Cautious Reopening (CHI)

Chicago…it is allllllllmost time.  In person workouts.  They’re coming.  Soon.  We know Chicago moved to Phase IV, but to be honest:  We’ve never led a free fitness workout during a global pandemic before.  Weird, but true.  We’re cautiously planning our reopening. So while we’re excited to see your smiling faces in person but six feet away, let’s discuss some new things and go over some things we’ve already discussed.  

New Business

Do you remember the first person who greeted you at your first workout?  Maybe it was one of the co-leaders, but maybe it wasn’t.  Maybe it was just a really friendly tall guy who just rolled up on his Divvy from the Metra he got on at 3:45 in the morning.  Or maybe it was a friendly and loud curly haired gal who immediately invited you to Panera after the workout.  Either way, you were (hopefully) welcomed and told “I’m glad you’re here.”  Well instead of relying on these kind characters to keep doing this unofficially, we’d like to take volunteers for an official welcome committee.  Responsibilities will include helping us check to be sure everyone has signed a waiver (click me click me!), telling new faces where to find the waiver on NP’s website, learning new faces and names, inviting new faces to Panera, connecting them to our Google calendar or Facebook social group, and even acting as social distancing ambassadors–gently reminding folks to keep six feet apart.  Does this sound like something you already do, or would be interested in taking on?  Great, let’s make it official.  Email us at novemberprojectchi [at] gmail [dot] com with “Welcome Committee” in the subject line.

Are you completely intimidated by the idea of introducing yourself to strangers and asking them to sign a waiver?  Mayhaps you’d be interested in the Volunteer Committee.  We’d like to tap into the boundless passion and energy of the membership to build relationships with other organizations in Chicago.  Some of our members already do this by posting on the social page or sharing in the group chat volunteer opportunities–grassroots activism is at the core of NP.  But we’d like to formalize the committee and commit to identifying and organizing one volunteer opportunity a month.  The committee would either make suggestions or solicit ideas from the group, select the day/time, and create an event on the Facebook social page and on the Google calendar.  Do you feel like we’re calling your name in this paragraph and you’re stoked to take this on and spread that NP positivity around town?  Email us at novemberprojectchi [at] gmail [dot] com with “Volunteer Committee” in the subject line.

Zoom Wednesdays, Live Fridays.  When we go live, we have decided to move forward with one in-person workout a week to start.  This will allow us to test and learn how workouts will occur in a group, in a new location, with six feet between us.  Wednesdays will continue to be on Zoom until we can all be together as a group.  We have made so many new friends on Zoom that we’re not willing to lose just yet!  And for our Zoom friends who can’t attend Fridays in person, we’ll try to post the Friday workout that you can modify for your home on social media, but also take this opportunity to virtually traverbal to other cities who may still be on Zoom.  There’s a link here.  Stay tuned for the announcement of our first live workout and new location (sorry, Beans for Breakfast will be served hopefully later this year).

Old Business

We’re still on Zoom, Wednesday at 6:18am and Friday at 6:00am, until further notice.  But as we plan and prepare for in-person workouts, you can still gather in smaller groups.  There’s a Google Sheet on the Facebook social page.  Don’t use Facebook?  Email us at, you guessed it novemberprojectchi [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll send it over.  

For months we’ve been looking forward to being back together–the hugs and high fives!  The bounce!  Hoistees! (Well, maybe not hoistees.)  These things aren’t great during a pandemic, so let’s talk about expectations for in-person workouts:

  1. Social distancing: when you show up, keep your belongings with you and create your workout “space” at least six feet away from the nearest person, in all directions. This also means avoiding greeting anyone with a hug or any personal contact for that matter. We know this is going to be hard for some people, but it’s important to understand that we need this environment to feel comfortable for everyone
  2. Face masks: You should be in the habit of always having one at you nowadays, but for working out, wear at your discretion. Our in-person workouts will be designed to adhere to social distancing, but there may be unforeseen times when maintaining six feet of distance is impossible. From the CDC: “Individuals who are engaged in high intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a cloth face covering if it causes difficulty breathing. If unable to wear a cloth face covering, consider conducting the activity in a location with greater ventilation and air exchange (for instance, outdoors versus indoors) and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others.”  So more than ever we ask that you listen to your body. Rest when you need to.  Mask up when you need to. 
  3. No waiver, no workout.  Sorry not sorry.
  4. Did you read the HQ blog post yet?  Do that, too.  

See you soon.

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