The Best #NPDoubleheader There Ever Was [DC]

Last week, 105 co-leaders from November Project cities all over the world gathered in the pristine woodlands of Santa Cruz, California to discuss World Takeover, plan for the future of this movement, and connect. One of the many workshops that weekend focused on the metrics to qualify when a Tribe is “crushing it.” Do they have a strong connection to the city they live in? Are their workouts FOMO-inducing? Are Tribe members hype as hell about NP? All good considerations, but if I learned anything from the #NPDoubleheader yesterday, it’s that “crushing it” is kinda like porn, you know it when you see it.

Enter Saturday July 21st, we had planned a dragon boat racing event, courtesy of the kind souls at DC Dragons, followed by a dope DIY picnic, then finishing the day at the Pacers Crystal City Twilighter 5K– more importantly known as the Run Club Throwdown, where the strongest, fastest, best team in the DMV walks away with ultimate bragging rights. Seems ambitious, right? Ok now throw in Mother Nature pissing rain all over us for 100 percent of the day.

The concept of #weatherproof was VERY MUCH in play. We rolled up to dragon boating with the most hardcore, bad-ass crew you could imagine– most of whom had never even seen a dragon boat before. With the help of diligent coaches, a relentless team spirit, and that warm, steamy Anacostia River, we were off the docks and into the water in no time. Dragon boating distinctly reminded me of NP in that yes, so much of the motion and the exercise is about the individual, but you will only be successful when you start connecting with and working for the other people in your boat. After working our shoulders and cores tirelessly, which, I later found out was “doing it wrong” we settled back on the not-so-dry land for an indoor picnic.

Dragon boating success
PC: Gerald Prado

Ok, here’s the deal, the spread at this picnic was nicer than most wedding buffets. THANK YOU to every single person who contributed. Whether you carried two cases of La Croix through the pouring rain or brought your Mom’s homemade gluten-free pasta salad recipe, we appreciate you. Thanks to those who oversaw the grilling process, and to those who stuck around and helped us leave the boathouse spic-and-span.

Keep in mind, it is raining even harder now. Everyone is soaked to the bone, regardless of the fact that they just put on dry underwear three minutes ago.

We head out to Crystal City, and I’ve never felt more confident that November Project folks would show out for a race. This is what we do. Low visibility? check. Impromptu wet t-shirt contest? check. Hella puddles? big-ass check. Is any of that a deterrent? You bet your ass it’s a MOTIVATING FACTOR. So, we paddle dance our way through the Parade of Nations, by far the most fun pre-race warm-up I’ve ever had, and then we get down to business.

Remember what I said at the beginning about crushing it? I saw it in the middle of the dance circle that formed during warm-ups, I saw it on the race course from the grit and determination emanating from folks on the course, and you KNOW I saw it from the cheer station coming through the line. And hey, who woulda thought, WE WON THE RUN CLUB THROWDOWN, bringing some hardware home as the back-to-back Community Run Club champions.

Your 2018 Run Club Throwdown Champions
PC: Matt Anzur

What we had planned to be a fun, outside of working out social activity morphed into so much more over the course of a Saturday. Y’all make us so gosh-darn proud in myriad ways; showing up to row a boat in a rainstorm, providing charcoal and grilling tools from your home so we can host a successful shindig, racing your heart out and pouring so much enthusiasm into a community 5K. It was a doubleheader to remember.

THANK YOU to DC Dragons, y’all were amazing teachers, and we so appreciate you being #weatherproof like us. THANK YOU to Pacers for another incredible #rcthrowdown, it was an unparalleled night of racing, community and fun. And finally, THANK YOU to every single person who came out, dragon boating, chilling and grilling, racing, cheering, celebrating–you are all crushing it.

Much, much love, DC.

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