BREAKING THE CYCLE of winter flabbiness, inspiration for Earned Runs, and potential fun getaway activity.
“Part of the November Project's success is that it addresses some fundamental barriers that stop us from exercising, like weather or financial cost.” In an article for CBC Sports, “November Project Aims to Remove Financial, Motivational Barriers to Exercise” Adam Kreek describes his experience at a December 2015 NP session in Victoria BC, Canada, and tells a bit of the NP creation story. This free fitness movement, he explains, was founded in 2011 in Boston by two former collegiate rowers, Bojan Mandaric and Brogan Graham, who had difficulty staying in shape during cold New England months.
Locations have grown to include multiple locations (I count 48), mostly cities across North America (USA, Canada) but also some in the UK (London), Europe (Amsterdam, Netherlands; Novi Sad, Serbia; Reykjavik, Iceland), and Asia (Hong Kong, Malaysia). The movement motivates and encourages “people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving”. Activities are scheduled in early mornings, many in the dark, in the winter months.
Learning about the NP movement in 2012, (see WBUR’s CommonHealth piece) I was inspired! I lived in a small city. Could I successfully start a tribe there? Or was it another organized fitness activity I had to pass up due to circumstance? At that time, I was struggling with how to feel part of the larger running community; yearning to participate in fun races that circumstances and finances would not allow. Eventually I came up with the concept of Earned Runs™, which is like a micro-NP that also aims to remove the barrier of financial cost and bring people together (groups of 4 or less!) to have fun running, regardless of the size of their city.
Many are now ABLE TO JOIN this “grass roots morning fitness tribe” since the movement has spread so far. To read more and FIND LOCATIONS there is a link to the website and an early article about NP beginnings.
If you’d like to join this early morning, big city workout experience, alongside elites and novices, check the list for the nearest or ‘destination’ location. Many hold sessions on Wednesdays only, but others schedule Monday and Friday meet-ups too. Itravel is required, a Friday morning session allows you to get the hard work done at the very beginning of a unique weekend getaway.
November Project Nomad seems to be designed for NP members who travel and make it to NP gatherings wherever the find themselves. “The tribe is strong. The tribe travels. The tribe is everywhere. Nomads are those that take M-W-F with them.” So, says the Twitter page.
Reminder #1: the NP is FREE! if you’re on a budget what a fun way to get to know a city and find friends. Yes, you can register for a big urban race in one of these places, but consider running with the locals at a 6:30am (or earlier) meet-up of the November Project session. The amount saved in registration fees can be donated to a local or national charity, used to buy TGIF beer in celebration with new-found buddies, or fund another Friday getaway.
Reminder #2: Earned Runs bibs are FREE! Make a request and use the bibs to motivate early morning M-W-F, outdoor runs or walks in SPIRIT with the November Project, if you aren’t in a location with a regular meet-up group.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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