november project: what happens when you cheat on running
Running is my fitness love language. But runners don’t just run anymore, and group workouts aren’t really my “thing”. I’ve struggled for years trying to find another type of training that fits who I am. But six weeks ago that all changed when I found November Project.
I received a tweet from a random dude (@jwlevitt) inviting me to check out the November Project. He told me to just show up. I’d never heard of this “project” and assumed it would be starting in November. I’ve since discovered it’s quite possibly the greatest, ongoing, FREE fitness movement ever to exist. Period.
That tweet aligned with the stars on a week my running buddy was out-of-town, which meant I could cheat on her without guilt. I showed up alone. 6:29 AM. Gas Works Park in Seattle. I trudged up this huge hill in the park called Kite Hill boasting one of Seattle’s most epic city views.
wake up with us. here.
Most would say I’m an outgoing person, but ascending alone upon 80+ people is a bit intimidating. Just then a total stranger threw a massive hug in my direction. I went in for the embrace! I’ll remind you again that this is Seattle. For those of you who haven’t been introduced to the culture here, let’s just say the “Seattle Freeze” can be a bit chilly. I grew up in the south and spent time on the east coast — people HUG, that’s what we do — but not here. It’s like a whole thing to break down the hug barrier in Seattle. (FUN FACT: this one time I took a personality test that basically told me I hugged too much. Lame.)
Then out of nowhere pops this guy with enough energy to light up Time Square — he’s our fearless leader Casey. He welcomes everyone, especially those who are new, and informs us that part of November Project is waking up together. I think what he really meant was, “we’re trying to wake up the entire city of Seattle”. It goes something like this:
(WITH EVERYONE JUMPING)
LEADER YELLS: GOOD MORNING!
TRIBE YELLS: GOOD MORNING!
LEADER YELLS: Y’ALL GOOD?
TRIBE YELLS: FUCK YEAH!!!
LEADER YELLS: WAKE UP!
TRIBE YELLS: WAKE UP!
LEADER YELLS: TOGETHER!
TRIBE YELLS: TOGETHER!
If you’re not awake yet, you’d better check your pulse. But don’t let the hugs and high-fives fool you, we’re there to get fit. There’s no judgment, just positive vibes from the entire tribe. Bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities participate, and you can go as hard as you want to. No one is yelling over your shoulder to move faster, but motivation from the group will push you to give all you’ve got. I was sore for 4 days after my first November Project. I loved it.
We all show up because these this is the best workout of the week. We do it in the rain with our hands in goose shit and huge smiles on our faces. We support one another beyond Wednesday mornings. We tell everyone about November Project because, quite frankly, this shit rocks and we believe the world should know about it! When it’s 7:30 AM and you really fucking jazzed about yourself and mentally ready to tackle the world, that’s what it’s about. This group is addictive, and quite honestly I believe everyone should experience it. I have total confidence that November Project will single-handedly unfreeze Seattle. It’s a movement of positivity in fitness and the spirit of people. Grab a friend to bring along with you, and most importantly, just show up.
Almost every week someone is presented with the positivity award. This award doesn’t go to necessarily the fastest or the strongest, but it goes to someone who brings added energy and excitement to the group. The Seattle tribe is FULL of folks who deserve this award, so I was totally honored and a bit in shock when I was this week’s recipient. I can’t help being energized by this tribe. I’ve found my second fitness love language. These are my people. Thank you guys!
Want to experience the November Project? It extends well beyond Seattle. They’re in 26 cities now. Find your tribe here.