Next Steps (CHI)

Day 20684576091. We’re going to get through this! Meanwhile, you still have time to perfect that sourdough recipe.

Several of you have started to ask individually when and how our workouts will take place in the weeks and months ahead. Expect gradual changes, and we are going to adhere to local government and safety guidelines. We know the weather is getting warmer, and you may have noticed recently that our workouts are designed to be completed at home or outdoors, whichever you choose. In either case, social distancing is a requirement—you must respect the safety and space of those around you.

As I’m publishing this, it’s unclear when exactly we’ll enter phase 3 which permits groups of up to ten people in most public spaces. Some of you might decide workouts would be more fun and effective in small groups, but at the same time, we absolutely do not want to exclude anyone. Therefore, until we can all gather together as one big group, our only official workout location is on Zoom. This allows everyone to join. BUT, for those of you who on your own decide to formulate groups, here’s a spreadsheet to help formulate your plans.

Why the spreadsheet? Kaitlyn and I cannot police everyone’s workout plans. But it would be a bad look if 30 people all wearing grassroots gear converge at the same park for a workout. At the same time, if you are planning to workout in your neighborhood park, please post it and you might have someone join you. Better yet, you might have someone new join you! This is also a great opportunity for everyone to join a workout from any geographical location, so if you’re reading this from the far south, west, or north parts of the city or beyond, we want you with us!

NEW WAIVERS – Everyone must sign the updated waiver before attending your next workout. The days of paper and crayon signings are over as we’re going all electronic now (can anyone else picture Kevin Waz saying something along the lines of “Oooooh FANCY!”). This is important, this is mandatory. Please sign the waiver!

While meeting up as a whole group is still a ways off, the same guidelines for meeting in small groups of up to ten people will still apply. NP HQ outlined this in their recent blog

  1. Social distancing (This means no physical contact, hugs, high fives, fist bumps, etc.)
  2. Postponing partner exercises
  3. Really spread-out blurry group photos 
  4. Bounces not taking place
  5. Still having a shit ton of fun

Again, NP HQ elaborated this list in a blog post that also provides guidance on wearing face masks at workouts. Read it, please.

The last part of our future I want to touch on first requires a quick look back. On May 8th, many of us participated in a 2.23 mile run with the hashtag #IRunWithMaud to honor Ahmaud Abrey’s life and to demonstrate the need for better social and racial equality. But what have we really done since then? For many of us, running 2.23 miles is relatively easy. Even though the intent has always been for everyone to #justshowup , race and inclusivity within NP Chi can and should be better. We consider ourselves an inclusive group, as that is our goal, and for a lot of you reading this, you probably do not feel excluded. But for every-one person who shows up to a workout and continues to show up, there’s probably eight people who show up, don’t feel welcome, and never come back, and we’ll never hear why. Indeed, inclusivity goes beyond just race—there’s age, gender, athletic ability, income, sexual orientation, ethnicities, etc., etc., to name a few, but racial inequality is a real problem in our city and at large that is going to take a lot of hard work to improve.

If your first reaction to reading this is to be  defensive regarding November Project, you’re similar to me in that I need to do a better job listening. I admit, I come from a place of privilege, but even after just a few days of becoming more educated, I’ve learned a great deal.  Several of you have put the wheels into motion to engage in a series of important discussions regarding this issue. You are true leaders. More on that to come, separately.

One silver lining to this pandemic is that before we resume being all together, the time apart allows us to take a step back and look to hit a “reset” button so to speak, allowing us to leave from this pandemic better than when we entered it.

We’re calling on you for suggestions on how we can be more inclusive and we are here to listen. If it’s a conversation you don’t feel comfortable initiating in the comments section, reach out to us by any means. DM, text, email (novemberprojectchi@gmail.com), and let’s keep making NP Chi a greater community for all.

One final announcement, Wednesday June 3rd is also Global Running Day. Our sponsor Brooks is hosting a free virtual 5k that you can complete anytime between June 3rd – 7th, find some #runhappy anywhere! If you register, send us a selfie. If you post on InstaFaceTok, use the #NP_Continues and tag us @novemberprojectchicago

See you Wednesday morning! Find us 6:18a on Zoom! Reach out if you need anything in the meantime.

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