Alex reached out to us about a women in sport event she was helping out with and to see if we may be keen to get involved. We often will be excited to chat about new ideas that come forth, and will suggest they show up to NP, come workout with us, and go for coffee to chat more about it. So that’s exactly what she did. And then I’m pretty sure she has showed up basically every Wednesday she is town since. We’ve been able to see Alex’ role in the community evolve through time. We’ve seen her take on the lead of welcoming newbies, of being a consistent encourager of others, of inviting others to coffee, just to make sure they know it’s available post workout. She makes this community we share stronger, and through these isolated and challenging times, we still get to see her smiling face on Zoom, still lighting up the morning for others. Thanks for showing up Alex and for continuing to make us better.
Originally, I really thought this song said Zoom Zoom Zoom but as you have now listened to it the word is boom not zoom. We also thought we should mention that last week in the height of it all we forgot to share on our beloved blog. For that reason and many more we thought to share how we can continue to create community virtually.
It was once known as March Madness and will now be forever known as Museum Madness. For the next four weeks we have decided to explore the city a little bit more and become that much more familiar with some iconic locations. This is something that is yet again uniquely Ottawa. Now, March Madness has it roots in college basketball and in the past we spun it into a push up or squat challenge at the end of the workout. But now this. This is something that you can brag about when visiting other cities.
It’s easy to say you’ll show when it starts getting lighter out and it’s easy to say you’ll show up once it’s warmer. But, what continues to hold everyone back once it does get warmer out or once the sun is shining before 6:29am?
When we first began creating this community here in Ottawa we started in January. It was cold, to say it was dark would be an understatement and there was a solid four to six people showing up. The location stayed the same, the workouts continue to evolve but we always stayed in the frame of mind to keep the workouts simple, clear and challenging. When the weather began to creep up the thermometer more and more people began showing up. It helped that CBC came to feature and extend beyond the immediate circles of people that we knew. But, still sometimes you wonder why do people show up one week and not the next? Or what holds someone back from making it out at 6:29am on a bright summery morning?
Maybe there’s a theme going on here with top hits and November Project but with last weeks skating, skating on the Rideau Canal chant and this weeks Carly Rae Jepsen number we might be on to something. With that in mind, we highly encourage you to blast this tune in your car maybe ask the bus driver to crank it up or share it with a colleague.
Swimming, swimming Skating, skating In a swimming pool On the Rideau Canal
When days are hot
When days are cold
In a swimming pool On the Rideau Canal
These first five lines almost perfectly depict this mornings events. Hence, why we highly encourage you to listen to this song once or maybe twenty times throughout your day. But out on the Rideau Canal, under the Patterson Creek bridge we met on skates. Some of us skated for the first time this year and some of us even went out and bought ourselves some skates last night.
Some would say that a community is “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” That’s actually the definition of community when researched. However, I would like to expand upon that definition and include some images to help further explain the power of community and what that looks like here in Ottawa and out in that big, big world.
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
Although this mornings workout did not place on ice here are some things that did occur.
- There was a good old hockey game
- Many families and friends added to their already existing Christmas day traditions
- Cookies, treats and some sweets
- Gord and Natalia, for coming in hot with all the fixings to make this a legit hockey game
- Street takeover at Landsdowne
- Waking up to move and probably partake in the most Canadian thing ever
We understand and know that Christmas day is a day for some to spend time with their family, sleep in and bask in joy and love. But, by partaking this morning in hockey game you extended that time in your day a little bit longer, just by waking up a that bit earlier.
Ah the sweet sound of a bounce dedicated to PR DAY. Ah why yes that was this morning. As the holidays begin to approach like black flies while camping deep in the woods we have some suggestions to make these times that much more memorable.
First of all, put down the Deet as you are not camping and it’s minus 5 out there. We live in Ottawa so one needs to make sure you dress appropriately for all outdoor winter activities. Outdoor winter activities you say, eh? Here are a couple we can suggest off hand: