When Maggie asked if I would take a stab at writing a blog post to wrap up November Project Brooklyn’s 2020, I felt hesitant. We especially know the power that published words hold, and I can only imagine how some people might feel reading another blog post from our city. I am even more aware of how others in our wider November Project community think of me now, and so, putting pen to paper (or well, fingertips to keyboard) appears first as a daunting task and one I do not take lightly.
Our goal and objective at November Project Ottawa has always been to use fitness as a vehicle to bring and connect people together. Whether that be through showing up in the cold months of February along the canal, early mornings at the stadium or post workout bagels. The intention has always been the same show up early, show up to move, show up to meet new people, show up to add more value into your day and to that of others. We believe that it is fair to say that we, along with 51 other cities believe in this.
This is the email we’ve sent out to the members that have signed up for tomorrow’s in-person trial workout. We are no longer accepting sign-ups for tomorrow, but here’s a peak at the social-distancing precautions we are taking for now–
Hi November Project Brooklyn,
First, thank you so much for signing up for our in-person test trial tomorrow, Wednesday, 10/14! We’re VERY excited to be together in-person, but want to ensure we’re creating the safest environment for everyone, our NP Bklyn family and the greater Brooklyn community. We kindly ask that you read this, in full, prior to attending tomorrow’s workout. IMPORTANT DETAILS FOR TOMORROW
Last Thursday evening, we gathered virtually to discuss recent survey results. Here is a recap, in case you couldn’t make it or want to review–
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
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.