Diana Hunt. Core NP Boston member. Photographer. Friend to everyone. Loyal #ShovelCrew and #PaintCrew member. Not on Facebook but hype on Twitter. Twin to a sister who looks just like her. All-around incredible human being who has seen this tribe grow from much smaller to much bigger, and who continues to #JustShowUp with a diligence and dedication that inspires others. In the spirit of #GrassrootsGear tagging happening this week–on the last Wednesday of the month– take in Diana’s awesome guest blog. Get your gear tagged, and keep spreading the love, growing the community, and showing up. Thanks Diana, we’re glad you’re here. And that #GrassrootsGear looks good on you too.
Grassroots Gear – that thing you feel you never have enough of until one day you realize everything in your workout drawer is covered in spray paint. That favorite piece you pull on before you lace your kicks at oh-god-it’s-early-o’clock and head out the door to go hug some friends/strangers and sweat your tush off. You remember your first tag – when you first saw one and wondered what “November Project” meant, when you carefully selected that first virgin shirt and wondered how the paint would look, when that first random stranger shouted you out running by after spotting your gear “in the wild”. It had the excitement of an initiation and the joy of belonging (#notacult).
When Brogan and Bojan first pulled out white T-shirts and some cans of Krylon, they probably had no idea what this logo would become. Choosing backward “3”’s and an unconventional font probably just looked fun and cool. They knew they didn’t want to be in the business of buying or selling November Project because it would always be free, so they made grassroots gear easily available – you could pick anything from your closet, add a stencil and some skill (shoutout to #PaintCrew) and bam, you’re in business. Keeping it straightforward and simple meant that more people could have some and wear it with pride. Maybe they thought our painted chests would make it easier to #recruiteveryone, but perhaps didn’t realize one day there would be photos of tribe members sporting their tags as they traveled (and woke up the sun) in Iceland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Peru (#NP_TSA).
We all know that grassroots gear looks cool. You probably have a prized piece in your collection you definitely wear when you know there will be #Doosting at the workout. I’ll bet you something else, though – I’ll bet your gear is different from anyone else’s gear. No showing up and discovering you’ve committed the fashion faux-pas of dressing just like your best friend (except on purpose #twinsies). No wondering why the store doesn’t carry forest green or neon orange, why they never seem to have an extra large or an extra small. Pick your old ratty shirt from high school or something brand new and shiny – you can choose whatever you like – absolutely anything can be grassroots gear.* I’ve seen grassroots tags on tanks, hats, baby clothes, bare abs, dress shirts and adult-sized giraffe onesies. I’ve seen them on teensy tiny tidy-whities and sports bras and winter coats and hospital gowns. We have city tags, event tags, rainbow tags, friend’s face tags. Tag your backpack, your keychain, your cape, your car. Your gear doesn’t have to be anything specific, and it doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. That’s the beauty and serendipitous genius of grassroots gear – it isn’t just clothing, it’s an extension of the November Project spirit. When we wear it we signal we are a tribe, not a regiment. It’s not a uniform, it’s a statement. It says we can wear whatever we want, however we want, and whenever and wherever we choose to #justshowup we will be recognized for who we are, high-fived and pulled in with open arms. Stencils and spray paint and you can say all that – who would have thought it?
So to your friends and family, to your coworkers and acquaintances, to that stranger that just said hi on the street, to anyone curious about that tag on your chest – when they ask you what it means and why it’s there, you say – it’s about community. You say, it’s about being your own style of awesome. You say, all you have to do is just show up to earn your own tag. November Project has grassroots gear with your name on it. And don’t worry, we have it in your size. We have it in your favorite color. You can cover as much or as little of your body as you like in grassroots gear. You can just show up, you can wear that tag with pride, and you can hold your head high – because you know what? That grassroots gear looks great on you.
* Sometimes we get a little *creative*. #sorrydads
#PRday at the Stadium on Wednesday. 5:30am & 6:30am. Be there.
#GrassrootsGear tagging also on Wednesday. Drop your (non-black) clothing off at the bleachers above section 36 for tagging. Official tags. (black paint, front & center of shirts!)
#PaintCrew volunteers will be accepted. Message me (Emily) directly to designate which workout time you’ll be helping out.Share via socials: