Meet the Sparkettes (Guest blog- Ottawa)

Anne shows up with an incredible energy. She is an example for the tribe, as well as her 3 awesome daughters. We are very grateful to have her as part of this community. She also first showed up on a snowy morning in the winter. That is badass. For those friends who are going to “wait until it’s warmer”, here’s a lady who didn’t come up with excuses. She came up with reasons to make it happen. Sometimes people hesitate when they tell us they haven’t been out in a while, or say sorry when they miss a workout…. what we tell people is that we are happy every time they show up, no matter how frequent or infrequent. They are always welcomed with open arms. The Sparkettes bring an energy every time they show up and we love having all of them with us. 

We asked Anne to share what her experience has been like showing up to November Project. Thank you for sharing your story. Meet Anne.

November project is awesome.

When I was first told about a group of people who meet Wednesday mornings at 6:29am for free fitness, my first reaction was “wow, that sounds like fun”.  But….unfortunately my second reaction was “oh, that’s too bad. Maybe one day I can go”.

That was my reaction because Wednesday is not a day I thought I would ever be able attend for so many reasons…. well, three to be exact, my girls.  Those three reasons have been aptly named “the Sparkettes” (which they LOVE LOVE LOVE). I thought that there was definitely NO WAY they’d ever be interested in waking up before normal weekday time just to go to a workout. Additionally, how do I ever manage getting them and myself ready for an early morning workout – food, clothes and setting up the logistics of post workout life (work and childcare or school) since we do not live within school boundary or walking  distance of the stadium or parliament hill. More on that later….

One day, everything happened to line up for me to experience my very first November Project workout.  I was soooooooo excited!!!!! (It was without the Sparkettes, but maybe that was also a good thing).

Fresh snow had just dumped on Ottawa from a huge snowstorm. I remember asking if it would be cancelled because of the snowstorm. I was told that NPers were #weatherproof and I was to #justshowup. I did, it was as much fun as I was told it was going to be.  This includes lying in the snow doing leg raises and “what’s a hoisty-j”?

But wait! It gets better!!! I could make it to the very next workout as well!!! Two!! Two in a row!!?! Best month ever!

Prepping the night before my second NP workout, I learned that it was going to be a “PR day”….ok. Interesting.  I say interesting because PR day seemed to have this magic about it where it could not entirely be explained. So I show up, pumped and ready to workout on a FREEZING cold day.  I very quickly learn what a “PR day” meant. It meant challenging yourself to do your best while receiving high fives, cheers and words of encouragement from those you literally just met the week before (they remembered me!!) and some people only as the workout started…..all as if we had been working on PR Day for years together.  We earned our beautifully frosted eyelashes, and yes, we definitely received funny comments from passersby who thought we were crazy, which kinda made it better. So much fun.

I was hooked.

Feel good feelings were happening, and I wanted more!!!

Before I was ever able to show up, I was told that this group of people were “my kind of people”…how right that statement was!!!! Super encouraging, enthusiastic and all around positive atmosphere. High fives, hugs, words of encouragement…..just for being there. Then the workout begins. If you thought just showing up brought out the encouraging and amazing nature of the tribe, wait until you start doing burpees with them. You’ve never seen or heard such fantastic things.

Immediately I felt comfortable, confident and just plain happy around the group.  I felt that no matter what I did or how I did it, I was way more than good enough – and I was a part of the tribe.

When I first met with NP, I was at the beginning of the end of a major transition in my life. The positive atmosphere of this group reminded me that the world is amazing and people can also be even more amazing.

My 4th NP workout was a holiday popup, 2 of the Sparkettes were there. It was a super fun workout!! (Somehow tailored directly to the girls!!!)  I learned that day the younger you are, the better at leapfrogging you are (I have a feeling that this is just a lack of fear of gravity, but that’s my personal opinion).  The feeling of being a part of the tribe was immediately extended to the girls. They were accepted into a team of adults, no questions asked…the girls were welcomed with open arms and the tribe truly treated them like a fellow teammate.

Now the girls were hooked!!! They couldn’t wait to get back home to tell (or brag to) their sister about how much fun they had while she was at a sleepover!! They asked to go back.

I schemed and planned and worked at trying to figure out how to get them (and ultimately myself, let’s be honest) back to a workout! I figured it out for summer break – the next step was to convince the Sparkettes to go along with it.

Well, that was not hard at all! Immediately they were on board with the fun!  This was the only day of the week I did not have to convince the girls to get out of bed.  They were jumping out of bed, each and every week. Did I mention they had to get up Wednesday mornings long before their normal weekday time?

Tagging day at NP was like Christmas at my house.  The girls were so happy to receive their very own tagged shirt.

I now know what it means to wear my tagged gear, and I am very proud and eager to wear my tagged gear everywhere possible.

Even though the Sparkettes love school, they were very sad (me too) when it was our last day of the summer and we couldn’t come back until holiday popups or next summer.

Sparkette number 2 (birth order, not ranking) recently told me why she loves NP. She said that it’s not really the workout (although that’s fun too) that brings her out – it’s the people, the energy and the overall positive feelings that are given and received while we are there,  and equally, while we are not there (social media can be very positive). She even surprised me by wearing her tagged shirt like a badge of honor on the first day of school this year. She was hoping that everyone would ask her about it.

Sparkettes number 1 and 3 specifically asked if they could have November Project be a part of their birthday gift. I’m sure it’s because it means so much to all of us to be able to go.

Even though I am a part time Wednesday workout attendee, I feel like a full time tribe member – always welcome and always feeling like I belong.

The sense of a community is so outstanding, a real family experience.

Thank you for bringing me to that very first NP workout.


  1. Next week- Parliament Hill, we’re SO happy to be back! 
  2. Read a blog from another city 
  3. Have a wonderful day 
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