November Project is a grassroots, free fitness movement that aims to create a friendly, accessible workout environment for people of all fitness levels. We do this through high-intensity outdoor workouts that are scalable, fierce and fun, supported by a community that welcomes people with open arms—literally. From its origins in November 2011 as a group of athletes pushing themselves to train through a harsh Boston winter, November Project has grown into a worldwide community of “tribes” working out every Wednesday morning—in 33 cities, across seven countries, on three continents, plus groups in several more cities pledging to join the movement.
Here in Toronto, we meet every Wednesday at 6:30am at the top of the Baldwin Steps by Casa Loma, and we would love to have you join us!
The idea of breaking down boundaries is a central tenet to what we do: bringing together people from a vast range of fitness backgrounds and allowing them to feed off each others’ energy, experiences and positivity. These workouts really challenge you, no matter how fast or strong you are; if you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can then that’s what matters. Our tribe members become accountable not just to themselves for their fitness goals, but also to each other. We commit to being at the next workout—that we will “just show up”, whatever the weather. Snow, freezing rain or crazy humidity, we will still be out there on Wednesday morning putting in the work.
Toronto officially became part of the November Project community in August 2015, after Sam visited the November Project Calgary tribe during a business trip and became hooked. Michelle came on board as co-leader in January 2016. As committed runners, we have both been active in Toronto’s running community since we met in late 2013. We have seen first-hand the positive impact that fitness can have on both ourselves and those around us.
We are goal setters and goal getters: November Project, with its “free fitness” ethos, gives us an outlet for our passion for running and fitness, and allows us to give back to the community that given us so much over the years.
Since the inception of November Project Toronto, hundreds of people have worked out with us, including dozens from other cities across North America and Europe. People join us from all sorts of fitness backgrounds, and that is part of the beauty of this movement: former Olympic rowers working out alongside self-confessed couch potatoes; competitive CrossFitters and varsity athletes pushing themselves and each other; and tribe members signing up for their first marathons because the people around them on a Wednesday morning made them believe they were capable of such a feat. This development and empowerment continually drives us forward and inspires us to dream up new workouts that are somehow both weird and fun, yet also seriously challenging for everyone.
Watching the tribe come together over the past year and a half has been such a rewarding experience. From a disparate group of strangers working out together, our members have become a close-knit group of friends who bring each other post-workout breakfast, who share their other hobbies and, most importantly, who greet new members with smiles and hugs.
In-your-face friendliness and over-the-top enthusiasm are hallmarks of November Project, and we pride ourselves on making our group as welcoming as possible for new members.
The positivity of November Project is infectious. We consider ourselves lucky to be part of something so much bigger than ourselves, something that has such a positive impact on so many people—and we want to share that with you. All you have to do is just show up.
Check out the November Project Toronto page on Svveat for the club’s social links and upcoming workouts.