Facebook meets boot camp
The Boston Globe - 02/10/2014
BY THE 10th anniversary of Facebook, it’s become almost a cliche to talk of social media as putting distance between people: It’s made face-to-face interaction obsolete, or so the argument goes. But explain then how, in the dark of morning, with temperatures hovering at 8 degrees, amid a declared snow emergency, a group of 200 people — mostly 20-somethings, many carrying shovels in hand — are racing up and down Parker Hill Avenue on Mission Hill.
The runners, delirious with endorphins, camaraderie, and a cultish dedication, glide uphill with beaming smiles, as their charismatic leader, Brogran Graham, runs alongside them barking encouraging commands. This is the November Project, founded here in Boston in 2011 by two Northeastern University students who met while rowing for the crew team, and vowed to continue their rigorous training schedule after graduation. They did that through the month of November, and then well beyond. Slowly, as word spread online, others joined. First a couple, then dozens, then hundreds.