It's 5:30 a.m. on a chilly Wednesday in Boston. The wind audible from my bed, streetlights still glowing behind drawn blinds, I jump out of bed as soon as I hear the shrill beep from my alarm. I look forward to these early morning wake-ups every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I can scurry off to join the rest of my tribe at the day's November Project location.
Three days a week, people from all over Boston and surrounding towns convene to churn out leg burning, chest sculpting, and ab ripping workouts that, combined with the amazing support and motivation from your fellow tribe-members, WILL make you a better runner, racer and athlete instantly. The best part, it's all 100 percent free!
I started attending these workouts three weeks ago after being approached by a few of my friends from Northeastern University. I was looking to get out of my stagnant workout routine and keep things exciting. I was apprehensive about the 6:30 a.m. start, but was determined to try it out.
My first day required running to the Downtown Crossing area, doing a deck of cards, and running home. We even squeezed in a classic game of sharks and minnows in the middle of the hard-working controlled chaos. The love, support and hugs (yes, we hug to show love) from people that I had just met seconds before was amazing. It inspired me to keep pushing out reps even though my body just wanted to stop. Despite being sore for the next two days, I decided to stick with it and was pumped to try the stadium.
On Wednesday I walked into an empty Harvard Stadium not knowing what to expect. We had our intro huddle lead by Brogan Graham and then we were off to run up and down every step of sections 37-13 then back to 37 (up the seats and down the steps). Legs wobbling, sweat dripping from your brow into your eyes, you have no choice but to keep going as Bojan Mandaric snaps pictures and yells words of encouragement. If you are struggling or slowing down, there is always someone there to give you a boost with a high five or a hug. I had never been so spent after a workout. My mind was made up, this was for me.
Friday was on to Summit Ave in Brookline where we would proceed to run up and down the formidable hill that builds up to a 16-17 percent incline. Depending on the days workout you end up doing around four miles of running, and I promise you will feel it. You run alongside your new friends while maintaining "ninja status" so as to not disturb the sleeping residents of Brookline while you earn your weekend. When you arrive home after the hill you have to tune in to @Nov_Proj to find out Monday's destination.
The next week you do it all over again, with excitement and curveballs here and there, but the process is the same. During week two, I felt stronger and was able to do more work faster than I could the prior week. Week three was even more fun, and I can't even begin to describe the fitness gains I have already achieved. New Balance was even nice enough to show up and hand out some gear and is giving free shoes to everyone who EARNS them by attending eight workouts in March.
So if you are interested in joining a grassroots workout movement that WILL get you fit for free while building amazing relationships with like-minded, driven people like yourself, then join us. You have all of the information, no questions necessary, so just show up ready to work and ready to have a lot fun. Just show up. Drop a #verbal on Twitter or Facebook if you dare, but if you do, you better show up.