Meet Brogan Graham, co-founder of the November Project, a free fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. It has since spread to 49 chapters, and thousands of people all over the world.
Brogan is also a new father. (Like me.) So, instead of focusing on the standard questions that Brogan usually gets on podcasts, I thought I'd ask him about the new adventures of being a dad, how that has changed his perspective, and what's next for him and the November Project.
There are a few things that make this podcast unique…
1. I met Brogan at 5 AM at the base of Cowles Mountain outside of San Diego. Cowles, as you can see below, climbs 1,591 feet, in about 1.5-2 miles. To put some perspective on that, my favorite trail run in upstate NY climbs about 1,000 feet in 4 miles. So, this was steep!
And we went up and down 4 times. (Not just Cowles, there were one or two other peaks in there.) So, if you like heavy breathing, you're gonna love this 🙂
2. The trail was single-track and rugged too. So, instead of running side-by-side, we went single-file. Because of that, I gave the podcast recorder to Brogan. You can hear him really well, but it may be difficult to hear me. Which is okay, because Brogan is the interesting one here.
3. Our last time up the mountain, I could tell that Brogan wanted to go faster than I could keep up. So, I just let him go with the podcast recorder, not knowing what he might say or do. Well, this is where the magic happens. (It's at about 1:14 into the podcast.)
It takes Brogan about 25 minutes to reach the top. (I'm much slower, following up about 7 minutes later.) And in that 25 minutes, you will hear what makes Brogan (and the November Project) so special. He is putting out. And as he flies up the mountain, you'll feel it. You'll hear his steps and his breathing. You'll hear a few places where the trail gets really steep. You'll hear the energy exchange between him and other people who, by this time, have come out for a morning hike. You'll even hear some Geronimo war cries.
This is what I had in mind when I started this podcast. You can get to know someone so much better on a run, than you can over a cup of coffee (or sitting across from each other in a podcast studio). So many of my best friends are people who I've gotten to know on a run, even when we weren't talking with each other, just running with our steps and breathing in sync…
Or even when we're not in sync, when one of us leaves the other in the dust, and then waits for the other with a big high five at the finish line. Which is what happens here. We shared an experience, the effort, the moment, and the morning. We got each other out of bed early and pushed each other when almost everyone else was still asleep.
I realize that a bunch of heavy breathing might not be for everyone. In which case, feel free to fast forward that 30 minutes of the episode. But if you want to share this moment with Brogan, if you want something to push you a little harder in your long run, if you want to be inspired to walk just a bit further, then these 30 minutes are for you.
Huge thanks to Brogan for sharing this morning with me, and all of us. And huge thanks to all of the November Project members who are also part of the Charity Miles family. Thanks to all of you for continuing to inspire us every day. #JustShowUp #EveryMileMatters