way possible: with virtual high fives, fuck yeahs, hugs, encouragement and love. Even more special was an extended group of our family that wasn’t running the event, but joined in on the virtual support team to offer their own words of encouragement. Special shoutouts to Katy Hite (who also wrote up the spreadsheet to keep all of the runners on schedule), Laurie Bilovesky, Amanda Parks, Meg Brown, Don Morris, Meredith Bembenic, Stuart Kirk and Satkartar Khalsa. In the times we are living right now where in-person races/group gatherings are all postponed or cancelled, this was such a heartwarming moment to witness a family come together for a completely different race experience where people could still push the boundaries of what they thought was possible athletically, and have the support of an entire community to get them through the race.

Our family does hard things. Alone. Together.

Alone Together 24 Hour Relay

Separate from the YETI challenge taking place, former Grand Rapids NP co-leader Matt Swiontek and his wife Jess created, organized and facilitated one hell of an undertaking with the Alone Together relay. In two weeks, they went from inception to completion of an event that had over 40 teams toe the starting line virtually. Every team was required to have one runner logging miles during each of the 24 hours, with the option of logging a single mile each hour, or going all-in on an endurance feat to see what teams could rack up the most miles in 24 hours. As expected, when you get a bunch of NP people involved in an event, go big or go home becomes the mantra. I had a chance to join 9 other co-leads on a team that spanned three time zones, countless years of NP experience, and a high level of crazy all across the board. The experience was so reminiscent of some of the adventures I had during Summit (a group gathering that seems so quaint right now) and with many of the same peeps that made that trip so special, with the addition of new friends that I am thankful to have met and joined forces.

For most relays, teams are packed into a van, logging miles, sleeping among sweaty bodies all weekend, eating whatever food seems most appetizing, and surviving on little sleep. Well, we didn’t have the van, and I can’t speak to whether the others decided to cozy up with other sweaty bodies all weekend, but the rest remained mostly the same. We supported our crew with a 24 hour zoom call, did virtual handoffs with our city tags and stayed up until ungodly hours to make sure everyone was safe and supported on their individual relay legs. It was some of the most fun I’ve had for a race and really an amazing, supportive experience with exceptional humans. Peanut, Blais, Kayode, Kaitlyn, Nez, Tony, E Rolf, Burger, Mags. I love you all to death, and can’t wait until we can join forces in person for our next relay – vans, sweaty bodies, junk food, no sleep. All of it.

Our family does hard things. Alone. Together.

Life

Let’s face it, things are super weird for all of us right now. Some folks are going into work as essential workers and hitting the front lines of this disease head-on; and we are so thankful for their support. As the saying goes, we are glad you’re here. Many are working from home and adapting to a new normal for how to get things done. We are also glad you’re here. Others still have seen their lives upended with a loss of employment or reduced hours, and are just trying to figure out how to get by. Yep, we are glad you’re here. Some are facing even more challenging circumstances with the loss of loved ones, fighting Covid or other illnesses, and just trying to pick up the pieces, reassemble their lives, and adjust. We are so glad you’re here. Because no matter what your specific circumstance is, you are and always will be our family. We are in this together.

Our family does hard things. Alone. Together.

Annoucements

Next week, our entire 52 city global NP family will be participating in a Sunrise 6k as the Wednesday workout. Your challenge: run a solo 6k, starting or ending within 10 minutes of sunrise. Capture the moment in the way that is most meaningful to you, use Strava to document the run (it is free to download and use), and then write up a story to share with the NP world in the notes of your run. The best submissions will be rewarded with free Brooks running shoes – ten lucky winners in total. We will be running as individuals. Solo. But we will also be in this race with the support of the entire November Project community.

Our family does hard things. Alone. Together.

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