By the time you are reading this, I will have already bounced my last bounce as a co-leader of November Project Chicago.
Don’t let the name fool you, Hell Week III Parks Unknown was anything but hell. The parks new, the workouts intense, and the bonds strong. You could pay $200 bucks for some intense Groupon boot camp, but I promise that this free week of fitness paid so much more than physical dividends. Scrolling social media hours after the workouts, there were messages of new found friendships, humans believing in themselves again, and a burn that felt “oh so good”. The week concluded with a long overdue reunion and a bittersweet retirement.
For those who participated, whether you were an OG or newbie, or you came for 1 day or all 5, We hope that we did a good job of providing a good workout for you. We hope you were challenged, but also had fun. On top of all that, we hope that we reminded you of the purpose of NP: There are many things that we do really well but when we boil it down to one sentence, we’re engaging in human development and building community connections through empowering social fitness. We’re here for each other and we’re glad you’re here. But to be part of this, you have to #justshowup
Here’s how it all went down. . .
Monday & Tuesday Recap as told by Jill.
Monday: Red Mill Farms Park 🛎
We took the tribe deep into the heart of Virginia Beach to a classic park for a game of burpee baseball. The outfield was a little wet so we made some quick modifications as to keep our favorite peeps happy so they would come back the next four days. There were sidesteps, skips and weaving through trees interspersed with burpees for the base runs. For one badass, there was some dry heaving between bases, but after a quick well being check, “all good” was confirmed and the workout would continue. Finishing up the morning with head to head sprints in across home plate, left everyone feeling amazing. The tribe left with soaking wet sneaks and a buzz that would carry them into the week.
Tuesday: Malibu Park 🌀
This location was a true hidden gem with only two people ever previously stepping foot in the park. We dressed in all black and the name of the game was stealth as a ninja as to not disturb the sleeping neighbors. The bounce was epic and so were the bugs. Pathway lunges and backpedals led us onto the trails for some deep dark technical sections. Rounding out the cycle with pick your poison playground workouts. The tribe bounced among the monkey bars, slides and swings for step ups, sit-ups and dips. We finished out with a slinky wave sit-up line for our burnout. Sneaking back to our cars like we were never even there, we capped off another amazing hell week day.
Wednesday & Thursday Recap as told by Bernard.
Wednesday: Lake Lawson Park🛶
If I told you Red and I would paddle a canoe to shore, with smoke trailing behind them and “Welcome to the Jungle” blaring, you would say we’re crazy. Well call us crazy because that’s exactly what we did. Pretending the boys weren’t around, Jill set the stage for our grand entrance. She was so convincing that they were missing, that some tribe members offered to call the police to look for them! This day was literally the height of the week because there was so much going on. We started with the 5:30AM Hell Week workout, followed immediately by our 6:15AM regular workout. We also took Yearbook Photos during the 5:30AMworkout (they were all amazing…we are such a photogenic good looking group). Today was also symbolic of John passing the torch to Bernard and Jill; John started the bounce, but handed it off to B to finish it up. Hands down, Wednesday was one of our favorite NP memories of all time.
Thursday: Northside Park ⌛
Hardcore parkour. Dancing. NP. Do they have anything to do with each other? Not really. But it’s Hell Week, so anything goes. Today we started our day with a little warm up, then transitioned into grooving to the Cupid Shuffle. I must say that this group can really get down and boogie! The workout was in a skate park, giving ourselves the opportunity to live our wildest parkour dreams, going through each workout station. When trying to recruit people in the future, I will have this day in mind when I say, “We just try to have fun while we workout. We even did a workout in a skate park!” The burnout was a great way to top off the day. We did a series of sprints, but eventually separated ourselves by the year we started NP. It grew over the years and really showed the legacy John left behind.
Friday Recap as told by Red.
Friday: Ocean View Beach Park 🌊
My last day leading NP_VB. First off, wow.
Jill & Bernard pulled off a surprise that I didn’t see coming but it was a surprise that I loved. I’m not big on surprises or presents but the fact that they got and tagged all those red shirts to give away to everyone at my last workout means so much to me. (And with my own face tag on them!) It was the perfect gift/memory for all the people who showed up!
To the tribe, I’m not going anywhere at the moment. I am just taking this time to focus on myself, my family, & my career. I’m looking forward to being able to get to show up instead of having to show up. Leading is an incredible experience but you sometimes neglect your own fitness, so I am looking forward to getting off of IR deck and completing full workouts with y’all.
To all the out-of-towners & OGs & newbies who showed up for hell week & my last week. Thank you.
Lastly, Thank you all for believing in me and in November Project the movement. Thank you for allowing me to lead you for an amazing 3.5 years, I’ll never forget it. This shit is good.
PS: I couldn’t feel more solid about the future of the tribe now that it’s in Jill & Bernard’s hands, they love this shit as much as I do and can’t wait to see where they take us from here.