Fitness Isn’t a Lifestyle Anymore. Sometimes It’s a Cult

What are you planning to do for the first Monday of 2016? Sleep in? Lazily slog on into work? No need for that. Come join us for #DonutMondays at NPSF (Gil, don’t forget the donuts!). Fort Mason. 6:25AM

Members of November Project, a nationwide fitness movement, exercise first thing in the morning near Fort Mason in San Francisco.

The group’s preferred term, it should be noted, is fitness movement, and it has chapters in 29 cities around the US, Canada, and (as of earlier this year) Iceland. This it has achieved almost entirely through social media and the work of volunteers; if you want to launch November Project in a new city, you have to apply online and pass a rigorous screening process that looks for serious athletes with strong social media followings.

If you join November Project, you’re going to get a lot of hugs. Hugs when you show up. Hugs when you’re introduced to new members. Hugs when you finish a workout. Sometimes, hugs just because.

We tend to find meaning and pleasure in sharing our activities with others.” In most of these exercise programs, though, you’re paying for that connection—which must account for part of their success.

From November Project’s website: “If you decided that staying in bed was a better option than working out with your friends (who you promised that you’ll be there) then your face will be featured here.”

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