November Project Edmonton: How did this all happen?

Let’s start from the beginning…the short version…

2 dudes from Boston decided that they needed to hold one another accountable to fitness after finishing their collegiate rowing careers and entering the “grown-up world”. They committed to showing up three mornings a week for the month of November and “November Project” was born. Through social media this free fitness community grew…running stairs at Harvard stadium brought my brother Andrew out to join this movement. He became a part of their tribe.

How did I get involved?

When Andrew signed with the Edmonton Oilers in July 2013 he was determined to build a November Project Canada community. One of his first tweets to his new #yeg home was an invitation to join him for an early morning 6:30am workout at Kinsmen. About 20 people came out to meet the new Oiler.

First November Project Edmonton Gathering

That summer I told Andrew I would keep the morning workouts going while he was out of town. During my “solo mission” there was this one guy, Nadim, who showed up all of the time, even when I held a Sherwood Park workout. He was so committed that when I went away for a holiday it was Nadim that I turned to to fill in for me.
The tribe numbers were consistent (~20) as the summer wrapped up and Andrew’s return heightened the NP profile in Edmonton and our numbers blew up…150 at the Leg on Labour Day! But knowing that once the season started he would not be able to run the tribe on a regular basis, another leader to take on this movement was needed. That’s when I suggested Nadim aka Nadream (I take credit for this discovery)

I think Andrew and Nadim had a plan along and I was sucked right into it. Went kind of like this:
before the dinner
A: Hey, Nadim and I are going to dinner…want to just tag along…I think Nadim will take on the tribe
me: Sure I’ll come for dinner. I think Nadim would be great to take over when your season starts….he’s all over this twitter thing.
at dinner
A: So, Nadim, you’re in?
N: Yup, I’m in. But Brogan and Bojan said it would be good to have a second leader…and best for it to be a girl [pause – both boys stare at Jen] me: Well I guess I could help out

Hook, line & sinker! They totally set me up and from that point on, there was no turning back. We are now a year and half in…having met every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 6 AM since that first July workout.

Jen Andrew Ference Nadim Chin

The Payoff:

Leading a free fitness movement doesn’t help pay any bills, but we get paid in other ways. Nadim and I regularly talk about our “paydays” – those moments that make all of the early mornings, workout planning, social coordinating, and energy mustering worth it. Those times when people get pb’s, when tribe members give themselves permission to break out of their shells, when they discover that they are stronger than they’d ever thought, when newbies come out Christmas Day so that they weren’t alone, when we can get the tribe to play British Bulldog in the legislative pool…moments such as those are our paydays.

November Project Edmonton Christmas

Personally, being involved in November Project has challenged me to open up, to take more risks and that payoff has been enormous! It is through the NP community that I met my Blitz community, my Lulu/Run Collective/RCR Runners community. It is through this community that I have made new friends, challenged my physical limits, and been privileged to share in people’s goals and achievements.

I am not a fitness trainer, I am not a professional athlete…I like think of myself as a community builder that uses fitness to bring people together.

November Project Emily Murphy Hill

Want to learn some more about this community, come join us! #JustShowUp
It really is that easy. We are for everyone. If you’ve seen anyone in your HIIT class in November Project #grassrootsgear, ask them about it. I promise you’ll see familiar faces…even in the dark.

Need some extra motivation, check out our Edmonton blog posts, watch these videos First NP Summit was held in Edmonton…only 7 cities…now in 16 cities. Check out Nadim and I at the first NP Summit held in Edmonton.

November Project Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium


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