Hi November Project, it’s been a while since we’ve all been together. As the world is figuring out how to come back from the pandemic and more places are going back to in-person workouts we’d like to share some things that every NP member will have to follow in order to maintain health and safety of our communities. There will be things that are very specific to your location and your co-leaders will be sharing those when the time comes, but these are directions that will apply to all November Project cities:
Happy mental health awareness month! Has anything ever been more ironic than celebrating mental health during a pandemic?
As mental health awareness and May come to an end, I wanted to talk about my experience around mental health and community. Specifically, this community.
This is what mental health awareness month means to me, take it with a grain of salt because everyone’s experience will be different. Also, this feels like a good place to put a trigger warning for severe depression/mental illnesses. If you’re not in a place where you feel strong enough to read about another person struggling, that’s totally chill. Move along, this will be here when you’re feeling better. <3
- We had an amazing group of badasses locally and across NP land accomplish some pretty legit running achievements this weekend
- Sometimes we decide to do hard things, and sometimes hard things decide to find us. In both cases we have to #justshowup
- We are going to have a lot of fun next Wednesday running 6k at Sunrise, taking gorgeous pics and sharing our personal stories – and free Brooks shoes are up for grabs
YETI 24 Hour Challenge
Over the weekend, several members of our NP Columbus family decided that they were not going to let the quarantine life take away one of their greatest joys – running. Morgan Green, Stephanie Baker, Anna Snyder, Miranda Kibler, Leather Kilburg, Michael Pawlus, Robin Dobler, Katie Montemayor, and John Kohlhepp set off on solo adventures where they were tasked to run 5 miles every four hours over the course of a 24 hour period, completing a total of 30 miles each. Some decided that the race challenge wasn’t enough, so they also opted to start their fun in torrential downpours, high winds and darkness. Some further decided that 30 miles wasn’t quite enough, and tacked on an extra mile to complete the 24 hour 50k. The level of fierceness can not be understated in this group!! I know more people have seen these efforts and are planning to run this coming weekend, too.
We just finished our third Zoom workout… Yay! (ish)
(At least) 3 more to go before there’s even a remote possibility of seeing each other.
I know that we place a lot of emphasis around positivity. I mean shoot… we have a piece of wood we give out to people who are beams of positivity. These are strange times though… Positivity looks different in different times, and different on different people and I want to take some time to talk about what it looks like right now…
Have I ever mentioned one of the very beautiful things about November Project is our connection with each other? We do not just have a bond built on working out together. We have a bond forged in the human connection.
What is a hug?
An act of holding someone tightly in one’s arms, typically to express affection.
There’s a community of people out there, it’s like nothing I’ve been touched by before, and it is a beautiful thing.
As always, I wish I could better explain it for you.
Many of you probably know several people in the November Project Columbus community. You likely are seeing a uptick in Facebook and Instagram posts from us lately, and that’s because we want you to come out and experience who and what we are.
“I’m so glad you’re here!”
Hearing Greg Bennett say those words to me mid-workout last July 11th meant the world, especially as my upper body was being beaten to smithereens. About six weeks prior to that first blitzkrieg to my body, I had done the Run Across Haiti alongside 24 other runners, including 4 gals from November Project Philadelphia. The way they had supported each other through the training and how NP Philly had in turn supported them all throughout the journey made a huge impression on me. Reading about the November Project in Runner’s World a few years back was one thing. Witnessing how this community could help propel some of its own do something as crazy as running 200 miles in 8 days was another. Hearing Greg’s genuine words of kindness meant I had moved from sight and hearsay to experience, all before the burnout burpees!
As I sit here still riding the high from a monumental Hell Week at November Project Columbus, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and renewed excitement for what’s to come. I didn’t think it was possible to be even more excited about something I love so much, but here we are!
I say monumental to describe the last week for a few reasons. Showing up to three workouts in a single week is a feat. Planning and executing five workouts (two days with multiple times) along with a co-guest leader turned out to be another feat entirely. I was lucky enough, along with my buddy Sam, to be guest leader for the week and given that us two utrarunners have a penchant for extra fun, we thought three workouts in a single week as a modified “Hell Week” would be a great way to heat up this winter we’ve had here in Columbus, Ohio.
Happy 2020 everyone! What a beautiful day for everyone to be badasses and unicorns. No basic unicorns were seen today!
It’s that time of year again where it’s time to make new year’s resolutions! Or I guess that time has passed and now it’s time to start implementing your new year’s resolution.
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