It’s been a tough year for all of us feels like an understatement. Many of us have gone through some sort of change in the past 14 months since we’ve last met in person – financial, emotional, mental | location, relationships, health | ways of communication, habits, hobbies – or all of the above.
I’m sure that many of you are longing for the days where you’ll be able to embrace your friends with a tight hug, high-five, or a fist bump. Unfortunately, there are still many uncertainties that are surrounding COVID-19 so until further notice, please make sure to refrain from engaging in physical contact with your fellow members before, during, and after the workout. Consequently, all workouts will be designed to follow this directive (no partner exercises, close encounters, etc.)
This is another NP staple that will have to take a back seat for a foreseeable future as having people in a tight space chanting and engaging in call-and-response is something that we don’t deem safe under the circumstances. We know that for some of you, the bounce is a great way to get into the mindset of the workout and we’re encouraging Co-leaders to come up with different creative ways to engage in introductions that will get you fired up to get going.
For those choosing to wear masks or a face covering while working out, we encourage you to participate at the level that is comfortable for you but please be aware that the mask can increase the workload and cause unnecessary strain on your body. If you are feeling light-headed, dizzy, or short of breath, please find a safe place to take a seated rest, slow your breathing, and hydrate. As always, locate a Co-leader and call your local emergency number if you are in need of medical attention.
Before starting the workout, all members (new and old) will have to sign an online waiver that can be found by visiting this link or in the website top navigation as well as the footer, in the link named “Waiver”. Participation in November Project workout will not be allowed without a signed waiver.
We understand that some of these things may not feel like the days of “old” November Project, but the beauty of this community is its willingness to adapt to the circumstances and make the best out of the situation in service of the greater good. We appreciate your help in making the re-opening of NP as seamless as possible.
It’s go time in ATL! Whether you are running or cheering, we got two days of going all out with November Project members from all over North America (Shout out to our Canadian friends visiting too). This weekend will have everything: World class athletes, TWO cheer stations, a Burpee Competition, Brooks giveaways, hugs, high-fives, The REAL BOJAN MANDARIC!
ATL, let’s get HYPE! On Saturday February 29th, U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials will be held in Atlanta. November Project has been selected to host an Official Cheer Station! The next day (Sunday March 1), we’ll be cheering on the even bigger Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half, & 5K. If you’ve never cheered for a race before, this is the weekend to start!
During the media event in New York this spring, we proudly announced Brooks as exclusive footwear and apparel of November Project. Brooks has been an integral part of November Project Seattle for years and we were incredibly proud to grow this local relationship and introduce it to the global NP family. And what a ride has been so far: We helped Brooks community, run millions of miles for an incredible cause. We earned some sweet swag during the Sunrise6k. Our leaders visited Seattle and Brooks HQ during the Meeting of the Minds. And in Las Vegas, we collectively put together one of the most memorable NPSUMMIT gatherings. And if this year was a taste of the things to come, 2020 will be incredible.
We’ve been friends and fans of Knockaround folks for many years but 2019 marked a designation of this brand as official sunglasses of November Project. Through NP Homework and a custom NP sunglasses that launched at the Summit in Vegas, it’s safe to say that the future is bright.
This year we added three new cities to November Project family. We kicked things off with the addition of the first city in France – Toulouse. A week after Toulouse, Rochester, NY, put New York State in the lead for the state with the most NP locations (5). The last city to join the NP family in 2019 was Columbus, OH, the sole representative of the Buckeye State!
When November Project became a non-profit organization, one of our long-term goals was to bring free fitness to youth. This year we partnered up with an organization called Playworks that provides structured recess in schools. In conjunction with Playworks, we launched a pilot program where NP members are volunteering in select Boston area schools and engaging students in physical activity and play. The learnings from this pilot that’s currently only available in Boston, will help us devise a plan for scaling and expansion.
Dr. Evan Johnson at the University of Wyoming Division of Kinesiology and Health and his team have launched a study to understand, investigate, and quantify how participation with November Project translates to physical activity habits outside of our early morning workouts. If you’ve attended at least one November Project workout within the past three months please help out with the research and fill out this survey.
MEETING OF THE MINDS
2019 gifted us the second annual Meeting Of The Minds (MOM), a gathering of nearly all 120+ co-leaders from 52 NP cities around the globe. For 4 days in August, these co-leaders descended upon Seattle to discuss the future of NP, brainstorm new ideas for their workouts, build personal relationships with one another, connect with our new partner, Brooks, and tirelessly discuss how we can improve, as both leaders in our community and a global organization. Here are a few highlights from that weekend:
A Peak Behind The Curtain
We had the pleasure of spending an entire day at the Brooks HQ, rotating from one area of the enormous building to the next, to learn about everything from product development to marketing research. The morning was kicked off with the warmest welcome from Brooks CEO, Jim Weber, and CMO, Melanie Allen, who matched the excitement level of a room full of NP co-leaders – an impressive feat in itself. Earlier that morning, before the sun had risen, we were given the incredible opportunity run alongside Des Linden, 2 time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon champion. So you could say it was amazing the roof of Brooks HQ didn’t blow off with the cheers from the leaders after such an amazing way to start our day. To read more about the experience from the leader perspective, give this recap a read: https://november-project.com/npsf-mom-aka-leader-summit-recap/
This year at MOM we were lucky enough to engage in a deeper discussion with D.A. Dirks and Soumya Palreddy, two experts in their respective fields in building more inclusive spaces through improved language and intentions. The co-leaders participated in activities which fully embraced our true identities, and revealed how we perceive ourselves and others. The exercises gave leaders a chance to dissect their daily patterns and language, finding new ways to invite people in without subconsciously excluding others. At the end of the day, we assembled into small groups to create the November Project Community Agreements; a list of understood agreements that all co-leaders and members are expected to follow if they would like to participate in November Project workouts. They are agreements that we have been quietly following for years, but have never had the chance to put down onto paper. That list has been brainstormed, edited, brainstormed, and edited multiple times and the final result is available here.
EDMONTON HITS 1000 WORKOUTS
Why is this a highlight when Boston and San Francisco hit 1000 workouts before them? Because while there have been leadership changes in both of those cities, the same two leaders, Jen Ference and Nadim Chin, have been at the helm of November Project Edmonton for all 1000 workouts. Yes, they have had co-leaders, including co-founder of NP Edmonton, Andrew Ference, and current co-leader, Rob McDougall, but Jen and Nadim have been at (nearly) every single workout for 1000 straight. Known as one of the more badass winter cities in the NP Universe, the willingness and ability to pull themselves out of their warm beds to go run around in -30 degree weather 3 mornings a week is mind-boggling.
NOVEMBER PROJECT SUMMIT, LAS VEGAS
The 8th Annual gathering known as #NPSUMMIT was hosted this year in Las Vegas, which was wacky for many reasons and gave us many firsts. The Rock N’ Roll race series filled both Saturday and Sunday night with races from 5K to 26.2M. Live music along the course, under the glowing lights of Vegas, it was perfect/odd, unlike the trail scene we’d become used to. But getting our summit celebration to a road race had more than a few upsides. First off,
Team Hoyt SD
November Project is teaming up with Dr. Evan Johnson at the University of Wyoming Division of Kinesiology and Health to understand, investigate, and quantify how this free fitness movement translates to physical activity habits outside of our early morning workouts. Specifically, we’d like to measure NP participants’ feelings of fitness independence both within NP workouts and within your own workouts. We are looking for people who have attended at least one November Project workout within the past three months. This study will be conducted through online questionnaires and an optional phone interview, requiring a total of 25 to 60 minutes of your time. You can take the first step by clicking on this link. We (including the researchers) appreciate your time and can’t wait to share what you tell us!
If you have questions about your rights as a research subject, please contact the University of Wyoming Institutional Review Board Administrator at 307-766-5320.
I can recall back to when I embarked on this crazy idea to bring November Project to Atlanta. I remember telling myself that I would only lead until it no longer needed me. All I wanted to do was get it to a point where membership was deep, friendships strong, NP events dope, and making unforgettable memories.
It seems like that point has come. Probably for a while now NP-ATL has not needed me, but I’ve needed it/them. The idea of NP came into my life during a time when I felt solo, not knowing many people in the city and just running on my own. I’ve lived in many cities throughout my life. In every place that I’ve moved to there are certain qualities that I fall in love with. Every city has the good and the bad. You must chase the good, and once you find it, leave it better than you found it.
I remember the first time I got on the phone with Laura Green to talk about starting a pledge city. I was nervous. I definitely did not think I was qualified to lead an NP city. From the videos I’d seen about the movement, I thought you needed to have a larger than life personality, run a sub 3 hour marathon, and know a bunch of people. Even though I lacked those qualities, I was still willing to go for it, to just show up, and be persistent as fuck until I made it happen.
Unfortunately, word about an NP pledge group in ATL did not blow up over night. Sloooooowly, the good started coming together. The right positive human beings started showing up who believed what I believed that NP could do for our city.
As I looked back through all our photos since the very first workout, I’m simply amazed. All the fun we’ve had and the moments of joy bringing people together. I’ve seen members accomplish feats they never thought possible. I smile looking at individuals who have gone on to earn their degrees, snag their dream job, get engaged, married, and have babies. I’m grateful to have somehow played a small influence in them heading in a positive direction or at least make “adulting” more fun.
For the past 2 ½ years, NP-ATL has been my family. It always will be. I understand what Bojan & Brogan must have gone through when they stepped down from Boston. For any leader that co-founded a city, it’s so hard to let go because you were there from the very beginning. For many selfish reasons you want to hold on to the reigns and be the one that takes charge. However, you also LOVE IT sooooo much, that you understand that handing it off to the next passionate leader is what is best for the group/city/family. In my case it’s hard to be a good leader if I’m always away. Most of the newbies have no clue who I am.
A special thank you to Alexa and Stein for crushing it and keeping the movement strong while I’ve been gone for work. To Alexa, I could not have asked for a better co-leader. Thank you for putting up with my smartass ness these past couple years and being the calm voice of reason. You truly are a “mom” to our NP fam and give it that special touch of crazy giraffe and baby goat weirdness.
To Stein, I’m so fucking proud of you! To see how far you’ve come, from being that quiet dude at the workouts, to be now being “so chill, so popular, errrbody like you.” Thank you for being there during the early days of “Fitlanta” and continuing to show up. I could not be happier to pass the baton on to you.
To the countless beautiful people of ATL, so many to name… Thank you for all the support and helping us find the good in our city.
Thank you to all the November Project leaders around the world for what you are doing in your city every week, rain or shine, and for showing me love whenever I stop by.
To all the “retired” leaders around the world who still support and work behind the scenes, thank you for what you helped build and allowing me to add to it.
Thank you “Red,” Yoga Steve, Mel, Sierra, Nadim, Jen, Eugene, Tara, Saul, Rob, Gina, DG, ok this list could go on forever…..You are mentors and leaders I look up to. Some of you were an ear I could bend when I needed to bitch about “corporate” and get stuff off my chest.
To Laura Green, thank you for being the first person at NP to give me a shot, for being the bridge that connected us all, and for dealing with all the BS the co-leaders give you.
To Brogan, thank you for being the visionary and the hype man that makes us all believe free fitness world takeover is inevitable.
To Bojan, thank you for being the realist and making sure BG’s ass doesn’t float away. You were my “go to” and always came through on the clutch when I needed you.
I hope to see everyone in ATL at the workouts in my final week as a co-leader! Both my veterans who I have not seen in a while and the newbies I have not met; you all make this experience truly special and it’s not the same without you.
I might be stepping down, but never stepping away. Whenever I’m in town I would still like to lead a bounce, maybe a workout or two. I’m still giving traverbals, sweaty hugs, and fuck-yeahs. I will always be there to offer advice or just be an ear to listen.
Ok I better wrap this up! (The girl next to me on this plane is probably wondering why I keep rubbing my eyes as I write.) I’m off to the next phase of adulting and making “wise career choices,” that will hopefully make a positive impact on this world. As a wise man once said, “It’s not about chasing a paycheck, it’s about chasing the goodness…something something….”
I pray love, gratitude, and blessings over my entire worldwide November Project Family. I’m not dropping the MIC, just passing it on. (I’m not crying! You’re crying!)
Cheers to shitting sunsine and rainbows 😉
THE FULL SCHEDULE
Friday – Travel day.
Saturday Workout 6:29AM – Las Vegas City Hall – Please arrive between 6-6:20AM. Workout will begin at 6:29AM sharp – No shirts will be painted during the workout (see “Post Workout” right below). We understand you’re most likely racing at Rock N Roll, but please move your body with us. Standing around is NOT the way to kick off this weekend. There is a coffee shop with a bathroom within a block of the meeting place.
THE BUS Saturday Post Workout / 8AM Depart City Hall
Lots of exciting things happening in Atlanta this month! We’ve been overloading you with announcements so here it is via a blog.
You can join our random newsletter here.
Why a 6k? Well, why a 5k? or a 10k? We’re mixing it up. Our Sunrise 6k is a chance to throw it down with a race, all on a Wednesday. We’re hyping this worldwide, and all 50 NP cities are doing a Sunrise 6k this week. Brooks is sponsoring the run, so we’ll have giveaways, some raffles for new shoes, and more!