Chicago...it is allllllllmost time. In person workouts. They’re coming. Soon.
Day 20684576091. We’re going to get through this! Meanwhile, you still have time to perfect that sourdough recipe.
Several of you have started to ask individually when and how our workouts will take place in the weeks and months ahead. Expect gradual changes, and we are going to adhere to local government and safety guidelines. We know the weather is getting warmer, and you may have noticed recently that our workouts are designed to be completed at home or outdoors, whichever you choose. In either case, social distancing is a requirement—you must respect the safety and space of those around you.
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.
On a cold, damp Wednesday morning six years and two months ago, six co-workers met on the north stairs of the Field Museum in Chicago. They ran up and down the Soldier Field entrance ramps, splashed through slushy puddles, and posed, straight-faced, for an Instagram post they tagged #weatherproof and #NP_pledge.
April push-ups bring May burpees?!
This is a unique time for NP Chi. Our workouts are a little different than our outdoor weatherproof environment. Everyone misses the hugs and bounces and in-person energy, but you all keep the positivity going through our virtual workouts, Zoom coffee , and beyond. Truly, you all make up an amazing community that I’m so proud to be a part of.
Hot take: I think we’re all going to come out the other side of this coronavirus pandemic faster, fitter, and stronger than we went in. Hear me out…
Already, a week in to working from home for the majority of Chicago, people that don’t usually workout have been messaging me and telling me that they went for a run for the first time in ages, or they joined an online class, or they committed to yoga or meditation practice.
Too many things to keep in your brain at 7am after crushing a workout, so we've summarized everything we wanted to say in a neat and tidy blog.
Chiberia amiright? It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s snowy/slushy/icy. This is that time of year when those new year’s resolutions start to wear off, and gym membership dies down. We start hibernating, planning tropical vacations, and considering becoming snowbirds that winter at NP San Diego. Instead of that negative energy, we want to flip the switch and throw out some positivity this February by challenging you to a recruitment challenge. If you’re not having fun this winter, it’s because you’re not with us. We want to help your friend, your coworker, your roommate, your bus seat-mate, that random girl in the bar bathroom that you had a really intense conversation with…you get the idea…we want to help everyone in Chicago have a little more fun this winter.
I took off on a solo winter getaway weekend to the exotic city of Syracuse, NY to attend the second annual November Project Snowglobe. Five northeastern NP cities planned a packed weekend full of winter fun. If you didn’t go, we missed you. Seriously. The only thing that would have made the weekend better was even more people taking over the city. If you did go, HOW MUCH FUN DID YOU HAVE? As I wrote this on Sunday night I was somehow both exhausted and energized just thinking back on the 48 hour blizzard of fun.
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