November Project. If you know of our races, you know of NP . . . and if you live in NYC and dont know of this “tribe” then you have been living under a rock. Last March, NP found out about TTB, and in a matter of minutes bought up the remaining tickets still available (back in the day when we didn’t sell out in seconds). This year we have seen NP show up to become known as the team with the best cheer squad. But did you know that as of May 2017, there are TWO tribes in our fine city: the original NYC tribe, and new on the docket, Brooklyn. FINALLY Brooklynites don't have to trek all the way to Gracie Mansion to check out an NP workout!!! The new Brooklyn tribe is growing fast, and even better, it is co-lead by two #bossladies! SO, how could we NOT have them host our finale?
Jeanie Tinnely was a co-leader for the original NP NYC tribe, and Sierra Asplundh was a NP Philly regular before “pledging” the Brooklyn tribe. Read on to hear straight from Jeanie and Sierra, about the fundamentals of NP BK, and, why the Williamsburg is a perfect fit!
NOVEMBER PROJECT NYC HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE, BUT NP BROOKLYN JUST BECAME A TRIBE IN MAY. HOW DID THE BROOKLYN TRIBE GET STARTED?
JT: Brooklyn has always been a community that November project wanted to tap into. November project NYC lead Monday workouts starting in June of 2016 in Brooklyn primarily over all the bridges in Brooklyn to create some hype and attention in Brooklyn. In January I decided to start the pledge process of creating a tribe in Brooklyn. Fort Greene Park was centrally located and has a lot of versatility for workouts. It's also close to many trains ( although most tribe members bike or run to the workout) .
SA: I had wanted to move to New York and take on the lifestyle to see how it would impact my work and my life. I moved here in December and wasn't worried about keeping up with my same crew/different location. Little did I know, that trying to make a 9 AM meeting in Soho, after hitting up a 6:30 AM workout with commuting from Brooklyn & back, would result in being late. Luckily, I had someone else who had been craving a home tribe in Fort Greene that valued how November Project had been impacting her life, and asked me to bring it to life.
WHAT SETS THE BK TRIBE APART FROM THE NYC TRIBE?
JT: Obviously our location offers more variety and grassy areas to workout and 4 sets of tremendous stairs. Also both Sierra and I have some interesting backgrounds that lend for a different feel. Dogs can be off leash at Fort Greene Park before 9 am so its a puppy fest through the park which is quite fun for the tribe members.
AS: Other than location, we thrive off of a tough workout that starts and ends with fun (dancing, possibly singing too). We've been working with the park department to create volunteer opportunities and there's a break fast Crew that goes to the same spot after every workout - bringing that neighborhood vibe to city dwellers.
BEING A LEADER OF AN NP TRIBE IS A HUGE UNPAID TIME COMMITMENT, TELL US HOW YOU KNOW EACH OTHER AND WHAT BEING A LEADER OF THE TRIBE MEANS TO YOU!
JT: Sierra and I met at the NYC Marathon this past fall. We were introduced by Beth the co-leader from Philly November Project. Sierra was interviewing for a position in NYC and we were introduced as we are both Cancer survivors. Its been really nice getting to know someone who's been through similar treatments and has learned to gracefully live like Cancer was never an issue. Sierra moved to Philly and was couch surfing on my couch for the first few months of her staying in NYC. I started pledging Brooklyn on my own and brought Sierra on as a co-leader in February. She was an obvious choice. She has a great way of connecting with people and absolutely loves building community. She is also great behind the camera lens and as soon as I started pledging she offered support in any way she could.
AS: For me, being a leader means you get to continue the legacy that was started in Boston that is now a world wide movement. Yes, it is a responsibility: looking out for everyone's safety, planning the workouts, ensuring everyone feels welcomed, and waking up even earlier. And, that's now becoming more and more my favorite part. Watching everyone come out of the trees, the far off path, up the stairs - especially in the winter - is the magic that is November Project. Holding the space for people to come together before the sun rises, to be with those around them, and challenge themselves to be a better version than they were when they woke up that morning.
Wednesday | 6:28 am | Ft. Green Park
NP FOUNDER BROGAN ONCE MENTIONED IN AN INTERVIEW THAT THE NY & BK TRIBES ARE MORE RUNNING FOCUSED. WOULD YOU AGREE?
JT: I think the running scene in NYC is just HUGE. There are so many running groups and races every week end and The New York City marathon is famous around the country. Which lends New York and brooklyn to have a huge running forward culture. The third Wednesday of the month we have a 3.2 mile course that we call PR day. It's 8 loops and it has a nice hill it's challenging. We encourage everyone to push themselves to best their time from the month before.
AS: Every tribe is different; especially here in NY. People are hustlers here, working 2-3 gigs minimum, and have the lovely commute to deal with to still make it on time. And we rise to the challenge. What we notice, is being mindful of the runner's commute to the workout and being able to scale workouts, depending on the daily or weekly commute, or if there are a high number of racers that weekend.
WE HEAR YOU GUYS LIKE TO BE VERY CLOSE BEFORE WORKOUTS
SA: We do, to create the environment of a team huddle. It's early. And sometimes, the weather is less than ideal. You're tired. You have had numerous opportunities that morning to keep you from showing up. So, Jeanie and I, especially, love to acknowledge that, celebrate it, and get everyone inspired to get a hard ass workout in. The huddle allows the 'Newbie Welcome' (introducing names of someone who has shown up for their first time) and The Bounce (my favorite part—the hype that gets you out of your comfort zone while warming up your ankles and calves) to feel authentic and could cause some goosebumps if all goes well. And, in the winter, it serves to get you warmed up and to possible recognize other humans around you.
TL: We kick off every workout with a bounce. When it's early in the morning it's hard enough getting to the workout the bounce is a small way of getting the energy level up for the race.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE “FUCK YEAH” MANTRA
SA: So the 'Fuck Yeah' - let's talk about it. There's always a point in your training or race or day where maybe something has been nagging or distracting you, and you finally see it. It's been identified. What do you do? Do you let it continue to pester you? Or, do you mentally decide to make this your new, 'normal' the new level of tolerance to base the rest of your experience off of. During every bounce, there comes a point where the leader will ask the tribe some form of the following, "Ya'll good?" And it's at this point, where we invite everyone who wants to mentally commit to being present, positive, and focused for the rest of the work out to respond with, "Fuck Yeah." This is you officially committing to yourself to let go of your previous night or the morning up until now, and put in the work - wherever you're at.
JT: #raceeverything is something that is particularly part of our culture is NYC and Brooklyn do to the racing scene we have a registered team with NYRR. November Project is very much about accountability we have a tracker that holds the results of different works out and we encourage the tribe to beat there results from the year pervious. This doesn't always have to be running. We have set a timer for 7 minutes and let the tribe do as many burps as they can in that time we call it 7 minutes in heaven.
WE ARE RACING THE WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE, ANY SPECIAL NP CONNECTION?
JT: When November Project NYC started adding Mondays to their workout they would only race on the bridges and willamsburg was one that they frequently went to and did repeats on.
SA: Haha, fun fact - running on the Williamsburg Bridge was the first NP work out I did as a New Yorker! We have a ton of runners, covering every and any distance for a race, all year long. This bridge not only is for training routes, it's also for our commuters going to and from Brooklyn. Plus: the Graffiti—motivation, thoughts, feelings; this bridge has it all.
NP HAS PROVEN TO BE SOME OF THE BEST CHEERSQUADS AT OUR RACES. WHAT MAKES THIS COMMUNITY SO TIGHT AND SUPPORTIVE OF ONE ANOTHER?
JT: We try to be as inclusive as possible and really want everyone feels welcome. The tribe is very supportive of each other if they are not racing they wannabe out supporting the tribe members.
SA: For me, the cheer squad element perfectly compliments the "Just Show Up" mentality. You only need to bring yourself. With the race entry's for most of the race events here in the city, there's a good chance you may not make it in every time. And, while that's a bummer, you still can come out and support your fellow runners. Same thing for injuries—It's you're choice as to how you show up for your community. We choose positivity. Shit's contagious.
FAVORITE RUNNING WORKOUT
JT: Nokia snake workout ! You run up and down the stairs at Fort Greene Park like a snake.
SA: Hands down it's the Track. As a multi sport athlete growing up, running was always a component. I've got the need for speed, and only started true consistent track workouts as of last year, I'm still learning and having fun running in circles.
FAVORITE POST WORKOUT DRINK / FOOD
JT: Winter time - hot cocoa and a cheeseburger / Summer time - Ice cold beer and an ice pop
SA: Chocolate milk. For Breakfast - most workouts happen in the AM: any combination of eggs.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GRAB A BITE AFTER A WORKOUT?
JT: Green Grape Annex on Fulton Street in Forte Greene Brooklyn
SA: I can post up anywhere that has a beer and wings after a workout. I have yet to find my "go to" or favorite here in NYC. To be continued...