November Project Dallas is a free grassroots fitness movement focused on the community, movement, and sweaty hugs.
We originally started as WERUNBIGD about two years ago. We were tiny for a while and eventually started to show some potential. I founded WERUNBIGD three years ago when I moved from Boston while trying to find a fitness community vibe I was used to in Boston.
I used to work out with November Project's first ever Tribe nicknamed "The Mothership". My typical November Project sweat schedule included Monday, Wednesday, and Friday workouts that were free to the public. As I continued to try to find my Tribe in Dallas, an effort that included: fitness centers, olympic style lifting centers, and bicycle clubs, nothing hit the spot like November Project Boston.
Finally, I got fed up with not being able to find the right vibe that I missed. I decided to start my own Tribe in Dallas. This Tribe was Called WERUNBIGD and like NP Boston it was a free grassroots fitness movement. My only problem was that I literally knew no one, being brand new to the area.
Social media was all I had, so I started posting and hashtagging away. My first post was a meet up at SMU Stadium at 6:30 Wednesday afternoon. The first week 12 showed up, the second week 36 showed up and the third week 43 showed. The movement had legs and was catching fire! It even attracted SMU's facility management team, which momentarily dashed the hopes and dreams of the movement.
Persisting on, WERUNBIGD moved to SMU's track area and got pushed out by the soccer team and other events hosted by the institution. Onward we went - WRBD moved to the Katy Trail. Unlike a Fitness Tribe, WRBD started becoming known as a "Social Run Club" and we hated that name with a passion. We don't hate social running, it just wasn't the direction we wanted to go. Dallas didn't need another social running club!
Soon our tribe experienced another turning point. As an active serving member of our US Air Force, I was called in for training with only a short notice. The Tribe was left with no leader. This would later turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Upon my return, the excuse bug destroyed what had been the Tribe. The excuses ranged from simple busyness to thirsty Wednesdays and Tinder dates. Our numbers were in freefall from 10 to 8, then from 6 to 3.
I halted our evening sessions and decided we needed to better organize ourselves. After a three week hiatus, we started on a new 5 am workout showtime and people actually showed up! I knew this wouldn't last long and people would get tired of waking up at 4/4:30 am to workout.
We kept rolling as I eventually recruited a few women to help lead the Tribe with me. Meg Ramirez and Ash Williams helped as mush as life would allow. Eventually, however, Meg and Ash's life started calling back and once again I was left to single-handedly push the Tribe forward.
As a family man raising my 1 year old son, I had my hands full as well. My wife picked up two jobs after receiving her doctorate in physical therapy and while I remained at home after work to take care of the baby, she did an extra shift trying to catch up on budget expenses. With a little time on my hands, due to a relatively immobile baby, I went back to the drawing table and researched how to restart the movement.
With a few tweaks, the effort paid off. I switched times from 5 am to 6:15 am and witnessed the numbers jump from 10 to 30. The Tribe was now getting too big for me to handle again. I brought some talented people on board to help run the show. Harrison as the second face of the Tribe, Travis as the photographer/tech guy with coaching experience, and Amanda who is an Ultra Marathoner and has a mind of steel (the kind of person that can literally run for 100 miles while smiling all the way through!) The Tribe had grown and leadership was set. WERUNBIGD jumped from 30 to 40 to 56 and we knew we had something special.
The four of us met and discussed our thoughts on expansion. The November Project vibe was still in our souls and our roots derived from the November Project business model. So, we reached out to the November Project headquarters and asked them what did we needed to do to become an official November Project Tribe in Dallas. They responded asking why we wanted to become an official November Project Tribe and we explained the aforementioned. The official verdict was to come up with a challenge for ourselves that would be attainable yet hard to get and if we did it in a certain amount of time we would be blessed with the official November Project Dallas title.
Four weeks later after an incredible community outreach, WERUNBIGD surpassed the goal of 75 members at a single workout with 105 Dallasites sweating and moving with each other before the sun came up. Five weeks later WERUNBIGD officially became November Project Dallas.
This is only the beginning and we can't wait to become the best source in Dallas for all things Tribe/Community/Movement/Fitness. November Project Dallas is forever free and always will be free. Just Show Up!
Wednesday's: Winspear Opera House 6:15 am
Thursday's: W Hotel Dallas 6:15 am
Friday's: Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge 6:15 am