Happy 2nd birthday NP SciMi! Woop woop! Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to talk about where we’ve been, and how we’ll manifest our dreams for the future, so we wrote this as a reflection on just that. For some people this may be just a workout group, but for a lot of us, it’s become the place where we’ve met friends who are like family. A family of like minded, caring individuals who share a common interest in waking up early, sweating, and building community. This one’s for y’all!
As a reflection, and a bit of a history lesson, Crushing it Columbus was started by Satkartar in August of 2018, after drinking the November Project Kool-Aid in West LA. Greg, one of our original co-leads joined shortly after inception, in November. Crushing it Columbus worked out for a whole damn year, growing by word of mouth and heavy social media stalking/recruiting, adding on the badass that is Stuart as a colead and by August of 2019, we were named November Project Columbus. If you’re new here (WELCOME!!) and not sure what November Project values, a good start is the Community Agreements.
Six whole months of being an official November Project city…and then 2020 happened. And by March we found ourselves in the same position as the rest of the world, behind a screen, living our lives a little more 2-dimensionally. And at first, it was novel, we worked out virtually, stayed connected through Saturday morning coffee chats, virtual relay races and the internet. #np_continues was our motto, and we kept the spark alive.
Then, during the summer of 2020, ignited by the murder of George Floyd, factions of our city spoke out and November Project Columbus took a look at how we could be more inclusive and actively make contributions. Through lots of reading, listening, talking & townhalls we worked to find more ways to make November Project Columbus safer, accessible and inclusive to everyone in Columbus. We got a lot of support, which filled us with joy and pride that the group we came to know as family met the moment with us. But we lost some members during this time too. We don’t get it right every time and we always want to hear your feedback because each and every one of you matter to us. Choices along the way were by no means easy and its pained us to see some members part ways with this community. However at the end of the day, we chose stand by the values we have and will continue to uphold. (If you have thoughts or opinions you’d like to share, please leave here anonymously, or send us a message directly!)
In the fall of 2020, more changes were along the horizon and we added our most recent colead Katie Montemayor! She was exactly what we needed to add fresh ideas and new energy into the group both pertaining to workouts and also the direction of our community. We decided to continue our social justice efforts by changing our name. Columbus City Council had started to recognize Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day as a holiday, so we felt the timing was right, put it to a vote, and November Project Scioto Mile was born. And again, we got a lot of support, but lost a few members in the process. It’s worthwhile acknowledging change isn’t fun, or easy, or without frustration, but that doesn’t negate that change is necessary for the betterment of our community and society as a whole.
And finally, 2021 came. And so did the vaccine. And we finally felt safe enough to resume workouts in person. DAMN DID IT FEEL GOOD. Eventually we got to give some sweaty hugs and high fives. We’re rebuilding our group. Some members have been with us since 2018, and some are brand new, and we’re so f*cking stoked for each person who shows up each week. This shit is good.
But now what? Over the last 1.5 years our lives, and to some degree, our community, have been upended. We wanted to take this moment to acknowledge that in our search for making NP more inclusive, some members may have been hurt or felt left out along the way. We didn’t get everything right last year and always strive to do better in leading and shaping this community. With both mistakes and successes under our wings, we get to look to the future of how we can make this shit even better than ever before.
“Where are we going?”, you may ask. We’re still striving to be more inclusive. More welcoming of bodies of different colors, sizes, ages, genders and abilities. And we’re never going to reach the finish line of that, but we know the direction the ship should be steered in, and we hope you jump aboard. Does something excite you that you want to share with the group? Do you think we can do something different? Did you have something you love that you want us to bring back? Let us know! This group may be lead by 2 volunteers who have ingested a shit ton of November Project Kool-Aid, but it’s nothing without you showing up…over and over again.
So thank you to the members here in 2018, and 2019, and 2020 and now. We’re stronger together, we love you all truly and deeply, and we can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us (it can only go up, right?). Happy birthday November Project SciMi. BOOM.
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