Today is our Birthday. November Project started 3 years ago today with two amazing men, and has blossomed into a beautiful, even more amazing, raging-with-life tribe of at least 3014 members in 16 cities in North America. #FreeFitness was a vision back then, simply an idea that they thought should be real for more people in this world. I mean, why shouldn’t people be able to wake up to their alarm clocks and get out of bed inspired about what is waiting for them. Not only their families, jobs, and regular lives of everyday, but also a collective of warm hugs, challenging workouts, and badassery* that motivates every one of us to live our regular lives with more focus, more intention, more purpose, more confidence, more pride…just MORE. Why the fuck not?
11.1.11 is the BIRTH day of November Project. It breathed life for the first time.
I’ve always found it interesting to hear tribe members reference the anniversary of joining NP as their NP Birthday. The first couple of times I heard it I thought it was fun, especially since we celebrate our life birthdays with BOOMs and hill rolling and crowd surfing (sometimes). But I thought about it more and more. It’s deeper than just announcing an anniversary, which is remembering the annual date on which an important event happened. No, birthday is about celebrating NEW LIFE. I get chills simply writing those words. How many times in your life have you ever experienced something so inspiring — so life-changing — that it makes your life new? The more I ask people about it, more and more, this is exactly what November Project does. It gives us hugs when some of us have no one else in our day-to-day life to hug us. It gives us clothes to wear and couches to live on when our apartments burn down. It gives us confidence to believe we are athletes when that’s never been a word to describe our identity. It gives us health and new physical capacities to overcome challenges we might have never dreamed possible. It gives the strongest and weakest of us, the fastest and slowest of us peers who challenge us to be better. It gives us a starting point for a life in a new city. It gives us a connecting point from our old city to always come home to. It gives us opportunities to wear costumes, sign up for races, make friends, go on dates, bring food, jump over things, somersault through things, push through things, cry, bleed, vomit, race everything, track your scores and your poops, and yell FUCK YEAH at the top of our lungs. These are the kinds of things that change who we are for the better.
November Project inspires us.
Inspiration is a cool word to explore. The dictionary defines inspiration in two ways: 1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something. 2. the drawing in of breath; inhalation.
Well I think we found a word to describe not only today as our big amazing #3014 Birthday, but this whole amazing movement. We are celebrating #WorldTakeOver, which really isn’t about NP being bigger than any other kind of fitness tribe, club, gym, or craze. #WorldTakeOver is about stimulating people to feel alive and motivated as they get fit together. It is also about giving everyone who cares to join this inclusive, welcoming, #JustFuckingShowUp movement new life, like breathing in for the first time. #3014 is one step in the ridiculous journey that is November Project World Takeover and I’m amped that it happened today. But hear this from me today and hear it clearly. NP World Takeover is not about NP being the coolest thing to be a part of. It is not about creating such a huge vibe that people begin to feel they can’t join, aren’t fast enough, fit enough, weird enough, or cool enough. NP World Takeover is about totally free, accessible fitness and community that changes people’s lives. It’s about a community where volunteers get up in the 4 o’clock hour to help DJ Phoenix (Laura Ingalls) to set up her equipment for the stadium workout. Where DJs, photographers like Dylan Ladds of Dooster, Kelvin Ma, and Samantha Goresh show up first and leave last to take more than 1000 Yearbook photos. Where everyone, everyone takes responsibility to recruit to crush our Boston goal of 814 (or 1000!). Where we have other tribes like local college athletic teams, adventure race teams, and running clubs bring their whole crews to train. Where tribe volunteers help in a million awesome ways to make the biggest day ever a real birthday party. Where creativity in dressing like birthday cakes and presents is just as important as crushing Robotman 1, 2, or 3.
When everyone’s lives are changed for the better because they’re feeling healthier, more fit, and more connected, then November Project will have taken over the world. We will continue to grow and make community impacts in more and more cities–this is BG and Bojan’s new job. We’ll keep celebrating birthdays until all tribe-leaders’ NP tattoos wrinkle and sag, and our success will be measured by lives changed as a result of showing up. This isn’t just a club, or a fad. It’s certainly not a cult. It’s a movement. And we are moving. As my good friends BG and Bojan say often…ONWARD.
Today is our birthday. It’s a great day. Go live and breathe as if today is the first day of a new life, because it is.
*badassery was not a word until today. Let it be known that today is also the birthday of the word “badassery.” It is a noun used to described the state of being a badass, often emulated by November Project tribe members simply being themselves.
Author’s additional note: so it’s been brought to my attention that badassery may have been a word before. That’s cool. Let’s keep using it wisely.Share via socials: