A slam Duncan of Positivity: Meet Jim (DCA)

Jim Duncan, Positivity Award winner

Last week, we couldn’t be more proud to present Jim Duncan with the Positivity Award. What stands out to us about Jim is his constant presence, his willingness to always put in the work and go as hard as he can every workout, his reliability (he’s NEVER been late), and his listening (you won’t find Jim asking for workout details after an explanation!), among other things. Meet Jim below, and of course come find him (and the award) at a workout MWF! read more

Positively Phil — meet our newest Positivity Award recipient

We say this often, but it really is true — when we give out the Positivity Award, it’s usually overdue. Such is the case for the newest PA recipient, Phil, who commutes from Annapolis for every workout. Phil is a family man, an embodiment of the community that he runs and smiles with, and an all-out great person. He personifies how NP truly brings together people from different backgrounds, different stages of life, and different physical places! OK, I’ll let Phil speak now. If you haven’t yet gotten to know him, I hope this helps — and introduce yourself at the next workout, too! read more

Chris Jolly embraces positivity and is pretty fashionable, too (DCA)

We can’t say enough great things about Chris Jolly, who received the Positivity Award last week. Jolly inspires and pushes those around him every week, is ubiquitous in the DC running scene, and is arguably the most fashionable NPDC runner (watch out, Dan Martin!). But enough from us. Get to know Chris from this Q&A and find him (and the PA) at the next workout! (PS — follow his adventures with the PA on Snapchat at @npdc_positivity).

1) How, when and where were you introduced to November Project?
I originally saw the runners from NP super early in the morning, as I was heading to Tenleytown. At first glance, I thought was a boot camp class or some other workout happening in front of Lincoln Memorial. Afterwards, I saw it posted on RWB’s social page. From there, the attempts I made to show up were failures — failures because I wasn’t focused and determined to get up that early. So someway, I made it up in my mind to make it there. I don’t know what I was thinking other than, “Lets see what this is all about!”

2) What do you remember about your first workout?
What I remember most about my first workout (August 2016) is (former co-leader) Kaelan introduced me and another guy as the two loners who didn’t get invited or had friends accompanying us. We stood in the middle of the cirlce, and people welcomed us by chanting our names over and over. Quite surprising, but I enjoyed it. I also remember telling myself during the workout, “I’m not as fit of a runner as I thought,” and running along the never-ending lengthy reflecting pool over and over. I also remember ending the workout, and saying to myself I have to come back and do better and this is exactly where I should be.

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Jolly? It's in the name!

Posted by November Project DC on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

3) What motivates you to keep you coming back?

The photos! Also, to be honest, it’s the community, the intensity of the workouts, the drive from others, the competition within myself to do better, the way we are #weatherproof, the accountability of verbals, chasing the top-hat on PR day #futuregoals, and running with people within my pace group and challenging them and myself to push harder.

4) What does winning the Positivity Award mean and represent to you? read more

Race Day 2.0, 2.0 (IND)

July 25, 2018


The new race day is back with a vengeance! This puppy is no joke (even for puppies like Hamiltonand Penny). We’re talking 26 minutes on the clock, running laps around the block. During those laps you’re stopping on the platforms (after slapping gold doors) to knock out 20 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, 20 mountain climbers, and 10 burpees.

We’re bringing back the tracker.

The tracker, found here, was popularized years ago and is used by you to track your monthly race day time (formerly) to see your improvement. It fell by the wayside for about a year, but it’s been resurrected. With the new race day being a set time rather than a set number of reps and laps to complete, the tracker will now be used to track race day distance covered/reps completed rather than time.

Log your new race day numbers in the tracker as follows: Whole number (integer if you ran the block in reverse) for each full lap completed, decimal for each rep completed on an incomplete lap. Examples:

  • In July, Jenny completed 3 full laps and 16 reps of sit-ups. Jenny’s July race day number is 3.16  …[3 full laps + .16 sit-ups]
  • In June, Rashard completed 4 full laps and 7 reps of burpees (so close; you’ll get 5 next month, Rashard!). Rashard’s June race day number is 4.67  …[4 full laps + .20 sit-ups, .20 push-ups, .20 mountain climbers, and .7 burpees]
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    Party in the USA

    It’s been hot out.  Like stupid hot.  Like run your AC all day hot even though your electric bill is going to be $300 next month. Like taking a shower to cool off from your shower hot.  So waking up early ass o’clock on a holiday to engage in some free fitness was a way better alternative than, say, running a 5k and/or a 10k in 96 degree heat and a million percent humidity (which many of the tribe did this week).

    But like zombies in the fog, the tribe walked through the haze of the Providence sunrise to engage in what turned out to be an team competition to celebrate America’s independence – the Colonists vs the Red Coats, if you will. read more

    Good for your City – Good for your Body

    Things are rocking in Providence! We witnessed an amazing turnout for PR day – humid, hot, and 119 of our closest, sweaty friends.  People showed up and put in quality work. We are feeling the love – two  MKE #traverbals made their way to the State House this Wednesday and crushed #stairsforbreakfast with our tribe!

    An extremely impressive thing also happened – not only did we have our inaugural Positivity Award winner championing his stairs with the award, but we also witnessed a second Positivity Award running around  . . . Amazingly enough, the Positivity Award from NovemberProjectWOO joined us at the Rhode Island Statehouse this morning where with grace and humility he put in fantastic work! I think we are pretty lucky!   The day rounded out with our first recruiting papers social!

    What’s happening in our neck of the woods:

    July 4th – Remember we are not only #weatherproof but most definitely Holiday proof – Join us next Wednesday for a patriotically themed work out – celebrate your independence with our tribe!

    June 11th – look ahead as NE Distance has invited us to a track meet! – #raceeverything with an all ages, all skills track meet at Cumberland High School – spectators and volunteers needed!!

    September 15th – 16thDo not forget! November Project Summit 6 – Wisconsin “Say Cheese”   Races for everyone from 5k to 50 miler!

    NP_PVD Recruit Papers


    Stein Esser – NP Came During a Time in my Life When I Really Needed It (ATL)

    The below is a guest blog post from one of our longtime members, Stein Esser. He won ATL tribe’s Positivity Award, and has an amazing story to share. 

    This week, I won the November Project Atlanta Positivity Award for being So Chill, So Popular™.

    If you had told me a year ago that I would win something for being a positive influence on others around me (and have a catch phrase), I would never have believed you because I was in the midst of a particularly brutal, year long bout of depression. I’ve touched on it in a previous blog post,=&0=&but In light of recent events with the passing of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, I feel like I would be doing a disservice to this award if I didn’t share my own history with chronic depression.

    I should first say that I am incredibly fortunate to have grown up with a loving family and friends. I had an amazing childhood and upbringing. If you ask people that know me, they’d say I’m kind of an oddball. I’ve always loved comedy and goofy humor. But at the same time, depression is something that I think I’ve always dealt with in some capacity. For me, I think it emanates from a deep fear of rejection and failure. As a pretty introspective person, those feelings of self-doubt could snowball into a constant barrage of negativity. As a result, I’d go through periods of depression that could last any amount of time. If I had to describe it, it’s like constantly hating yourself so much that your body hurts and you’d rather feel nothing. And so, to get by, you check out mentally and emotionally. While all of that is going on internally, to the outside world, you’re either a robot that’s going through the motions or an asshole that’s projecting negativity. It really fucking sucks.

    Depression is really hard to talk about. The stigma of it all puts you in a shame cycle. Ideally, you could say, “Hey, my brain feels broken. Who can relate? WHOOOOO” (shout out to Logic). I’ve always been fortunate to have had people support me and help pull me back out of my depressive episodes.  They may not have known it, but their simple act of kindness or just reaching out really went a long way.

    I am so grateful for all of the meaningful connections I’ve made and positive experiences I’ve felt this past year. I feel like my genuine self again and am more present than I can remember. Depression is something that I don’t think will ever leave me, but it’s more manageable. A philosopher named Sean Francis Early once said “Fuck them, Be you.”  For me, that’s a powerful message about being true to oneself and telling that negative self-doubt shit to fuck off. To win the Positivity Award means so much to me not only because of all I’ve been through but also because I’ve made it a goal to reciprocate those good vibes.  When a person seems checked out/low/sad/tired/depressed, just be there for them. It matters.

    Here’s Stein’s speech that he gave for the Positivity Award. 

    You can check out Stein’s hilarious Instagram stories by following him: @steincasso.

    Stein – with so many expressions when he won the Positivity Award.



    Oakland <3s Hadar

    This is Hadar.

    She’s awesome.

    Hadar is the first and very deserving recipient of November Project Oakland’s Positivity Award. Hadar is one of those people we’ve all met at November Project: someone who’s new to an area, decided to check out NP, and just kept. showing. up. She shows up to every workout. She shows up to NPSF hills on Fridays. She shows up to happy hour. She showed up to Bay to Breakers.

    So when she told us how #NP_OAK helped her find friends in a new city and that she’s running her first marathon this weekend, we knew we’d found the right person to carry the oar handle for the first time.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the tribe seemed to have fun with Rebecca’s Call Me Maybe workout this morning.


  • This Sunday, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is throwing its annual Amazing Athletes festival, and November Project will be there this year! The Amazing Athletes festival uses STEM and Art to explore fitness, sports, healthy habits, and other fun stuff. Alex and Paddy O’Leary from NPSF will be leading a fitness station at 12:30pm on Sunday, June 10 at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito. Tell your friends!
  • It’s Pride Month! To join in the celebration of Pride, we’ll be making tagging shirts with rainbow NP tags next week. Bring a white t-shirt to the workout next Wednesday and Alex and Rebecca will take care of the rest.
  • East Bay Beer Runners and the Oaktown Half are hosting a happy hour tonight at Federation Brewing in Oakland. Come celebrate Global Running Day and watch the Dubs take on the Cavs.
  • Roger and Jen are hosting breakfast at their place in Adams Point after the workout next Wednesday. Shoot them a message on Facebook if you plan on attending so they know roughly how many guests to expect.
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    Another PR Day, Another Coleader, and British Royalty (CHI)

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    Another Friday, another no-longer-new PR day, another positivity award, and another new chapter.

    Yet again, our re-located to Fridays PR Day has been full of all the sweat, all the fun, and the most gigantic stairs of all. The tribe left it all on the line, and despite the timecap getting truncated for announcements (we promise, it won’t happen again), inched their way towards a “full tour” of 15 laps. We’re most proud that, despite serious humidity, everyone drank water and no one fainted. Nice job, friends.

    In case you missed announcements… NP CHI is officially bringing on a third co-leader! Dani Kruger is joining Chris and Stew to bring you loads of sweat, hugs, and fun as we continue to build and grow this weird and wonderful movement. We couldn’t be more excited, but at least as exciting (maybe more) is that we finally got to recognize our very own British Royalty. More to come on the new Trifecta of Leadership, but for now, we give you our positivity award winner… Sarah Beck:

    What a way to start the day. Firstly with all of you and secondly, well, I still can’t quite believe it but I received the Oar of Positivity and I am in awe (no pun intended) of this and all that it represents.

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    Amongst those who know me well (and perhaps not so well) it’s an accepted thing that when I love or feel passionately about something I bang on, and on and on about it. Ad infinitum. I’m bursting with my latest discovery and want to share it with literally everyone. That is exactly how I am with NP. I get my leg pulled a lot: ‘Hey, Sarah, remind me again, what’s that running thing you do, the one you barely mention?’; ‘What’s that, you can’t stay out late Thursday night because you have to be up at 5am to do that thing you hardly discuss ever.’ ‘You exercised in the snow?! Are you mad? Oh, right, NP. Say no more.’ #mytinyhandsarefrozen (La Bohème)

    I joined NP nearly two years ago not long after moving to Chicago. On a run along the Lake one Wednesday morning I got a random high-five from an NP’er. It was brilliant. I couldn’t stop smiling. He made my day. As I ran back through the group I spotted the tagged t-shirts and went home to Google who these people were. A company fitness group or maybe a local gym? The next week I stepped right out of my comfort zone and into a world of hugs and ‘fu*k yeah’s’. I’m more used to a firm handshake and a ‘how do you do’. I was out of my comfort zone for quite a few months but I kept going back. I found others too had stepped out of their comfort zones. We all had stories to share. If needed we put on our brave face to #justshowup. Suddenly I was part of the cool gang – we do Glow Runs and everything! The best unkept secret group that hardly anyone seemed to have heard of … until I started sharing – ref above! I relished the kind smiles and energy, the friendliness, the warm welcomes and the never ending encouragement. Our leaders (old, current and recently inducted) are inspiring. They ROCK. They are NUTTY AS FRUITCAKE (that’s a good thing). They are inventive AND they remember everyone’s name. How do they do that? I apologise if I’ve asked your name more than once or told you my name more than once when you had already remembered it. It doesn’t mean I’ve not noticed you, it just means I’m rubbish at remembering names. Also, I made a friend as a result of NP who doesn’t go to NP (gasp, I know, hard to believe). I met her as I walked home after a workout. She has an Australian cattle dog and we got chatting. #friendsmadebecauseofNP

    I’ve always exercised representing my school in hockey and netball; taking part in athletic events throwing the discus, shot put and javelin (surprising everyone including me as underarm is my preferred way to throw) and joined in really, really enthusiastically when pop-mobility hit our town and much latterly Zumba. Oh how I loved Zumba. I banged on about that for ages. When I can’t exercise I feel out of sorts, grumpy and just flat. And so an early morning workout, one of which is literally at the top of my road, is a shot of joy. My friends not based in Chicago think I’m akin to Wonder Woman and on a never ending workout! I’m not either. I may be in a fair few photos on FB surrounded by many happy, smiley, fit people and I may like to repost those photos, but I am just one of the many and together we make (in my eyes) the whole. The best fitness family ever.

    I thank you all for welcoming me and noticing me. It means a lot it really does. I thank you all for encouraging me and inviting me to take part in a variety of events; for running way below your capabilities to keep me company and for making my time (actually my husband and my time – happy wife, happy life) here in Chicago, well, just perfectly lovely. I return your positivity with my smiles. I have good teeth apparently. My granddad said I would have made a fine horse! I think that was a compliment. He didn’t like me colouring my hair pink so I stopped that but I keep on smiling.