How You Will Benefit from the November Project Minneapolis
Remember gym class? Or, better yet – remember RECESS? Remember going outside in all weather and not having a plan but screaming and running with others who were also screaming and yelling for 30 minutes straight and being out of breath and loving every minute of it, and then heading to a spelling lesson?
Great news: this exists for adults now and it is every bit as fresh and fun as recess! Check out November Project Minneapolis. It’s a free running-based workout open to all comers, 6:30 am every Wednesday at Mill City Museum – outdoors, snow or shine and anything in between.
What is The November Project Minneapolis?
My first time at November Project we started with a “yedi” run. This is where everyone gets into a single-file line, and starts running. Then, the person in the back sprints to the front. After that, the person who is now in the back sprints to the front.
Again and again.
But that’s not even the really fun part. The really fun part is that while you’re sprinting, you howl “yedi” at the top of your lungs. It’s inevitable that some people will laugh. Did I mention that it was cast-iron-black in the middle of February, 6:30am, unprintable degrees, icy, and we were running? And laughing?
One time we ran down the street in a pack tossing a football back and forth. Another time we played leap frog. On a recent morning we played cards with a twist – or I should say a crunch, because there are always lots of hard circuit intervals like running up hills, box jumps, flutter kicks, pushups, “hoisties”, and various other fascinating torture.
Community and Camaraderie
While you’re in the torture chamber – say, the 26th second of a 30-second interval – someone will hoot. Or holler. Or woo-hoo. And everyone is always saying good job, awesome job. It’s like being on a team where everyone wins! After 7 months of doing this, I am stronger in ways I would never have become on my own. I have gained strength that people pay good money to get, and I’ve benefited from an attitude adjustment for the better every hump day.
It’s also a thing that we hug each other – at the end when we’re good and sweaty. I might not be one to hug a lot, but I like spending my time with people who want to work out and then hug me. Even if my hugs are rather Minnesotan and mostly arm. After all, with this group, it’s the sweat that counts.
History of The November Project
The Minneapolis chapter was started in January of 2014. The pair that started November Project Minneapolis (MSP) is a legend in the making. Ben Bauch, who is a swim coach and U student, worked at a pool with some of the early members of the original November Project in Boston. He got a hankering to get a chapter going in his adopted city of Minneapolis, and immediately texted his buddy Holly Reiland. Holly was a sub-3-hour marathoner at 22 even though she didn’t run competitively in college.
Holly says that one of the things that drives her to do things like November Project is to help people “see what you’re missing while you’re sleeping.” She glows with an appreciation for life and movement. For Ben, a natural leader and coach, the motivation was to “get people out in the world”. These two cool cats are young but they clearly have the long view and are positive through and through. They welcome people of all abilities, ages, and paces. It is apparent that they love to work hard and have found that hard work is a means by which we can love ourselves, and they want to share it. This group is here to stay – all you have to do is show up.
Here’s what some Attendees have to say:
Tough morning workout followed by sweaty hugs with strangers… perfect way to start a Wednesday! – Becky from New Hope
NP gets me excited to do the kinds of workouts that I would ordinarily dread or avoid altogether. Somehow it makes doing endless hill sprints, stair climbs, and pushups a lot of fun! I love the high fives and encouragement that everyone gives generously! – Jessica from Bloomington
Sweaty hugs. Those are my fave. – Carly from Minneapolis
I recommend everyone should try NP, you’ll probably keep coming back for more. – Shannon from Minneapolis
If you’d like to give the November Project Minneapolis a try, join us this Wednesday at 6:30 am. Meet outside the Mill City Museum and prepare for the best workout of your week!