Happy Birthday November Project!
If anyone were to have told me that I'd be waking up at 5 am to go climb stairs at Harvard Stadium, I'd laugh and call you insane. But Wednesday, November 5 2014, I did it! A special shoutout to @molmacmet and @baddiedae (from the Nike Boston Run Club) for getting me out of bed and out there this morning!
When I first moved to Boston, I remember being told about the November Project.
"Weatherproof." Wait, what about a blizzard? "Yep, that too." ...Oh.
"6:30" Oh, PM? That's not bad! "No. AM." ...Oh.
I'm sure I know what you're thinking, cause I was thinking it too: "That's insane." And I was one of those insane people.
If you haven't heard of what the November Project is, this is an explanation, taken from their website:
November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability (verbal) to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. Our members vary from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, current and former collegiate athletes all the way to complete fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes just looking to kickstart their healthy life choices. If you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what the fuss is all about.
How can you join? Simple… Just show up!
I kept telling myself that these people were crazy and that I wasn't going to ever do it. Well... It started with getting called out on Instagram by @molmacmet. Actually, it started with continuously telling @baddiedae that I would show up to one of these before I moved and then getting called out on social media. Today was a rare Wednesday that I actually didn't have work so I figured, if not today, then when? So, I gave my verbal, set my alarm, and that was it. I was waking up at 5am.
So I happen to live less than 1.5 miles from Harvard Stadium so I didn't have to factor in commuting time or any other factors that may have required me to wake up any earlier than 5am. Being up before the sun was definitely a weird feeling though -- you know it's not night time, but there's literally no light out.
Getting out of bed was another story. Ask anyone that knows me: I am not not not not not a morning person. Did I mention I'm not a morning person? There is nothing I love more than the comfort and coziness of my bed, especially when it's cold and the sun isn't out yet. So getting me to get out there even surprised me.
Once I got to Harvard Stadium and got inside, I was in awe of the amount of people that showed to all workout together. Young. Old. Women. Men. Dogs. It was an awesome feeling! Their goal across 16 different cities was to get 3,014 total people to show up -- well, they beat that. The tally at the end of the day was 3,934. In Boston alone, there were 1,445 people that showed up.
Let me say that again. One thousand four hundred and forty five people showed up at 6:30 in the morning to climb stairs. Being that this was my first time, I honestly was shocked. The amount of energy, support and community that November Project has created is amazing!
I saw people double back to finish a section up with someone else that looked like they were struggling. People gave smiles, encouragement and other random acts of kindness to each other. All of this positivity and energy before a person's work shift would normally start. All I have to say is: That's amazing.
I didn't make it through the entire workout but here's the important part: I didn't feel defeated. I felt that the fact that I showed up and gave it my all as best as I could was a step further than I could ever have said about myself prior to this day. I would love to get more sessions in before I move to New York City. And thankfully, New York has their own November Project tribe (which I will be dragging my boyfriend to.)
So if you need a free workout, some extra motivation and you live in a city with a November Project tribe, go do it. Just go do it. I promise, you won't regret it. Your legs might hate you for it. And you're going to be sore. Oh boy, will you be sore. But remember, you'd rather be sore than sorry.
Oh! And you better learn the correct responses to when they tell you good morning:
Good morning! Good morning!
Are you good? Fuck yeah!