I'll admit it, I'm drinking the Kool-Aide. There's this thing. In Boston. It's called "November Project". It's a cult tribe of workout crazies that just can't stop. Won't stop. Don't wanna stop. Running. Climbing. Biking. Crunching. Pushing. Breathing. If you haven't heard the hype yet, you will. You can hardly miss this ever growing band of spray-paint-clad racers. And if you haven't seen this sweaty posse in the city, you will most likely catch them on their hash-tag-laden (#toomanytocount) face space as NovProject or twitter under the handle @nov_project.
The reason you can't miss this crew is because of the larger-than-life duo that started this whole scene. Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric are two of my best friends and teammates from college rowing. They're loud. Real loud. Back in the day, they were young, and fit. They liked that. Quads. Abs. Shoulders. Lats. Solid.
Then they grew up. Long work days led to less and less working out. But, despite the extra pound or two, staying true to their rowing roots, they (we) would all trudge down to the boathouse every fall to train for the Head of the Charles. Two months of hard work back in the boats and these guys were feeling pretty good about themselves again. But, the October race would come and go, and so would their newly reclaimed fitness. Until last November. The boys decided they would keep it going....one more month. A bet. A promise. A project. The November Project.
Early morning workouts. Long runs. Tours in the Stadium. Biking. Fit. Together. Honest. One more month.
Then December came. Still meeting to workout.
Then the Spring came. Still meeting. They added a few more friends (who also liked racing and abs).
Then the Summer came, and things blew up. Now hundreds of people meet at 6:30am to run, climb, push-up, and crunch. All kinds of people. Rowers. Runners. Bikers. Yoga teachers. School teachers. Bakers. Candle-stick-makers (well, maybe...) Athletes. Non-athletes. Super-fit-people. Getting-super-fit-people.
As it turns out, working out with friends that motivate you, push you, meet you when they say they will, is something that everyone needs. Even research shows that peer groups are critical for promoting and maintaining healthy eating and physical activity (obvi...). Brogan and Bojan call it #community.
The best thing about NP is that it costs $0. No gym membership. No drop-in fee. No long-term dues. All you need is a pair of shoes (which they have also thought of by giving out free New Balance shoes when you show up for 6 workouts in August) and the determination to set your alarm and sweat. But, buyer beware. If you tell them you're going to come, you better be prepared to make it happen. If you give them a #verbalcommitment and you're a no-show, you will be shamed on the very public #wemissedyou page of their website. But, that's the deal. Real friends are there when they say they will be. #rainorshine
You can catch the tribe at 6:30am:
Mondays: #DestinationDeck somewhere in the city (check their website for Monday's location....I think it might be in Chinatown this week...). Don't ask what the deck is. Just run there.
Wednesdays: #HarvardStadium. 37x30. Climb fast, take chances.
Fridays: #SummitHillAve in Brookline. 5 repeats. Straight Up. Don't cry.
This week, if you show up at the stadium, and 299 other people come to climb with you, the boys have promised to get a tattoo of their project. #NovemberProject #thatsaverbalcommitment