NPSUMMIT10 Travel Grant

UPDATE – August 10, 2022.
A few months ago, we launched a campaign to offer financial assistance to November Project members from around the world to attend NPSUMMIT. We received a dozen applications and fundraised a few hundred dollars towards our $4500 goal to bring up to 3 members to Philadelphia. After the tragic passing of NP Malaysia Co-leader, Robert Ling, we pivoted fundraising efforts in order to support his family and to cover the cost of his repatriation. With 6 weeks to go before the event, the Committee in charge of the financial assistance program composed of Co-leaders and members has decided to halt the outreach until the end of the year and focus their efforts on the 2023 Summit. read more

When We’re All Together Again

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: read more

2019 At A Glance

As we’re approaching the last minutes of 2019, it’s worth looking back at all the amazing things that we experienced at NP during the past 365 days. To capture EVERY moment would be impossible as this post would never end, so if there’s a story or an experience you’d like to share, please add it in the comments. We’d like to thank all NP members for another year filled with positivity, support, and fitness. This community is stronger with you as a part of it so please keep inspiring with your actions and kindness. And to our leaders, thank you for your selflessness, energy, and dedication. You are the bloodline of November Project and we’re eternally grateful for your devotion to this movement. read more

We Need Your Help With Science!

November Project Members embrace at Pre-Boston-Marathon workout

If you scroll through the blog, it’s filled with nearly eight years of stories that illustrate how November Project transforms lives for the better. Thousands have joined workouts around the globe and discovered a community that is growth-minded, yet it meets you where you are at. Newbies, originals, and regulars inspire one another to show up, work hard, and challenge their limits. Whether your experience with November Project motivated you to get moving on frigid mornings, take on your first triathlon, or dive deeply into the world of stair running, we’re elated by your journey, and we’d like to hear from you. We know that it works, but the policy makers, bean counters, and exercise nerds of the world need data if we want to see our movement grow! read more

NPSUMMIT 2019 – Las Vegas – Rock N Roll

November Project Members working out at NPSummit

Below you’ll find the information about our annual gathering of all members and Co-Leaders from all over the world – #NPSUMMIT in Las Vegas, November 15-18. Being less than one month away please keep visiting this link as we will update more and more until we see you. Also, follow the main Instagram & Twitter accounts throughout the weekend for reminders and updates. read more

NP Homework – Runaround

The time has come for another NP Homework brought to you by our friends at Knockaround and this one has a pretty sweet prize for the most creative submission! But before we get to that, let’s talk about:

Theme. “Runaround”. What does Runaround meant to you? Running fast? Running slow? Running in place? Running in circles? Running solo? Or with friends? There are no right or wrong answers so show us what you got! Runaround. read more

It’s beginning to look a lot like SPRING (GR)

Although the winter brings countless opportunities for unique activities and personal growth (if you can workout in -20 weather, you can workout in ANYTHING – and if you did workout in sub zero weather read below about the tag), we love the sun and warmth that the summer brings.

Thank YOU for embracing all weather and whatever might be thrown at you at any workout. You bring the energy, positivity, and drive that makes NPGR better and in turn makes this city, state, and world better. read more

Reaching the goal. Making things better for each other. Making it better together. (Grand Rapids)

Guest Blog by Janelle Beimers

The phone rang at 7:15am Sunday morning. I had gone to bed at 9 the night before, cranky because I could feel a sore throat coming on and cranky because Alexander (age 2) took more than an hour to fall asleep. And then the kids woke up around 6:30… second weekend day in a row. Someday I’ll get to sleep in, but my guess is it won’t be till I have 5 teenagers instead of 5 little ones. Everyone tells me I’ll miss these days, but at 6:30 on a Sunday morning that’s hard to believe.

Phone calls are rare these days, #dontcalljusttext, and especially rare on a Sunday morning at 7:15 – it was the on-call number for our foster care agency. My husband and I got licensed 7 years ago and have had 11 kids placed in our home, 5 of whom we adopted, and after a tough teenage placement at the beginning of the year, we had already said no to two calls for placements in the last two weeks. But an early morning call means it’s an emergency, so I answered.

“Police picked up a little 2 to 3 year old boy wandering the streets in the middle of the night,” they said. “They searched for hours, but didn’t find his parents and no one has reported him missing, so they had to call CPS. He’s been sleeping at the police station, and we are trying to find a placement for him. He only speaks Spanish, so we thought of you guys.”

Something you need to know about our household is that it’s crazy. Not like your average, 5 kids 7 and under crazy, but like, my kids are wild. Earlier today we were trying to rank our kids from strongest personality to most mild, and we basically settled on a 5-way tie for first. They jump from the tops of jungle gyms and scare the other moms. They tantrum hard and love hard and have been known to accidentally run into walls because they can’t be bothered to pay attention to where they are running. Bedtime can take up to 3 hours on a really bad night, because they just have SO MUCH ENERGY and it is LIMITLESS. “Let them run it out at a park,” they say. “Let them burn off their energy at the pool.” Yeah no. They’re freaking Energizer Bunnies.

So for us to get called about a placement means that the agency is desperate. They know how much work our crew is, and whenever possible they try to place kids where there’s a more sane adult to kid ratio. Plus the state has to give special approval for a home to have more than five kids, so every time we get called, it means they are willing to do extra paperwork to get this kid with us.

But a Spanish-speaking toddler? It’s like this placement was meant for us. I’m fluent in Spanish, and we have had 3 other Spanish speaking kids placed with us. I know the difference it can make for a child to be placed in a home with someone they can communicate with, rather than someone who doesn’t speak their language. And when you’ve got 5 little ones already, what’s one more!? We already are the proud owners of 4 car seats and 5 booster seats, so an extra little guy feels like he will fit right in. We asked the kids, and they unanimously voted for a new friend to live with us, although Layla and Amaya (ages 5 and 4) couldn’t understand why it couldn’t be a girl.

So we said yes. Almost immediately. They got the approval from the state they needed and said CPS would get ahold of us to coordinate details. But the thing about foster care is that nothing ever happens how you expect. The worst thing a foster parent can do is start making expectations, because that’s a guarantee for disappointment. CPS ended up showing up without a phone call, and right away we could tell that the little guy was not 2 or 3, but actually 4 or 5. He refused to come in the house, and actually walked back down the stairs and down the sidewalk, headed who knows where. We had to chase him down and head him back to the house, where CPS stayed for nearly an hour while he refused to come in the house or say anything.

But I had a secret weapon – or rather, 5 of them. It’s hard for a kid to resist 5 new, very interested and eager playmates, one of whom could make friends with a brick wall. Aysha (age almost 6) is well on her way to being the most well-known and well-liked kindergartener in the state, and she used all her charms to pull the little guy out of his shell. I say little guy, because at this point, we still didn’t even know his name, but Aysha said he told her his name – it was either Trico, Rico, or maybe Chico (spoiler alert – it was none of them!).

The five friendly Beimers ran up and down our hill with him, got their bikes out, blew bubbles, and soon enough, he started laughing and playing. And turned out, he also spoke English! It was mostly little kid Spanglish, but he definitely knew English, which meant that the entirety of the information we had been given about him (2-3, only Spanish speaking) had been inaccurate. But we are familiar with this too – there are a lot of unknowns in foster care, and information changes hands rapidly, and like I said, keep the expectations low.

So over the morning, we played together, redirected him after he tried to walk away again, and played Ninja Turtles in the house. After lunch, we put on what he said was his favorite movie, Shrek, because I figured he would fall asleep. I wagered correctly; within 10 minutes, he had fallen asleep, cuddled up next to Dayvontae (age 7). 

And it was good he got some rest, because throughout the morning, I had been getting updates from CPS – his family had been located. Without going into too many details, the summary is that his escapade was not the fault of his parents and they were frantic for him. My absolute biggest fear in life is that something bad will happen to my children out of my control, and I ached for this mother I’ve never met. After assessing the home and setting up a safety plan, around 2:15, only 7 hours after we learned about him, CPS picked up Trico/Rico/Chico, fast asleep, to go back to his mommy.

Being a foster parent means a lot of things. It means you feel all the feels: the anticipation of a new placement, the confusion when things aren’t what you expected, the concern for the well-being of this new child in your care, the uncertainty of the child’s future, and the happiness of knowing a child can be reunited with their parents, which can oftentimes be bittersweet. All those feelings are normal, but it’s unusual to get them all in less than 12 hours. Being a foster parent means your kids have to learn to adjust to having new siblings, and then readjust when those siblings leave. None of the kids were ready to see him go.

Being a foster parent means being flexible, more flexible than you ever thought you could be. And not in this case specifically, but being a foster parent means having the stamina of a marathoner (well, I imagine, being practically the only person at NPGR who hasn’t and doesn’t aspire to run a marathon). You spend hours in training and preparation, getting ready for that first or next placement. You start off on a high note, but then find that it’s a lot of the same tough stretches over and over and over. People are there to support you along the way, but they aren’t out there running this – you are. They don’t know what it’s like. You’re the one making it through each next step, through the twists and turns as kids and parents don’t behave the way you expect them too. There are times where quitting feels like the only way out, because you just feel it’s not getting easier and can’t get easier, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Substitute care, like aid stations on a course, help you stick it out longer, but it only provides temporary relief. Not every foster family can make it to the finish line, whether that’s reunification or adoption or some other goal, but that doesn’t make them any less of a foster family. They gave it their hardest, and their foster child is better off for their time with them. Just like not every runner has the same body shape, skill set, background or preparation, no two families are alike, and there is beauty and strength in each one.

But sometimes, hopefully most times, your training pays off. Your support system works. Your planning and gear and nourishment all come through for you like they’re supposed to. You push through the hard times, the impossible times, and you see the cheer tunnel at the end of the race. You know that this is what you were meant for, right here, right now, this moment. And you reach that goal.

For my family, we have reached the goal 8 times. We adopted five beautiful amazing children, who have changed our lives in the best and worst ways. Hearts we did not create have made our hearts fuller and larger. We also saw two precious children reunify successfully with their parents, in a beautiful story of redemption we are lucky to have been a part of. We helped one young man achieve independence by getting an apartment after he turned 18. We didn’t finish the marathon for three kids who lived with us – maybe those were more like relays, where we passed the baton to someone else, maybe someone more equipped to run that leg with those children. And that’s hard but it’s ok. Because now we know more, we’ve grown stronger and smarter, we aren’t the same people we were then. And because of that, when we meet and say goodbye to a brave precious one in a short 7 hours, we can look back at that race, maybe a 1k in the grand scheme of things, and know that we finished the race with him, and he had a safe, happy day until he got to be with his mommy.

And really, for a foster family, that’s the best kind of day there is.
read more

A Peek Under The Hood

November Project Members embrace at Pre-Boston-Marathon workout

In the past few weeks, we’ve made an announcement about adding new sponsors to the global November Project family. We also stated that November Project will start accepting donations as we are now a non-profit organization. Since then we have received requests for more details regarding how we will allocate the funds donated. Hopefully, the following breakdown will help answer those questions:

Leadership Support and Training:

Our leaders are our most important assets. Their willingness to selflessly wake up before dawn and lead workouts is the only reason that this movement keeps growing and prospering. It’s vital to us that we continue to provide them with support and resources so they can continue to excel in leading their city. One way we do that is by connecting them with other leaders at our annual gathering we call the Meeting Of the Minds, or MOM for short. At MOM, the leaders have the opportunity to share stories, learn from each other’s successes and failures, and foster relationships that transcend geographical boundaries and time zones. We discuss everything under the leadership umbrella such as creative ways to recruit new members, how we can improve inclusivity, ways to plan an efficient workout, as well as addressing ‘Corporate’ topics with strategic decisions that we at NP HQ are working on. We also bring in specialists who have a unique perspective on diversity and inclusion to challenge us to shift paradigms. And even though the hashtag #safetythird has seen its fair share of usage on social media channels, we take the safety of our members very seriously and offer CPR certification classes to every co-leader interested.

Day-To-Day Operations:

November Project, Inc. has two full-time employees, Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric, and one part-time contributor, Laura Green. This trio is in charge of all non-workout leading operations including, but not limited to, designing and executing NP strategy, planning and operating an annual budget, communicating with leaders, growing the new and existing NP locations, and collaborating with our sponsors, partners, and local communities. As we move into this new space, the job description is now expanding into the growth of the non-profit/youth program and fundraising that may require bringing on more hands on deck.

Administrative Cost:

And finally, the not-so-sexy yet extremely valuable tools associated with administrative duties which include website hosting and maintenance, accounting, legal expertise and compliance, mailing, and printing, just to name a few.

We hope this gives you a more transparent view on how your donations are used to grow the movement we all love and appreciate. If you’re interested in supporting November Project, click here.

Brooks x November Project = Awesome

Today we’re proud to announce Brooks as the official footwear and apparel sponsor of November Project. Brooks has been woven into the fabric of NP Seattle since the early days. From the CEO down to the newest hires, they celebrate the culture of bettering the world through running and movement. Based on these shared core values, it didn’t take us long to get excited about the potential of our combined reach. The Brooks influence will be multifaceted, including financial support, access to new footwear and apparel, resources for our leadership training and the annual November Project Summit, entries into Brooks-sponsored running events, and activations on a local and global level. We’re ramping up to do some very cool things together and couldn’t be more excited.

This year’s annual gathering of all November Project members from around the world will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 15-18 at The Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas. The races on Saturday (5K) and Sunday (10K, 13.1M, 26.2M) actually shut down the iconic “Strip” and don’t start until the sun sets. There is so much more to come, but for now, plan to partake in various activities that will kick off with the workout on Saturday morning and conclude on Sunday night. We will be sharing NP-specific registration codes soon but if you’re so excited that you HAVE to register immediately, who are we to say no?

We’re stoked about all the incredible things that are ahead of us but for now, please join us in welcoming Brooks to the global November Project family!