I will plank forever if I can do it alongside these people. Though this particular plank was being done in a little alleyway near Penn Station, and I think I got a little bit of hepatitis that day.

This Endless Positivity

Date: August 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 64

I can’t stop bouncing and wiggling today.

As soon as I finished my workout this morning, I’ve had this nonstop energy that I can’t burn off. I figured I’d hit an afternoon slump, but it never happened.

At the start of this morning's "PR Day" workout. Already bubbling and bouncing.

At the start of this morning’s “PR Day” workout. Already bubbling and bouncing.

Instead, I jammed my way through my shower and getting-ready routine, bopped on the subway, and actually danced down 14th Street to my office. Then I sat in my chair at work all day, blasting iTunes previews (I CAN’T COMMIT TO BUYING AN ENTIRE SONG SOMETIMES AND I LIKE TO PONDER IT FOR A WEEK OR THREE FIRST…Brian finds this quality of mine “charming” and “so annoying” and “oh my god it’s $1.29, please just buy it so I don’t have to hear 90 seconds of the same song over and over, why are you being so cheap?”) and begging my coworkers to have dance parties with me. And then I ate a bunch of Starburst, so I had even more energy. I am probably annoying the piss out of people who have to deal with me. So sorryyyyyy.

During my commute, I felt like Christopher Walken in that music video from that thing with the people (Moby?), but with more style, i.e. sweet janky white girl shimmy shakes and a very stiff lower body. But yeah, I’ve had this bouncy energy and I haven’t ever done coke or drank coffee before, but is that what it’s like? Is this coffee? Because it sounds awesome. I want this forever.

HAPPINESS & JOYS.

HAPPINESS & JOYS.

I am absolutely brimming with happy energy and positivity. I have this hopefully infectious joy running through me at all times lately, and I do not hate it.

Let’s go back in time.

This is "back in time." See how some people are wearing long sleeves and aren't as naked as people are during these nowadays?

This is “back in time.” See how some people are wearing long sleeves and aren’t as naked as people are during these nowadays?

As you may know, this wasn’t the case for a long time. It was the opposite case. The saddest little case.

I was sullen, depressed, frustrated, and miserable. I knew the root of my problem — being sick — and since I didn’t feel I could control my disease, I chose not to bother trying to control my mindset either. I coped the way I wanted to cope, not the way I knew I should cope, and I allowed myself to bask in my night-sweaty misery.

Eventually, as my health took a major turn, my mentality followed suit. The shift came in the springtime, and suddenly everything was in bloom. Some of my abandoned optimism was returning.

Being able to run again of course made a monumental change in my outlook and my well being. But duh.

Being able to run again of course made a monumental change in my outlook and my well being. But duh.

The new job certainly helped. The new atmosphere, new commute, new lunch options, wonderful new coworkers — it was all crucial, and all played a part in helping me return to my [cheesy phrase alert] best self.

But I was still my old stressy self in many ways, freaking out about such minor things, like if Brian didn’t make the bed absolutely perfectly (last person out of the bed makes it — which is why I always set my alarm for five minutes before Brian’s), or if I left the apartment oh-so-slightly later than I’d hoped for work, even though no one really cares what time I get in so long as my work gets done. And of course, at the time, these freakouts were warranted and not at all crazy! Oh, Ali…

But, like I said, things shifted. Slowly in some ways, but seemingly overnight in others.

An especially influential shift for me came when I started attending November Project workouts. I fell hard and fast for this group.

With the cutest Emily at my first November Project workout. This is foreshadowing, FYI.

With the cutest Emily at my first November Project workout. This is foreshadowing, FYI.

I look forward to the Wednesday and Friday morning November Project workouts all week. I’m so happy to be there, and I’m sad when the workouts end and we all part ways to go about our busy days. I love this ever-growing community, and I just can’t believe that the people I’ve met are so genuinely good. It’s not a catty group, nor a cliquey group. It’s straight legitimate goodness. With some swearing. Exactly my style.

My first group photo. We are flexing, but I don't know why. Because the group is strong? They call the groups "tribes," and they say stuff like, "The tribe is strong." So that's probably it. I wasn't strong then, though. I was so out of shape, and so weak, and so frustrated about it.

My first group photo. We are flexing, but I don’t know why. Because the group is strong? They call the groups “tribes,” and they say stuff like, “The tribe is strong.” So that’s probably it. I wasn’t strong then, though. I was so out of shape, and so weak, and so frustrated about it.

[I know I'm repeating myself a bit here from previous posts, but is that OK? Can I hype just once more, and you'll stick with me? Maybe even come to a workout or 12 with me to find out for yourself? Thanks.]

Each Wednesday, the co-leaders (John and Paul) select someone worthy to win the Positivity Award.

John (left; he's my coach) and Paul (right, with the high socks) presenting the Positivity Award at my very first November Project workout.

John (left; he’s my coach) and Paul (right, with the high socks) presenting the Positivity Award at my very first November Project workout.

It’s all about the good attitude, the support, the positive vibes you bring to the group. I tend to complain a lot during the workouts because running the bridge is so hard, and burpees are the worst, and on PR Day we have to run fast, and I just want to play and dance.

This is Steve, and he won the Positivity Award one week. He is one of the nicest people I know. We are coworkers! But he works at JackRabbit's Brooklyn store, so we never ACTUALLY work together. Sad.

This is Steve, and he won the Positivity Award one week. He is one of the nicest people I know. We are coworkers! But he works at JackRabbit’s Brooklyn store, so we never ACTUALLY work together. Sad.

Needless to say, I was overwhelmingly shocked to receive the Positivity Award last week, in front of 100+ of my newest and dearest friends. (I was also terrified, because the award is handed off with a gentle toss from one week’s winner to the next, and catching flying objects in front of a live audience is one of my great fears, like hairless cats and Stonehenge.)

AND IT'S GOOD! GOAL!

AND IT’S GOOD! GOAL!

I wasn’t in a good place when I started attending NP workouts. I went because I was healthy enough to exercise, but my head was still in a very negative space. (Did I really just write “my head was in a negative space?” Who am I? Is this the yoga talking? I should start swearing more in this post so you know it’s still me, Ali.)

It's all about that fitness. See that guy running in front of me? His name is Brian. He did the second half of my long run with me a few weeks ago. We ran from the Brooklyn NP workout back to the Upper East Side, and I actually complained the entire time. I was so cranky. And he just laughed and told me stories and was nice about it. I love him. He proposed to his now-fiancé after a November Project workout. ROMANCE! LOVE! BABIES!

It’s all about that fitness. See that guy running in front of me? His name is Brian. He did the second half of my long run with me a few weeks ago. We ran from the Brooklyn NP workout back to the Upper East Side, and I actually complained the entire time. I was so cranky. And he just laughed and told me stories and was nice about it. I love him. He proposed to his now-fiancé after a November Project workout. ROMANCE! LOVE! BABIES!

I went to these workouts to do just that: work out. But along the way, I’ve found so much more than good sweat. I’ve found this whole world I didn’t know I was missing, and that I didn’t realize I needed. It’s this endless cycle of happiness, of support, of positivity, and of really motivating energy. I have had a wonderful network of incredible friends since moving to New York City, but this group gives me a big something extra.

Aggressive cheering/high five station at the Mini 10K a few weeks (months?) ago. It was a blasty ol' blast. Is that a phrase? Let's make it one? Fetch.

Aggressive cheering/high five station at the Mini 10K a few weeks (months?) ago. It was a blasty ol’ blast. Is that a phrase? Let’s make it one? Fetch.

When Paul presented me with the Positivity Award, he talked about how I’ve made an impact on the group since the first workout I attended, and how I’ve had a great attitude the whole time (he must not be around when I’m trying to get out of doing burpees and opting for half-assed tricep dips instead). He also mentioned my dance moves, and it’s nice to know that those have made an impact as well.

NP DANCE PARTY. Can you find me?

NP DANCE PARTY. Can you find me?

The second my dear friend Emily tossed that stick my way (yes, I caught it!), I felt changed. And yes, I am fully aware of the cheesy sentiments behind everything I’m writing today, but I hope by now you know I’m really being genuine and not making this shit up or exaggerating.

One of my best girls, Ms. Emily. Nice bum on this one, amiright?

One of my best girls, Ms. Emily. Nice bum on this one, amiright?

Getting the award was validation. I’ve wanted to be my “old self” again. I wanted that girl back for so long. And now I was getting publicly recognized for being outwardly happy, positive, and a good influence.

November Project and its people…they are game changers. They turned me around, and they brought me back to life. I may have seemed happy and psyched at that first workout, but I wasn’t. I was forcing it, hoping the positivity would follow suit. I don’t have to force anything now.

Let's go to work, little wooden stick! You can learn about shoes and races and marketing!

Let’s go to work, little wooden stick! You can learn about shoes and races and marketing!

My NP friends have made me laugh on my sad days, and they helped restore the confidence I came back lacking. My fitness was shit when I went to my first workout in May, and I barely made it over that bridge once. On my first PR Day, I completed the workout in a little more than 21 minutes. Today, I finished in 17:50.

My new friends have supported me, pushed me, and reassured me that “you can do this,” when I am definitely thinking, “No, I can’t, and you suck, and you’re so fit, and I’m a wimp, and I’m horrible, and I’m dead.” They believe in me every single day. This kind of support, especially once you venture into adulthood, is rare and special, and I feel so fortunate to have found it. It is a judgment-free zone, like Planet Fitness, but it’s free and there are no elliptical machines. My dad goes to Planet Fitness. He loves the elliptical machine.

This is Lucy. We clicked immediately. I text her hourly. At least.

This is Lucy. We clicked immediately. Now I text her hourly. At least.

When I first heard about the Positivity Award, I thought the concept was cute, if a bit gimmicky. Cheesy, even. Such gouda. But that wooden stick completely affected me this past week.

I carried it with me everywhere.

It was a constant reminder to be kinder (that rhymed), more empathetic, to friends and strangers alike. I wasn’t a total dick on the subway. I held more doors for people. I rushed less. I think maybe my posture was better. That might have been unrelated, and more tying back to some underboob chafing issues. I don’t know.

The Positivity Award made me a better person. It made me more positive.

BIG SMILES, BIG HAPPY. Sometimes writing captions is hard.

BIG SMILES, BIG HAPPY. Sometimes writing captions is hard.

I passed the award on this morning to someone incredibly worthy and amazing (an honor in itself), but I still have an imaginary stick with me at all times. I will name it later. (Maurice. Space cowboy.)

I was told my toss was "aggressive." My bad. Not an athlete. Can't play sports. Throwing is hard.

I was told my toss was “aggressive.” My bad. Not an athlete. Can’t play sports. Throwing is hard.

The best part?

It was only a few weeks ago that I was still hating myself, frustrated with my abilities and my misbehaving body. I worked to regain my confidence, and along the way, I let this group of once-strangers bring out the best in me.

I will plank forever if I can do it alongside these people. Though this particular plank was being done in a little alleyway near Penn Station, and I think I got a little bit of hepatitis that day.

I will plank forever if I can do it alongside these people. Though this particular plank was being done in a little alleyway near Penn Station, and I think I got a little bit of hepatitis that day.

I have this huge NYC family now. I have so many “I’ll be there for you no matter what” people to call on that it’d be hard to choose an In Case of Emergency. (You’re my #1 always, Bailey.)

Thanks for bringing me back, NP. I’m practically dripping positivity (no, that’s sweat), and it’s the best feeling I’ve known in years. Really. Years.

If you're thinking, "Ali, is everything staring at you and laughing at you because you told a humorous joke?" the answer is no. I said something wicked stupid, and they're mostly rolling their eyes at me, but in a polite way.

If you’re thinking, “Ali, is everything staring at you and laughing at you because you told a humorous joke?” the answer is no. I said something wicked stupid, and they’re mostly rolling their eyes at me, but in a polite way.

In my next post, I will try to do some sarcasm and complaining and swearing, lest you think I am crapping glitter ’round the clock over here.

J/K THAT IS WHAT I’M DOING, GLITTER AND RAINBOWS AND MINI PONIES. And giraffes. And sloths. Maybe a baby harp seal, too.

I will always say that I hate having Crohn’s disease. And I do. It’s a real bitch. (There’s the swearing!) I hate what Crohn’s has done to my body, and I hate the way it’s affected my loved ones. But man, those shitty times it brings really really really do make me love these kickass times.

"Let's look serious," they said this morning. But I couldn't do it. I was too excited for sass.

“Let’s look serious,” they said this morning. But I couldn’t do it. I was toooooo happy.

So I guess it’s not all bad.

I’m no longer mad at my disease. How’s that for positivity?

Walking off into the sunset. Or to the start of the workout. Same place.

Walking off into the sunset. Or to the start of the workout. Same place.

DO YOU WANT TO PLAY A HAPPY GAME WITH ME? Something I like to play with my coworkers is “tell me three feelings you are feeling right now.” One of my [male] coworkers was appalled by this. His response: “Three feelings?! There are only three feelings that exist!” According to him, there is only happy, sad, and angry. Can you name more?

Comments (64)
 
Happy, shiny people in neon. Love this group so much. Join us!!!

A WednesDAY In The Life

Date: July 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 66

Haha. WednesDAY. So this blogging thing. Eesh. I’ve been not awesome about it, which is sad (probably only for me) because I’ve had plenty to share. I’m training for a marathon! I have a coach! I’m the healthiest I’ve been […]

 
During the July 4th class, Instructor Terri made the best playlist and it included "Party in the U.S.A." My yoga is more fun than your yoga, probably. But it can be OUR yoga if you want to come with me!

Adjustments

Date: July 8, 2014 at 9:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 59

I’ve been wanting to write for a while. A big reason I haven’t been posting — so much for that “groove” I thought I’d hit — is that I simply don’t have time. A bigger reason for the absence is […]

 
JAZZ HANDS JAZZ HANDS JAZZ HANDS. You would not believe how often I have to explain to people the difference between jazz hands and spirit fingers. It's ridiculous.

Fairfield Half Marathon Recap

Date: June 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 38

All my life, I’ve never been big on spontaneity. I tend to enjoy well-laid plans and have a keen ability to follow through. Life according to plan is what thrills me. That’s changed quite a bit over the past two […]

 
OH LOOK, ANOTHER PHOTO OF ALI PICKING HER BUTT. Why is this my standard now?

Perplexing Thoughts

Date: June 17, 2014 at 10:44 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 53

I’ve been doing some really deep thinking lately, pondering some of life’s greatest mysteries. Malaysia Flight 370. KONY 2012. (What ever happened with that, other than the guy who made the video getting busted for doing…ya know…in the middle of […]

Posted in NYC and tagged , -
 
Each workout ends with a group photo and there's usually some sort of theme or pose. In this one, we were supposed to make an "F" with your hands, standing for FRIDAY, but I am advanced and I can spell "BLOOD" with my fingers, so I did that. I'm not usually a rule breaker, so this was pretty ballsy.

Why I'm So Glad I Gave The November Project A Second Shot

Date: June 11, 2014 at 11:32 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 63

Back in November (October? What was the actual date of that party, people? Party people.), I was at the Runner’s World New York City Marathon party, and Brogan Graham gave a speech. Speech = he made everyone at the party […]

 
My first job in NYC had a tiny little "break room" where you could eat your lunch. In that tiny little break room was a tiny little window, and from that window you could stare out at the Brooklyn Bridge. I adored it.

21 Questions

Date: May 30, 2014 at 11:18 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 40

You’ve been a great audience lately: You’ve stuck around when my posts were miserable and unhappy, and you were there waiting when I was ready to come back and try to bring myself back to life. My posts have either […]

 
I suppose I can say why people move to Vermont. It smells so good and fresh, and check out those views! (To think I grew up just next door and didn't appreciate "the country" at ALL.)

The Rise From Rock Bottom

Date: May 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 56

The nice thing about having a blog is that — if you actually update it regularly — it allows you to look back on the past and quite vividly remember what you were going through or how you were feeling […]

 
Do you notice anything different about me? LIKE MAYBE MY SHOES. Those aren't Brooks Adrenalines, folks. Those are PureFlows. I tried them out for the first time on race day, because you're supposed to try everything new ON race day.

Bridgehampton Half Marathon Recap

Date: May 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 50

Two races in two weeks! Dare I say this just might be becoming a running blog once again? As you may recall (because I refuse to stop reminding people), my first-ever marathon was the Hamptons Marathon. I had the best […]

 
This is the tree about which I am talking. (Sometimes proper grammar sounds really stupid, doesn't it?)

29

Date: May 6, 2014 at 11:16 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 74

Last night, my BFF Michael came over to deliver some wonderful treats. She’s a great friend and an excellent neighbor. One of the magical treats was a huge bag of Starburst. She knows what I like. This morning, Brian came […]

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