Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Just Show Up

Blog post by: Lindsay Somers

Ive heard about The November Project for a while now. Its a mysterious exercise group that meets 6:15 am every Wednesday at the skatepark at The Forks. No cost, no intimidation, just show up.

So, I finally showed up.

When I arrived, a group of 100 people were ready to workout and I quickly realized, OH THIS IS A THING.

There were hugs to start. New for me, but Im friendly, so I roll with it. My past group exercise class experience was boxing, so this is a welcome change to punching.

Winnipeg is one of 30 cities that operate a tribe under The November Project. TNP is a grassroots urban exercise movement. Started in 2011 by two Bostonians who wanted  a simple sense of accountability to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving.

Winnipegs tribe is run by Rick Duha, Thomas Hall and Derek Page. They are eager, positive and motivating guys exactly what you want at 6:15am.

This isnt any ordinary exercise class. The world is the gym. Your body is the weight. Using the skatepark, Esplanade Bridge, CMHR, Festival Stage, the grass, hills, the Red River Mutual Trail in winter- basically using the entire world of The Forks, the leaders craft fun, inspired and different workouts. Even snow angels are fair game.

On this particular morning, we did an easter egg hunt. People took turns running up giant-sized steps on the Festival Stage to grab an egg. Inside the egg was an exercise the entire group had to do until the next person grabbed an egg. Burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, plank walks. Your fitness level is irrelevant, you can do 2 or 25, its all good. Theres no winning, its just about doing.

It was fun. Even the seven minutes of burpees. Not drill sargeant-y in the least. Enthusiastic and positive. It felt like we were a bunch of neighbourhood kids playing outside. There was chatting, encouragement, laughing and good times all around.

Who are the people that do this? All kinds of people!  A variety of ages up to 60. Its the anti-gym. No stare downs. No judgement.

We finished with a giant game of rock, paper, scissors. If you lost you had to do five pushups.

I was surprised at how much I liked working out in a large group outside in the world. I felt like I was a part of something. Something bigger. Winnipeg was quietly sleeping and there I was standing among 100 people doing jumping jacks admiring the sunrise against at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Pretty cool.
Post workout, I trotted away from The Forks feeling energized, happy and motivated to start my day.

The November Project has a goal to get 200+ people by early June. Set your alarm, sleep in your gym clothes, wake up and go. You wont regret it, even if youre a not a hugger.

Lindsay Somers is a Lifestyle Health Coach. You can follow her healthy lifestyle adventures on Instagram and Twitter@lindsayhsomers.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Next Phase of The Forks Market Renovations Takes a Horse-toric Turn

With The Forks Market renovations nearly complete, The Forks is thrilled to announce the second phase will focus on the history of the building by refurbishing part of the Market back into horse stables.

“We are proud of our history and are always looking for ways to incorporate it and make it part of the visitor experience,” says Paul Jordan, Chief Executive Officer, The Forks Renewal Corporation. “The Forks Market building used to be two separate stables when the site was being used as a railyard. Empty tenant spaces will be turned back into horse stalls allowing guests to pet and feed horses, making it a truly interactive experience.”

The new stalls will be located in the north and south aisles of The Forks Market, leaving the soon-to-be open Food Hall as the main eating area. Construction will begin in the north-west part of the Market, and will also include a hitching post outside where visitors can tie up their own horses when riding them to The Forks.

The Forks History during the Railway (1886-1923)
Beginning in 1886, The Forks emerged as one of the key sites of early railroad development on the Prairies. The rail yards of the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Company, the Canadian Northern, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad and the Canadian National Railway dominated the site. Many of the buildings now seen at The Forks date from this time. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway stable and the Great Northern Railway stable were joined together to fashion The Forks Market and the National Cartage Building is now home to the Johnston Terminal. Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Company’s Buildings and Bridges Buildings (B & B) now houses The Manitoba Children’s Museum, while Union Station (built by Warren and Wetmore, the same architects who designed New York City’s Grand Central Station) is still in operation.

Have a happy April Fools’ Day!