RUNNING WITH THE NOVEMBER PROJECT; THE DOCUMENTARY “Showing Up”, a documentary by Dooster, powered by The North Face, is coming in November. It features eight November Project (NP) members from around the world. The title plays off the founders’ classic response to those who ask how to participate: "JUST SHOW UP"! Check out the official trailer on YouTube.
The Dooster Facebook post about the film starts out, “Next to the door from Tatsiana G. Khvitsko’s apartment is a sign that reads ‘I don't need easy, I just need possible.’” This is a message that may resonate with many would-be runners, who are looking to be encouraged to start running for the first time, or, to return to the activity. Realistically they know getting into regular exercise will require significant physical effort, but the personal logistics can be daunting. The NP movement provides ‘means, motive, and opportunity’ to run, especially in the darker, colder months of the year. That’s what TV cops say is required to commit a crime. Non-runners would say getting out on an early November morning to run should be against the law!
Haven’t heard of the NP? It was featured in a December 2015 Earned Runs blog post, “The November Project: Breaking the Cycle of Winter Flabbiness (and Inspiration for Earned Runs!)” The post featured an article written by Adam Creek for CBS Sports “November Project Aims to Remove Financial, Motivational Barriers to Exercise.” It was the no-nonsense attitude of this movement that caused me to keep moving on a project that I hoped would also break down barriers to exercise facing runners. EARNED RUNS. It would also be free and engender a sense of community. However, instead of gathering tens to thousands of people together in a big urban setting, the scale of participation could be as small as 1-4 people.
The NP fitness movement 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 29 cities, mostly across North America and including Novi Sad, Serbia and Reykjavik, Iceland.
A Canadian city that formed a “tribe” (NP version of a local chapter) in late 2015 is Victoria, British Columbia. Leaders in this city explain the movement in the article from CBS Canada. It relates how the movement motivates and encourages “people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving”. This is because activities are mostly scheduled in early mornings, many in the dark in the deepest winter months. Still a revolutionary concept, information and motivation about meet-ups is spread through social media, one of the unconventional running club’s most unique features.
Learning about the NP movement in 2012 was inspirational yet disheartening for me. A high density population was needed for success and, living in a small city, likely another organized fitness activity that I would be required to pass up due to personal situation. At the time I was struggling with how to feel part of the larger running community, yearning to participate in races that circumstances and finances would not permit. Earned Runs, which is like a micro-mini-NP also aims to remove the barrier of cost. It too offers the option of bringing people together in small groups or in spirit to have fun running ‘together’, regardless of the location.
Many of you are able to join this “grass roots morning fitness tribe” since the movement has spread so far and wide to large cities. The NP website has more information about its origins and search locations. Learn about Earned Runs too.
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. In 1978 I began participating in 10K 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 and longevity.
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