Chiberia amiright? It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s snowy/slushy/icy. This is that time of year when those new year’s resolutions start to wear off, and gym membership dies down. We start hibernating, planning tropical vacations, and considering becoming snowbirds that winter at NP San Diego. Instead of that negative energy, we want to flip the switch and throw out some positivity this February by challenging you to a recruitment challenge. If you’re not having fun this winter, it’s because you’re not with us. We want to help your friend, your coworker, your roommate, your bus seat-mate, that random girl in the bar bathroom that you had a really intense conversation with…you get the idea…we want to help everyone in Chicago have a little more fun this winter.
Did somebody say Traverbal? What…? Is that even a word? Did I just vomit a word into that opening sentence? Maybe? It’s fine. It’s a word. It’s a word that describes one of the things I’ve learned to love to do. If Webster was to create a dictionary definition of the word it would sound like this. Traverbal: To do cool, fun, crazy, random shit that makes you sweat with other crazy, fun, random people all around the world. Often very early in the morning, when the regular people of the world are busy sleeping. Oh, and you bring a passport shirt, or blanket, or both. Maybe even a puppy sweater. A hat? Anything you want. Then you get it spray painted with the unique tag of that location, it’s kinda cool. Mine’s the best for sure (shout out Joel to tie-dyeing my shirt for me in LA).
What many people don’t know is that the November Project is a registered racing team through the New York Road Runners (NYRR). This means that no matter where you are from or what tribe you workout with, if you select November Project as your team affiliation when registering for a NYRR race, you are considered a member of the November Project Racing Team. By being a member you have the ability to score points for the team which are tallied up at the end of the year and awards are handed out to the top teams in the city at a massive party called Club Night.
Yes, these points are based off of speed, however, there is one other award which is my personal favorite. The Team Spirit Award. This award is presented to the team that #justshowsup. And what other team just shows up more than those who also #wakeupthesun? That award has our name on it. This award goes to the team that has the biggest and loudest cheer squad with the highest participation during the race. We’ve won this award two of the last three years of this team existing (mic drop). Additionally, the Women’s Team has consistently placed in the top 3 in the Open B Division while the Men’s Team were recently moved to the Open A Division. This means that the Men’s Team now competes in the most competitive local club series =&0=&
By the end of 2017 we had 758 registered members of the November Project Racing Team making us one of the largest teams in New York City. None of this would have been possible without Captain Myles Fennon who started this racing team three years ago, not realizing then how big, fast, loud, and amazing it would become. I am humbled to have been chosen as the next Captain when he retired last December and happy to announce that the Women’s Team is now in first place after placing second at the Team Championships last weekend.
What does being your Captain mean? It means that I represent you at Club Council meetings and give you a voice. These meetings give every team a chance to have a say in what happens in the NYRR running community. It means that I can answer any questions you have about racing with NYRR whether it’s a Club Points Race or non-Club Points Race (what is a club points race?). It means that I make sure things are running smoothly behind the scenes so that your race day is flawless and hopefully without you noticing. It means that I am your go-to rep if you’re coming in town to run the NYC Marathon or even better, to cheer for the NYC Marathon. I manage the racing Facebook page that gives you all of the race day essentials like pre-race photo op, the bounce, course strategy, cheer squad location, etc. There are also tips and tricks on how to get faster or how to run hills or as Captain Emeritus Myles used to say how to “run the tangents!” It means that I am so proud of what this team has accomplished and can’t wait to see where it’s going. After 5 years of working out with the November Project, I have seen this incredible movement morph and evolve into the beautiful creature that it is today. But being Captain of this team has been, by far, the most humbling experience of it all.
All too often I get emails and messages asking if someone should sign up for a race if they are “slow” and feel like they will bring the team average down. No such thing as being too fast or too slow. My response is always and will always be that I don’t care about your speed, I care if you are there and doing your best. The best thing about being a NYRR racing team is that it gives us a chance to spread the love and positivity to the local running community. So if you’re already in NYC or you are traveling to NYC, you already know that our motto is #justshowup and whether that means showing up to score the team points, to run your own personal best (whatever that means for you that day), or to cheer your face off in the most neon outfit you can find, just. show. up.
Team Captain, November Project Racing Team
What in the wide world of November Project DC has happened to The Verbal?
If I were to deliver a State of NP DC address right now atop the Lincoln stairs (no, not the marble ones) — and as a reminder, this is not happening, and thank goodness for that — my opening would tackling this vexing question. For those new to the NP world, The Verbal is a commitment that you will attend a November Project workout. It used to be as popular as the “Big Andy 20-burpee Wednesday.” It’s not anymore. That’s a problem!
Here’s the official definition as taken from the glossary of NP The Book:
A verbal commitment to attend a future workout. Most commonly done via word-of-mouth, verbals can also be “dropped” online, through a text message, or through a handwritten love note. Giving a verbal is like swearing on all graves covered in holy scriptures and future loved children and grandchildren that you’ll attend. Do the right thing, don’t break a verbal. Ever. If someone says, “Yeah, I think I’ll check out November Project this week,” you can force them by saying, “Is that a verbal?” Then show them the We Missed You section. This is “hunting” or “fishing” for a verbal.
The book makes it sound really scary. It’s not (hey, they gotta sell books somehow #SexySells). Rather, I reached out to a few of the remaining regular verbal-ers to ask what’s up and why you should join them in helping to bring back this endangered NPDC species. Hear them out.
Emma Yourd, frequent verbaler
The NP #verbal is a lost art. I remember when I started coming to NP and people would comment on photo albums “#verbal” and then tag a bunch of their friends. And I couldn’t WAIT until I had enough NP friends who cared to see me at workouts and would peer pressure me into verbaling. A #verbal is a commitment to yourself, your runpool, and your friends that you’re gonna show up to the workout, and that you’re gonna put 100% into that workout. I #verbal so that our run pool can plan our route and meet up spots, so my friends from other parts of DC know I’ll be at the workout, and to pressure (in a very positive way) friends who are on the fence into dropping their own #verbal! As Lembo so eloquently put it: “why wouldn’t you want to give yourself and your friends one more reason to just show up?”
Woof… Woof. Woof. WOOFWOOF!
Shoutout to #DogsOfNP at this morning’s canine themed workout in Orlando.
- We coleaders of NP_ORL thought that today was one of our Tribe member’s dog’s birthday (Ernie the French Bulldog‘s bday is actually Dec 20th), so we planned a celebratory treat:
- Puppy-inspired exercises were: fire hydrant leg lifting, digging and squatting, rolling on the ground and, the classic, downward facing dog.
- Checkout ANNOUNCEMENTS at the bottom of this article.
Though we didn’t greet each other in the traditional dog way of sniffing each other’s butts, we got to warmly welcome 3 new faces (Sebastian, Sophia, Anderson) and 2 #traverbals (Mike of NPSD, Angel of NPLAX). It was a chilly 55-degrees F for us, but we powered through it.
:: ANNOUNCEMENTS ::
Being a fairly new tribe, a #traverbal is an exciting word to us. So when our homegrown girl Davina and expat Natalie who only got to know of NP because of Miri went to London this week, we were beyond ecstatic and yes, there’s the word… proud. Proud like papa and mama bears sending their NP children to the world. Proud because we already know they would be welcomed like family even before the bounce. Proud our seahorse tag made it out to a tribe in another city.
It’s only right we got these two ladies to write about their experience working out with November Project London. Minus points that there weren’t more pictures of Jake and Tom aka the Bradley Cooper and Taron Egerton. But I give you a million points for bringing along your best friends from London with you! #recruiteveryone
Photo credit to NP London
Waking up early on a Wednesday has kinda become the norm for me now, so when my alarm didn’t go off at 5am (dammit!) all was ok because my body clock sprung into action and got me up! Instead of waking up before the sun, like in Miri, the sun was awake and shining brightly in London- very rare, even for the British summer!
I dragged my best friend out of bed and insisted she joined me, after all she did #verbal the previous night. She wasn’t as awake, alert or excited as me. She was nervous and totally regretting letting me stay with her haha. We began our commute to Central London and took 2 buses to reach the Duke of York column. The roads were quiet, again rare, as the majority of London were still asleep or turning in from the previous night.
We arrived at the Duke of York column at the same time. Despite her twisted ankle, Davina was her same bubbly self and did us all proud by following the #justshowup rule. We walked down the steps and were instantly welcomed by the London tribe. Hugs all round!! The leaders introduced themselves and I flashed my seashore logo showing them where I came from- woooo I love you Miri!
The workout started with the standard NP bounce, there was no pg13 option and we all welcomed Wednesday the right way… with a fuck yeh!!
It was PR day! 5 burpees, 5 sets of stairs, 450m run… as many as you can in 25 minutes. I haven’t worked out since leaving NP Miri so I pushed myself and my best mate Marina – love you Marina. The temperature difference and zero humidity made it slightly easier… however, it was still a challenge!
I wana give a shout out to my bestie Marina – SO proud of her, she was totally out of her comfort zone but she did fab and surprisingly did it all with a smile on her face!! She said she’ll kill me if I tag her in their Facebook pics though, oooops.
When Ing told me there’s a tribe in London, I googled it immediately and started looking at the tube routes and bus routes to Waterloo Place. Having not been in London some twenty years now, I didn’t want to chance public transport and risk being late so I decided fuck it; I’m getting an Uber.
My best friend Lisa said she’d come along, so Wednesday morning came and along with Wednesday, came the sun. I was so excited that I was up with the sun and before my alarm! (This never happens; I think it’s the British summer.) I was half expecting Lisa not to wake up but to her credit, she did! I was successful because I was making her laugh whilst waking her up. (There are ways to get her to do things and I know all of them. Lol!)
We got the Uber (costed me 11 pounds by the way) and off we went to Central London. Our ride was timely as London was just coming alive to greet the new day and traffic was smooth sailing.
Nat and I arrived together at the Duke Of York Column. We made our way to the stairs and were greeted immediately by Bradley Cooper (Jake), the British actor in Kingsman (I don’t know his name but I’ve decided Tom looks like him) and the tribe. It was hugs all round and the bounce started low with a gradual progression to an enthusiastic peak of the infamous #fuckyeah!
My ankle didn’t let me do any running, so I did an alternative workout of squats, lunges, planks, push ups and crunches as many circuits as possible for 25 minutes. Lisa at her first NP workout, powered through 4 circuits in 25 minutes. I was so proud of my bestie both for dropping a #verbal and to #justshowup.
Living in the second machine-age, we become more detached from people than we realise. This experience, having the opportunity to workout with another tribe on another continent made me realise how great the November Project movement is, and how community-centric it is on a global scale; and that is mind blowing. #traverbals are awesome!
Photo credit to NP London
It looked like the orangutans of Sarawak have invaded London!
We’re proud that our girls kicked some serious PR ass on their first #traverbal workout in with the London tribe. We will ride high on this feeling as we wait for their return to Malaysia.
Seeing your faces Wednesday morning fuels my week. You have no idea how contagious your energy is to me. Thank you for creating this juicy-sweaty-let’s-bearhug-anyway movement just by being here. Let’s keep spreading the positivity throughout our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, grocery stores, highways (yes, even I-4), sidewalks, everywhere. You do a great job at making that eye contact and smiling (just don’t smile and stare for too, too long like I sometimes do — feedback data from strangers says it is creepy).
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce a #traverbal from November Project Dallas, The Clarence “CJ” Jackson. He drove from Dallas TX to Jacksonville FL, slept for 1-hour, then drove 2-hours to NP Orlando’s 6:29am workout.
Talk about dedication — people ask why, here is his answer:
Why do I November Project?
Quick answer: 4 F’s… Free, Fitness, Fun, Family!
Although my order of importance may change from time to time, this is the order in which I became hooked on We Run Big D…later to be known as November Project Dallas.
Free — self explanatory. People actually pay for the kind of workouts we are having.
Fitness — several years ago, I had a heart attack and needed to get back into shape because I still have to serve in the United States Air Force. Manuel Gonzales (Co-Leader NP_Dal) sat next to me at work and had been encouraging me for over a year to #justshowup!
Fun — workouts are challenging yet fun! I love NP fun natured spirit!
Family — a fitness tribe that not only is free and fun but holds each other accountable. We are there for each other not just during workouts but outside of them as well. The sense of family makes it easy to reach out outside your own tribe and workout with them and feel as if you are at home. You don’t feel out of place at all. We are all like distant cousins and the NP Summit is the big family reunion!
Why do I #justshowup you ask?! 4 F’s… Free, Fitness, Fun, Family!
We are glad you’re here!!!
Add yourself, your friends and new people you just hugged at NP workouts to our very secret Facebook social group*, because this is where you’ll learn about fun, cool things happening around town… i.e.:
15% off discount for the half & 5K races: TARANTINO15
Costumes HIGHLY encouraged.
Race weekend coordination will occur: FB social group.
We constantly preach community and inclusiveness, but it’s often difficult to remember that we’re a piece of a much bigger family. As an example, we made a video last year for the Serbian tribe, in which we all butchered “dobro jutro” (good morning). They, in turn, incorporated a cactus into one of their workouts as soon as they stopped laughing. And I created a workout using favorite exercises from ten different tribes (DELEGATE: my go-to of the 3 D’s of Leadership), then asked you to tag those which you loved most.
We do these things not just because they’re fun, but because we want everybody to have a sense of camaraderie with our sisters, regardless of whether you’ve been or not. Our passport shirts reflect this, with many of us having more decoration than a Christmas tree despite not being East-Coast-close to other tribes. Together, we’re making the world a much smaller place.
Noteworthy: search #NP_Pledge and join more fierce workouts with good people in over a dozen cities that are building strong communities in their town. They work hard, play hard and are just as weatherproof. Proud and excited for wild things growing with NP Pledge groups. #Worldtakeover is real.
This travel verbal thing, read #traverbal [‘tra’vərbəl] verb: when one bounces from tribe to tribe.
Over the winter holidays, NP_ORL was lucky to host 18 folks from other NP cities join our workout and get their orange slice of life tagged on their shirts.
Here are some entries from their #TraverbalJournal:
“I love that NP has gotten so big that I get to traverbal so often, especially now in my home state. You get to really experience the different vibes and the unique people from all walks of life that make NP so great. I get to traverbal a lot because of my job.
“Even though every tribe is very different, there are a few things they all have in common. My mom said it best after she left her very NP workout with NP_ORL. She was so amazed by how multigenerational the group is with ages and abilities that spanned the whole spectrum. She felt so welcome and accepted, even though she had never been to a workout before. She had heart and knee surgery a few years ago and ever since then has been very hesitant to join a workout group, thinking that it might be too challenging and she might be pushed too far past her physical limit.
“Asking her to join me at NP wasn’t any different. I could tell she felt nervous intimidated. She stood outside the circle as we were getting ready for the bounce, until Allison and Travis pulled her in to make her officially part of the NP family — she even left with a tagged shirt! Soon she realized that NP was all about doing what you can with some hugs and high fives in between. I could tell she started for feel more comfortable and had a lot of fun. She even had a cheer tunnel as she finished the dock loop!
“I loved being able to share this with her, so that not only could she finally see what all the fuss is about and why I can’t shut up about NP, but also to see her feel comfortable during a workout again. NP_ORL welcomed us with open arms and made us feel a part of their family. There are no strangers when you show up at the dock — only friends you haven’t yet met.”
— Erica from NP_NYC
— Revere the Wonder Dog from NP_DC
“Returning to my home state and to places where I’ve lived is always tricky; these locations are filled with relics from my past, but returning here always makes it seem less like home. This is why I am so happy to come home and find a November Project Tribe right in my old stomping grounds! It reminds me how I’ll always feel welcome in NP cities.
“NP_ORL has such a bright future with its positive leadership and solid core members. It may seem daunting at first, but in a very brief time, NP will be a household name in Otown.” #fuckyeah
— Justin from NP_BAL
“Coooooots! NP_ORL has coots!!!”
— Macon from NP_NYC & Kami from NP_DC
Never stop exploring.