Yes, and…

I once won an award in fifth grade for writing a poem my teacher, Mrs. Sattler, enjoyed and another award in seventh grade for just being on the middle school basketball team. What I’m trying to say, guys, is that I’m no stranger to awards. But putting my bragging rights and my history of decadent medals aside, this wooden club, this positivity award from the November Project couldn’t make me prouder.

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The morning Andrew offered me the honor of the NovPro Positivity Award I caught so many good vibes I thought I was going to sneeze out leprechauns. I rode the Friendship Train on the redline to work that morning where the conductor said things like, “You are doing great, Chicago” and “I appreciate all the teamwork this morning” and “Good morning, welcome aboard the Friendship Train, we can accomplish anything” and IT BLEW MY MIND. I just sat in my seat, nodded my head, and whispered, “November Project”. We can accomplish anything. We can wake up early and move our bodies and cheer each other on for one hour two days a week and that positive reinforcement can last me for the remaining 166 hrs I’m not at November Project.

A lot has happened to me in my journey in life, in Chicago, in the past eight months, and in the only past month and a half that I’ve been participating in November Project. When my new found Craigslist roommate, Brenda, emailed me and asked if I wanted to join her Wednesday morning for a workout group, I said yes, because I’m am in a point of my life where I need to “yes and” (thanks, Second City improv training for the motto) to new experiences and relationships. She told me there were hugs. Okay. She told me there good people. Perfect. So, I went. I met another Calle/Callie. I hugged strangers that now only a month and a half later seem more like friends. I worked hard that morning and I felt great (re: so sore). These were my people. This is a tribe I can relate to and that isn’t something to ever forget. My life is changing right now. I have a lot to reflect upon and a lot to look forward to and Wednesdays and Fridays are two days I look forward to. Bettering yourself is not easy. Exercising is not easy. Emotions are not easy. Being open and vulnerable and happy are not always easy. Waking up at 5:30am sure as shit ain’t easy. But November Project and all the people associated with this group have made this the easiest hard project I have ever done. Because, like the Friendship Conductor on the CTA redline said, “You are doing great, Chicago” and “We can accomplish anything.”

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So, with all that to say, now I’m going to take this wooden club that I know all of your gross, gross sweaty November Project hands have touched and sleep with it in my bed, so we can all be closer than we ever thought we’d be.

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