Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let's Hug It Out: A Love Letter to November Project

Guys, it's come to my realization that most of my friends don't know how to hug.

Yeah, you read that correctly. They don't know how to hug. Some of my best friends in the ENTIRE world give those cute hugs that are more like little pats on the back. I love them to death, but that's not a hug.

Who knows how to hug? The November Project.

You're all, "Who is that? What is that?" The November Project is a self-described grassroots fitness tribe. If you're interested, I'll point you in the direction of its website. It can explain itself better than I can. Here's my version: If you jump on board, you'll be getting out of bed at 5:30am three days a week, running stairs and hills, and doing burpees all over Boston. It's a little crazy and a lot of fun. And as I always say when people ask me about it, "it's a really f***king good workout." (Pardon my language.)

As anyone who's ever been to a workout (or read the cover story of Runner's World) knows, NP is big on high fives and even bigger on hugs. Forget handshakes. Just forget them. You have to be cool with hugging strangers, because every workout starts with giving out hugs and saying to complete strangers, "I'm glad you're here." At first I was all whaaaaaat. But I went along with it, because I was there for the workout.

Something has changed for me. Because now when I say it, I mean it.  I am happy to be there. I'll say it again. I am happy to be there. I am happy to be in a park doing burpees in the snow, I am happy to be playing Sharks and Minnows on a basketball court, I am happy to be running to Tufts for #DestinationDeck (FYI, that was an 11 mile round trip run), I am happy to be running the stairs at Harvard Stadium and dripping sweat on the way home.

Because I'm so glad to be there, when I say "I'm glad you're here," I mean it. And I always appreciate a good bear hug.

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