Sup NPSF! We wanted to give you a little bit of a recap of what we did in Seattle and some thoughts on it. The basics: We had 3 days of meetings, some workouts, and some hangout time.
Day 1 started with a run with Des Linden (If you don’t know her, check her out @des_linden on IG – she won the Boston Marathon in 2018, the first time an American woman has won in 33 years, and is overall a badass runner), and then a day of meetings at Brooks HQ talking about Brooks as a company, what their values are, and why they’re amped to partner with NP. In summary, a partnership with NP doesn’t change much for us in SF, but it was cool to hear that their goal is to get more people out and running, regardless of speed, experience level, background, etc, and with the goal of enjoying it (that’s why their motto is #runhappy) – which we think lines up pretty well with NP’s goal.
Day 2 started with a giant NP Seattle workout, and then we gathered for some really thoughtful and important sessions that I would equate to somewhat of a manager training if you’ve ever had those at work. We spent the morning with 2 former NP Madison members, DA (@dadirks09 on IG) and Somia (@spalredd on IG), who do a ton of work on equity, diversity, and inclusion. We did some exercises and had some discussions about identity and all the many pieces that go into it. We talked about how people can feel more connected to and impacted by different pieces of their identity, and how even if a piece of your identity is visible it might not be the most important piece of how you see yourself, and vice versa. While the focus was broader than NP, it connects back to how we think about welcoming people to our community, giving them the space to be themselves, and making sure they feel like they can bring their whole selves. It left us thinking about how they we can try to ensure that people of all identities feel welcome in NP and feel that they can bring their true selves to workouts and events. We also spent some time talking about sexual harassment and assault, specifically how we as leaders can support members of our city and keep people safe as much as possible. It’s a good reminder to treat people with respect, and to ensure you all know that we are here for you. We wrapped up with some discussions in small groups about each city’s approach to things like recruiting, co-leading, and giving back.
Day 3 was a short day of meetings where we focused on specific topics around workouts in our cities – specifically things like tagging (Rich from Vancouver is a pro), correct exercise form from some leaders who are also certified trainers, the positivity award and its significance and value, and how to think about recruiting and talking about NP without being too overbearing.
Outside of the official meetings, there was a lot of value in talking to leaders from other cities about their experiences being part of NP and now leading it. While the core concepts of NP are the same everywhere, each city is unique in how workouts are run, how the city is setup, who lives there, what draws people to workouts, etc. It’s on us in SF to use what we have in our city to make NPSF special.
After we got back from Seattle, the 3 of us met to discuss just that – what we want NPSF to be, and how we can make it a great experience for you all. We came up with the main tenets of welcoming, weird, and shared suffering. Don’t get scared away by the shared suffering piece, it sounds intense but really all it means is that people build strong bonds from enduring together, and part of why NP can create such strong friendships and communities is that we’re all out there grinding and pushing ourselves harder alongside each other (and having fun doing it). We want to create that experience for you and ensure that anyone who’s interested in trying it out feels welcomed and included when they do.
That’s it for now. As always, if you have feedback or questions, we encourage you to grab us after a workout or find us at the next NPSF happy hour. If it’s easier, messaging us always works too 🙂 And in the meantime, we’ll keep on trying to make your Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings the best times of the week.Share via socials: