Today is Dani’s ONE year November Project Anniversary!! Gefeliciteerd!!
It took her a while to join us, but we are so glad she did! Dani shows up with high spirits, smiling from ear to ear, colourful & sparkly, and ready to give it her all. You can wake her up for NP cheertunnels and is a pro at #runselfies.
This is Dani’s story of expat life in Amsterdam, finding community & confidence.
When I was living in Boston, you would find me running at one of the 3 run clubs I was a part of/led. I’d be at multiple races every weekend and I’d be surrounded by a BRF (Best Running Friend) or two at every turn. I LOVED meeting blog readers & motivating new people to get on the running bandwagon. Living the motto: “All Paces Welcome!”
But then my world was turned upside down.
My wife and I decided to move to Amsterdam when the opportunity presented itself and the plan went from a fun idea to a full-fledged relocation in less than 6 months.
When we opted to tackle the #ExPatLife, I knew it would be a new challenge, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was… as it still is!
I went from having a bunch of running friends around to literally nothing. We moved and I dove in to work. How could I not they paid to relocate us (and our dogs) to Europe?
But I was itching for a community – a sense of belonging. Okay also my wife was needing that for me as well. What can I say I am a little much with no other people to talk to?
To back up a little I struggled with self-love for a most of my life and during my fitness and weight-loss journey, I shed 80 pounds, started a blog and found a love – okay a compulsion – with running.
With a lack of community I was feeling lost. The adjustment to a new city… a new culture… a new job… a new country… sent me tumbling back to the girl who questioned everything.
Am I cool enough?
Do people want to hang out with me?
Will they understand how I like to run? (Please note that means a shit ton of selfies, smiles & sparkles)
So I spent hours stalking local fitness groups in Amsterdam on social media. Many didn’t match my philosophy of “All Paces Welcome!”
Where would my next family be? Who could fill the void of my #BeerRunners from Boston? Would they accept me even though I wasn’t a super fit, super-fast athlete?
Then I saw November Project Amsterdam.
We moved in January 2018 and it took me until September 2018 to build up the internal courage to just fuckin’ Show Up! Many mornings of setting clothes out the night before and then snoozing the alarm.
I had been messaging with NP AMS social media for weeks. Coming up with every excuse in the book. Then finally it was time. I pulled up my big girl panties and showed up to PR day the first week in September!
You know what happened?
I had a freakin’ blast! It was a smaller tight knit group that had people of all shapes and sizes, fitness levels and from all areas of the world. Of course there were even some Bostonians in the mix as well.
I had blown the entire thing out of proportion in my head… thanks anxiety!
But over the last year I couldn’t be more thankful for this Crew. While I haven’t been able to attend every Wednesday morning workout, every time I do my little happiness meter is recharged. You don’t realize how important seeing smiling, welcoming faces are until they aren’t your norm.
I can’t tell you how much a Goedemorgen followed by a FUCK YEAH can lift your spirits.
Not only has NP AMS started to mend this ExPat heart… it is giving me the sense of hope to keep dreaming… keep pushing… keep striving for the best version of me I can be. I’m even seeing my self-confidence and self-love on the rise.
One year in November Project Amsterdam & I can’t see myself anywhere else!