Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All-Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in the city who consistently and diligently make it shine. Each week, a new member will join the team – based on your recommendations – and at the end of the year all will come together in a Rally of the Raddest Milwaukeeans. We're not sure what that means quite yet, so for now, meet …
Ben Schwabe knows that it's tough to get in shape by yourself. That’s why he’s involved in November Project Milwaukee (NP-MKE), a fitness group that originated in Boston in 2011 and is now in cities across North America.
Schwabe is this week’s All-Star because he works to make other Milwaukeeans shine.
"By bringing people together from all walks of life, we make it easy for people to get in shape and stay in shape," says Schwabe. "November Project forces people out of their comfort zones and inspires them to do things they never thought possible. We work out all year long, rain, shine or snow."
OnMilwaukee.com / Too Much Metal: How long have you been doing your thing?
Ben Schwabe: I’ve been co-leading November Project Milwaukee for about a year, since last April.
OMC / TMM: Why do you do what you do?
BS: As a leader of NP-MKE, my main goal is to get people moving and bring free fitness to as many people in Milwaukee as possible. I want to make people smile and encourage them to pursue their fitness goals. From the couch potato to the jogger to the fitness enthusiast, everyone can set goals and achieve those goals.
We're here to help them along the way and provide them with a little motivation. Every week DG (Dan Graham, co-leader and founder of NP-MKE) and I try to come up with fun, new ways to get people moving. I'm inspired every day by these people and their stories. They make me a better person and I just want to give back to the community that I love.
I love the city of Milwaukee and want to make it a better community. If I can help somebody run their first 5k, a personal best marathon or just make somebody's day better, I'll consider what we're doing a success.
OMC / TMM: What neighborhood do you live in?
BS: Avenues West on the Marquette Campus.
OMC / TMM: What time of year / season is your favorite in Milwaukee and why?
BS: My favorite season in Milwaukee is fall. There’s post-season baseball (every once in a while), bonfires and Oktoberfest. Not to mention absolutely perfect weather.
OMC / TMM: What's your favorite / or least favorite smell in Milwaukee?
BS: My favorite smell, hands down, is the smell of yeast on brew days at Miller Valley.
OMC / TMM: What's your hope for Milwaukee?
BS: There are so many things I hope Milwaukee can become. I would love to see Milwaukee use its diversity as a strength and build a better city together. I also hope to see Milwaukee become a more bicycle-friendly city. Mostly, though, I hope to see Milwaukee become a more fit city. We’re a city full of vibrant, active people and plenty of beautiful parks and scenery to take advantage of; it’d be a shame to waste such beauty by holing up indoors in front of the TV.
OMC / TMM: When / how did you fall in love with Milwaukee?
BS: As a kid, I went to a lot of Bucks games with my Dad. I can still remember running down 4th St and passing Miller Bakery as we headed to see the "Big 3" play. That’s when I fell in love with Milwaukee.
OMC / TMM: What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
BS: My guilty pleasure is the salted caramel chocolate bars from the Public Market.
OMC / TMM: Name a Milwaukeean you would like to high five.
BS: I would definitely like to high five Bob Uecker. The man is a living legend and a baseball icon. I’d love to see him at a November Project workout and I’d be willing to bet he’s freakishly in shape. Speaking of freakish, I’d also like to meet Giannis Antetokounmpo. He embodies what Milwaukee is all about: hard work and humility.