It might seem silly to write another blog post about the word *tribe*. Bryson from NP Baltimore wrote an eloquent piece on it already (read it here). Or perhaps, you saw it unfold in the Facebook discussion with the global social group name change to NP World Social. To be clear, November Project, as an international movement, no longer uses this word to define our 52 communities. And now, we’re living in a moment in history, where again white and white-passing individuals, like myself, must confront their… well, our white privilege, our white fragility, and all of the ways in which our white-centered society have inherently created an unequal, unjust world.
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.
For this birthday blog, I couldn’t decide between two themes–
1) If you build it, they will come
2) Something I Need
So instead, here is a mashup of both.
“If you build it, they will come.”
This is a bounce we use in Brooklyn. It was most recently used by my coleader Jessica to kick off the Brooklyn Buster. For five mornings in the middle of winter, we met at 5:58AM. People came, no matter where we met or what the weather was like. We built it, and they came. Jessica crafted certificates for those that showed up all five days. We both signed them like we were official somebodies. Someone lamented that he would’ve shown up that one day if he knew there would be certificates. In reality, it was a piece of paper with ink. We built it, and they wanted to come.
The name of the blog says it all (virtual)sunrise 6k. It’s pretty much exactly as it sounds minus the fact that there is no in person cheering, no racing up the stairs towards Parliament Hill and nor is there a weird hat or pair of sunglasses given out. However, what there is connection and not only here in Ottawa. When you hear about cities like Brooklyn and Baltimore hosting virtual sunrise 6k’s as well, you feel that much closer to a city that you maybe have yet to even visit. So, if there wasn’t funny glasses, a high five tunnel or added stencil onto your shirt did it even happen? Well yes, we gave you a set of parameters that included running alone, any time of the day between Monday to Friday and sharing how you felt during your run. When reading this list you can’t help but smile.
To our November Project NYC + Brooklyn members and the broader NP community,
As some of you are aware, NYRR has cancelled its NYC Half, originally scheduled for this Sunday, March 15th. We know this is very disappointing news for many members of our community, especially those finishing up long, winter training schedules and who have been excited to run and/or cheer on this race. That said, we do also understand NYRR’s decision in response to the developing COVID-19 situation here in NYC and its surrounding areas. While we might joke “safety, third (priority)” from time to time here at November Project, the safety and security of not only our members, but also of the wider running community in NYC and beyond, is truly of the utmost importance.
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.
Photo by @baklinerunning
“Are you runner #35?,” he asked, straining to see my hip numbers through both the blinding lights and distinct darkness of the Manhattan Bridge.
“Yep,” I nodded quickly. I had already been through the wringer of emotions to a point where the self-pity had lifted, and I knew there was no time for mumbling. At this moment, I had been out on “the course” for over 45 minutes, distinctly aware that I would be finishing this race in last place, with a much slower time than the rest of the field. Waves of regret, disappointment, and bright, red embarrassment flooded my brain miles before, where my first wrong turn in Manhattan sent me on a wild goose chase for the characteristic, Take The Bridge checkpoint. That goose chase continued with a few additional wrong turns, including a too-close-for-comfort encounter with the Williamsburg Bridge, an actual third bridge completed (the footbridge near Delancey Street), and the eventual reroute back on the track I’d been so desperately searching for what was likely ~15 minutes, but felt like hours.
The first weekend in November, prepare for the biggest block party there is. Get in that Empire State of mind. It’s THE New York City Marathon. Whether you’re running, cheering, coming in early, or staying a little longer…
Here’s the scoop on the NYC Marathon weekend. Brought to you by the combined forces of NP NYC & Brooklyn because #bettertogether.
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