Deniz Breaks Down The 4 Myths of November Project

This introduction could be the easiest one of all time. Deniz is November Project. Consistant, athletic, positive, and friendly… Oh, and he loves to race. If you don’t know Deniz yet its because you don’t come to NP. Simple. We love this guy. Ladies and gents…. I give you… Deniz!

Free Fitness for Everybody

First of all, I would like to thank November Project tribe for making me live the best year of my life. On October 31st 2012, I stepped into Harvard stadium not knowing what I was getting myself into. I was just trying to have fewer fluctuations in my weight, be less bored when I was running, and enjoy the socializing while doing something good for myself. Today after exactly a year, working out has become a regular part of my life. I have made so many friends with similar lifestyles. I accidentally got into signing up for races too, and have now discovered something great about running. As Joan Benoit Samuelson put it: “Doing something for yourself like running, and using it to test yourself, will only make you feel better about your career or your family role.”
I want to talk about the top 4 myths about November Project. If you ever considered joining November Project but had cold feet or you already showed up but are worried about the colder and darker mornings, this blog is intended for you.

Myth# 1: I am not fit enough for November Project
Well, that’s exactly what I thought a year ago too. When you see pictures of us on Facebook, Twitter or other media, we all look awesome, really ripped, and it looks like we kick ass all the time. Yes, we want to look good, we want to be proud of our accomplishments. Some of us (like me) want the whole world to know how hard we work out and we proudly display our cool pictures on Facebook. Here are a few facts you should know about these pictures:

* Some of these pictures are taken when we are fresh at the beginning of the workout.
* Our photographer friends usually catch us from a good angle, and they take multiple pictures to make sure we look good in the one that will be posted.
* If we are still not satisfied with the result, we can hide the picture.

So you get the point. You only see the cream of the crop. Here are a few examples of how we really look when we are working hard. These pictures are real. They aren’t staged or posed. You know how the saying goes: If you look great during a workout, you likely aren’t working hard enough. We are not always good looking. Sometimes, we smile and we still don’t look great.

It is true there are really fit and athletic people among us who inspire us, and yes we are proud of the incredible athletic achievements of the group. But, the majority of us come from all levels of fitness from the pretty fit ones to those who are trying to get off the couch and start working on their fitness. We support each other regardless of our backgrounds or level of fitness. We come to November Project to get fit, to cheer each other on, and push each other to our individual limits. We are just regular people trying to stay fit, and we are having fun doing it.

Myth #2: I will be the slowest person out there.

Nobody is actually counting how many sections or hills you run, how fast you finish or how many push-ups you can do. We do want to push ourselves to the limit, encourage our fellow tribe members to do the same, and sometimes race with our peers, but the real race is against ourselves.

Myth #3: November Project members are morning people, I am not

Nobody likes to get out of a warm bed while it is dark and cold out there. Nobody likes to function on not enough hours of sleep. But you have to make a choice. Most of our day jobs require us to sit at a desk all day, and those New Year resolutions do not last very long. Often we miss workouts when something comes up during our lunch break or we have plans for dinner. I am not saying that people who work out later in the day will always fail, but I know for many of us, getting it done the first thing in the morning works the best. It does not get easier. Every November Project morning, I consider snoozing the alarm and going back to bed when I first wake up, but once I show up and complete the workout, I feel like a champion. And the best thing is I know there will be friends who will cheer for me, and that I will miss out on fun if I don’t show up. That’s the whole charm and philosophy of November Project. So the next time you have problem waking up and showing up to November Project, remember how awesome you will feel earning that chocolate-raspberry croissant after the workout. Your other options are either having to miss out on that croissant because you did not earn it, or eating those croissants without earning, and you know what happens then…

Myth #4: They are weather-proof, I am not.
We are made of the same material right? Water freezes at 32 °F or 0 °C, and our bodies are mostly made of water. So we do get cold. Yes, some of us have higher or lower tolerance. But believe me, if you put a few layers on and work hard while you are out there, you will survive and you will eventually get used to it. Yes there is that other indoor option, but it is just not as fun, and it costs money.
Free Fitness for Everyone! Whether you labor through section 1 or 100, you’re welcome here!

Many thanks to Erica, Elin, Luci, Tim, Jana, Katy, Ricki, Brian, Toby and Katie for helping me with this blog.

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11 Replies to “Deniz Breaks Down The 4 Myths of November Project”

  1. I could not add anything. Well said, well done. The biggest prize is to have someone new in the tribe, someone who never believed it could do it.

  2. Great breakdown – it’s wonderful to have a fun group joining in what rowers have been doing in semi-solitude for years – it brings a whole different and lighter dimension to it – great job at community-building – K

  3. Deniz, thank you so much for breaking down the myths of NP! After hesitating for weeks, reading this encouraged me to finally join November Project this morning. And it felt so good! Although a lot were faster than me, although my legs hurt, I left with a really good feeling. When I walked up the hill to the starting point, I was sure I won’t manage to run up and down this hill more then one time. But running in this group, was so motivating that I somehow finished my 5 laps. Thank you! 🙂

  4. This looks like so much fun! But what about myth number 5 ” I’m too old” All the pics are young people. I’m 51 and not sure I want to be the old guy.

    1. Eddie, our oldest member is over 70 yrs young. There are plenty of our members that are in your age group so feel free to swing by for a good workout. Hope to see you soon!

    2. Eddie, while I’ve only been to NP-Bos a couple times (and have yet to get to NP-SF, where I now live), you’re exactly my age. I’l break it down for you: do not EVER let age be a barrier. Yes, you may not be as fast*, might take a bit longer to get into shape, can’t go quite as hard as you used to, takes a bit longer to recover, etc.

      NP jump-started my path back to fitness after being quite ill for some time. And you can relish in being the wise man. Or wise guy. I regularly attend a yoga class that’s mostly college kids. Good energy.

      * In one triathlon I did last year the fastest age group was 50-54. No joke. Getting older didn’t get me on the podium so I guess I’ll have to get faster 🙂

      1. Thanks for the replies guys. I am in a self imposed rest period trying to recover from injuries that I have been running through for too long. No running for the whole month of November. I also have an abdominal strain that is keeping me from doing any abdomin work. So I’m spinning and lifting for now but thanks to your encouragement I will see you in December.

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