Letting People In (YEG)

November Project is based around a fitness. However, it is truly about the people that show up. We had a reporter from a local news channel follow us around for a  few workouts to get a true sense of what we are all about and she did such a great job of capturing what November Project is truly about. You can watch it here.

It took me over a year before I truly let down my guard at the workouts and let the tribe in. Now, it’s not going to take everyone a year to be comfortable with this. It could take 1 second, or 1 decade. For those who are not really sure what to think of our shenanigans, or the people in the tribe, I’ll give you a few tips that could help.

Before I go on, this is probably going to be a bit uncomfortable. If you need, take it in small doses. If you can only handle a small bit of discomfort, that is ok. But if there is no discomfort, you’re not trying hard enough.

  • You know that group of people that you always see at the workouts who seem like they have known each other since birth? They actually didn’t know each other before November Project. Just go up and say “Hi, I’m (insert real name here).
  • You know when you think that you’re not fit enough or fast enough to go talk to that group before the bounce? Every single one of them couldn’t care less how fit or fast you are. They care about your presence. They care that you are effort. Sure, they might be trying to pass you on that hill, but your effort is what is motivating them.
  • Learn at least one person’s name each day. It’s impossible to learn 300 names in a week or a month. Start with one person. Have a real conversation. Find out about who they are, what they enjoy doing. You already have this early morning free fitness thing in common. Not sure what to ask? How about “How long have you been coming to November Project?” or “How did you hear about November Project?” Then find someone else next time.
  • You never know who might need you in that moment. You’ve probably heard how something as simple as a smile can turn someone’s day around. You don’t even need to smile. Just being there can turn someone’s day around. Knowing that they’re surrounded by people in a safe environment is more than enough. You may never be told, and you may never even know, but I guarantee that your presence is needed.
  • When we tell you to give someone a hug, as much as you may hate it or love it, don’t think about your exit strategy. Hold that hug for an extra second. Tell that person that “You’re Glad They’re Here”, but do it with intention. You might not realize it, but every single person there.
  • Oh, and if you’re ever worried that you had met someone and now forgot their name and don’t want to feel bad? It’s ok. Jen has already paved the way for you and has likely called you and everyone else by 4 different names before she figured it out. There’s so many people and brains aren’t very functional at 6am, so it’s always ok to say “Hey, have we met?” or “I see you all the time, but I don’t remember your name. I’m (insert real name here).” No one is going to be offended that you didn’t remember their name.
  • Oh Oh Oh! And if you ever are scared that someone might judge you for doing something weird or yelling weird noises during the bounce,  well, we’re in a judgement free zone. Besides, we all know Jen would never run up and down a hill with an entire cake. But when you’re at November Project, anything goes and the weirder it may seem, the more fun we have. We may be serious in our photos, but we never take ourselves too seriously.

I promise you that if you are willing to let people in, you will get more out of November Project and have exactly 37x more fun than you did before. Everyone in this story will agree. Or, maybe I have just been doing too much yoga lately.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Jen!


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