Below you will find a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago about how to survive the winter at November Project. Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. It’s that dark, chilly time where every morning is a battle with the elements, and every morning you emerge victorious, fully prepared to spend the rest of your day hearing your co-workers tell you “gosh you’re crazy” and how they “could never possibly get up that early.” For me, this is the fun of November Project. The bounces are a little warmer, the clothing is a little thicker and the friends are all the more important.
I probably don’t say this enough, but in a way I rely on every person that comes to November Project. Every Wednesday for the past (almost) four years I have gotten up, made myself a cup of coffee and tried to remember why the hell I was doing this. The mornings are never smooth, I can never find both socks, my jacket is buried in a couch cushion, I burned my toast… you get the picture. But every morning, by the time 7:30 rolls around I’m in the best mood of my life, and that feeling of going from 0 to 60 on my mood scale is that much stronger during the winter months. You guys get me out of bed and you deserve one hell of a thank you for that.
Read up. Stay committed through the winter. Bring your best friend on the coldest day of the year. This is when NP is all the more magical.
Allyssa Riley won the postivity award because she’s probably the nicest person ever and smiles even when the workouts don’t make sense.
DECEMBER 8!: CITY GLOW! We’re really amped about this event because we’re hosting it at the Lithuanian Dance Hall. They have kindly agreed to host us in exchange for all of the revenue we earn from the workouts (i.e…none), so we have a small favor that extends beyond our normal realm of asking. On Saturday night (November 11) Lithuanian Hall is hosting a fundraiser to cover some of the operating costs associated with this bomb, historic building. They have asked us to promote the event and see if we can’t get some of our members to attend in exchange for hosting City Glow. Here is the event page for anyone that is willing or able to attend. Tickets are $35, which we understand is more than we would ever ask you for, but this is one time that we feel like it might be worth it. Consider it a donation to City Glow, NP and Lith Hall. TRIPLE SLAM! Plus the event looks insane. So, if you’re available and willing to buy a ticket, come find us there! No pressure, just love.
For anyone that doesn’t know, City Glow is our annual year end party. This is the fourth year and it’s a really great evening full of a little running, a few burpees and a whole bunch of merriment.
Friday’s workout is in Patterson Park. Corner of Linwood and Baltimore. 6:30 am.
In case you didn’t know the origin of the name November Project, here it is: November Project comes from the idea that, in the month of November, the weather starts to turn, the cold temps rolls in and your will to live/exercise outdoors is quickly zapped, leaving you a blubbering heap of emotion on your living room floor for the entire winter. NP was founded to counter that natural human reaction. Some geniuses a few years ago figured out that if you could get enough warm bodies, totally jazzed to see each other, in one place that maybe, just maybe you could conquer winter. We have scientific evidence to support that hypothesis. (Sort of)
This year you got lucky. The winter temps didn’t move in until, well…this morning and we’ve enjoyed two odd (unnecessary) months of men in shorts. While we waited for those pasty legs to finally get put away for the winter we somehow landed ourselves in January. Sub freezing temps are finally here so it’s time for the annual BE WEATHERPROOF blog post.
As many of you know, being #weatherproof is a key tenet of our group. We don’t believe that there is any such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. With a little motivation, a small amount of know how and some caring friends it will be spring before you know it. Not everyone has the luxury of being from the far north like Pat where Whale Blubber sport coats are all the rage. Some people come from warm places like Sydney where humans are impractical and think rain counts as weather. It doesn’t, rain is like keilbasa made out of fish…sure you could do it, but lets not call it what it isn’t.
So here we go. How to be weatherproof:
- Justshowup: You can’t be weatherproof from bed. In fact, if you’re in bed you’re pretty much an inanimate object…like a rock or a bird bath. If you want to be ranked higher than a garden ornament you’ve got to #justshowup. “BUT NICK”, you say, “It’s so cold and dark in the morning, how ever can I get myself motivated to wake up?” Good question, glad you asked.
- Prepare: Like anything fun (Checkers, archery, ski-ball) becoming weatherproof take some practice and will be difficult at first. Make sure to make things easy for yourself. To start, get in bed at a reasonable time, don’t drink an espresso right before bed and make sure to ignore your friends or significant other…they’ll probably do something dumb like remind you how cold it is outside. Better yet, bring them with you. THEN SET YOUR CLOTHES OUT! This is very important. Prepare your clothes the night before so you can just roll out of bed. Any morning hesitation will likely keep you under the sheets. Remember..Bird Bath.
- Get your first layer on as soon as you get up: Seriously. If you dawdle in your jammies, I’ll see you in six weeks at our next evening social. Jammies are for toddlers on Christmas morning. You’re an adult, fully weatherproof and ready to show the winter how to tango. So put on your first layer. If you get that first layer on, I promise you’ll get to the workout.
- LAYERS. LAYER EVERYTHING: Want to be warm when the temperatures dip? Put on layers. Start with a good base layer. You can buy this stuff at Target ( or “nicer” stuff anywhere sports/outdoors goodies are sold) but since fitness should be free, just ask someone from the tribe! I promise someone has a layer they can spare. A base layer should be tight fitting to keep the heat in. It’s the single biggest thing in keeping you warm. Tuck that first layer too! Then proceed to add a middle layer ( maybe a sweatshirt, a quarter zip or some other tweener item) and finally throw on that jacket. More likely than not you’ll take it off but bring it…I tend to get carried away with announcements. Layering notes:
- You can layer anything. Gloves, socks, hats. You can always take it off. YEAH YOU CAN!
- A buff is a handy item. If you don’t know what that is, google it. Again, you can probably ask for a loaner if you don’t want to spring for your own but they’re super fucking trendy right now.
- Wear a hat. Don’t be a hero. I’ll learn how great your hair is come spring.
- Loose fitting clothes are your enemy and should be worn mostly as an outer layer. They tend to trap cold air and will quickly bring the chill.
- FIGURE OUT TRANSPORTATION AHEAD OF TIME: This might seem dumb but make sure you know how you’re getting to the workout in the morning. Don’t be afraid to ask for rides! Knowing the game plan will make being cold a whole lot less miserable.
- BOUNCE: The bounce is a tradition brought down to us from the miserable winters of the Northeast. It serves a purpose. Bounce high, bounce long and bounce tight. If you start the workout warm you’ll stay warm. You’ll be warm within three minutes and the workout will take care of itself. If you’re not getting warm we suggest moving faster.
- BRING FRIENDS: If you want to be weatherproof this winter but the plummeting temps scare you, start by inviting a friend. They’ll tell you you’re crazy for sure so follow that up with some classy name calling. When that doesn’t work promise you’ll buy them breakfast, or a car, or a house. Whatever it takes. They won’t cash out. ( I can’t be held accountable for that statement). Having someone be weatherproof with you will make it a lot easier and less daunting.
- DON’T THINK ABOUT IT: This is the final and most important part of being weatherproof. Weather is inevitable. It’s going to get cold, it’s going to rain, it’s going to snow, your hands will get chilly, your toes may be uncomfortable. We know these things. They happen every winter. The only really bad part comes from you talking about it all the time. The weather is a near constant topic of conversation but if it’s inhibiting your morning workouts….just ignore it. Some mornings are hot, some are cold, some are dark…they are what they are. The important part is that we’re going to be there and we want you there with us!
It happens every winter. People will tell you you’re crazy for doing this. They’ll tell you you’re crazy for waking up and exercising in the middle of June when it’s 75 degrees but the winter will really do them in. Embrace that. It’s just weather and only the real potato sacks let themselves be manipulated by it. So next time your aunt (she’s like quasi facebook savvy but still occasionally signs her posts – Aunt Barb) remarks about all of these pictures of you working out in freezing temps, just smile and nod. You know you’re a Grade-A badass… we think that’s enough. Get #weatherproof this winter and I promise, you might just enjoy it.
As always, Take Big Bites Out of Life.
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