November Project: A Community for Fitness

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I hate running. I always have. And I am anything but a morning person. Yet, I somehow dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 AM this morning, not just to go running, but to run hills. Under any other circumstances, I might consider this a horrible nightmare.

But I’ve been getting up at this ungodly hour three days a week for the past two weeks, since I was reluctantly convinced by Casey and Matt to check out November Project for the first time.

What is November Project, you might ask? In one word, it’s a team, or as they (we?) often put it, a tribe. In more words, it’s a bunch of super supportive, super athletic (me excluded) and maybe just a tad bit crazy people who drag their butts out of bed before the sun rises to work out together regardless of the weather, temperature or temptation of a warm, cozy bed.

If you go to a November Project workout, the team spirit is palpable. There is no shortage of high-fives, words of encouragement, or even bear hugs. It seems this is exactly what founders Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric had in mind when they started November Project last (you guessed it) November of last year.

In just one year, Brogan and Bojan have built a true community of loyal members. I’ve only been going for a couple weeks, but most people I meet have been at it for months, and even as the temperatures drop, they keep coming back.

The fact that November Project costs $0 is definitely a perk, but what keeps me, and I suspect most people, going back is the camaraderie and team morale that November Project exudes. I’ve never been able to get myself up early enough to make it to the gym before work, but when you have a whole team of people cheering you on it makes you think twice before hitting that snooze button.

Avoiding the ‘We Missed You’ board is an added form of motivation, which blasts members that make a verbal (or text, email, etc.) commitment to show, but bail at the last minute.

So even if I’m the slowest one there, I plan to keep showing up at often as possible. November Project is helping me push myself harder than I would otherwise and makes would-be miserable workouts seem a lot more fun.