A sticky solution to a thorny situation
2 GoodGymers made their way to help an isolated older person in Bexley.
- Saturday, 1st of July 2017
Good Evening goodgymmers! Today two intrepid runners, Linda and Mridula (me) did not run to two missions to help out two isolated older ladies with gardening tasks around the house. The missions were set in the outer limits of the Bexley and Greenwich areas (practically countryside to people who live in Zone 2), so Linda kindly offered to drive me to both in order to help me achieve my life goals of getting to fifty missions before my arch nemesis Vickie Burns (She is not my arch nemesis. She is an awesome human being and a runner I hope to be like when I grow up.)
Whilst driving to missions isn't necessarily part of the ethos of Goodgym, we forgave ourselves, because Linda had done her fiftieth mission as Parkrun director for Avery Hill (You Rock Linda), and I spent the morning having an angry polish man yell at me in the pool whilst I paid for the privilege. No this is not fifty shades of Goodgym, it's actually supposed to be triathlon training.
We felt fairly smug because Linda had printed out instructions and we decided to go old skool and not use a sat nav. And amazingly we managed to get to our destination without murdering each other. We arrived promptly at our mission at 13:23 feeling smug about the fact that we were a little early and ran up to the door and knocked. And....nothing. I decided to take a quick look at the address again, and realised that we had missed the word “upper” in the address we were looking for and it turned out to be 500 metres away. So off we popped back in the Linda mobile to the correct destination (yes I think of the two of us as some kind of volunteering superhero team).
We arrived now about 7 minutes late to our mission and to a garden that looked like it would take a lot longer to care for than an hour. With a panicked look on our faces we climbed up the stairs only to be greeted by one of the most sprightly octogenarians, I had ever seen in my entire life. Ms E took us around to the smaller back garden, and showed us what she needed doing. She needed a rose bush tied back and some weeds removed from the garden.
Linda went straight to work (she is clearly Batman, and I am Robin), utilising a walking stick to pull back the Rose bush back and redirect it's growth with twine. I got on my hands and knees and started deweeding the garden. Linda was quite far away so I didn't have a chance to do my usual interrogation. My mind began to wander, I realised how much the constant scrambling of gardening missions is going to help when I live out my lifelong fantasy of going to and participating in the crystal maze. I'm going by myself BECAUSE THAT'S HOW COOL I AM.
In no time I had de weeded most of the outskirts of Ms E's garden as she told us how glad she was to have someone come and help her. Her husband took care of the garden and unfortunately passed away last year. He had planted some gooseberries in her back yard and they were just beginning to blossom, so it was nice to see that some part of him lived on in her garden. Linda did a magnificent job of the rose bush, and it just went to show what a difference an hour could make.
We said our goodbye's to Ms E, and hopped back in Linda's car, to head to our next mission. Which was fortunately a half hour away, so I got to chat with Linda and discover that she might be one of the coolest people on the planet. She made both mission owners feel so comfortable today because she's so warm. She has travelled and worked all around the world. She hates idiots on motorbikes who do wheelies down a roads and doesn't judge me when I call them a bad word that rhymes with schmickhead. She has visited 14 countries in the last year as part of a milestone birthday. When she told me this, I yelled “challenge accepted” and am now determined to beat her record of the number of the countries visited, as Goodgym has unleashed some kind of competitive target obsessed monster in me. She is also doing the Newham 10k tomorrow, so if you are running it tomorrow, please hunt her down, give her a hug and ensure you become her best friend. You won't regret it. Till next time folks!
Report written by Mridula Iyer
Discuss this report
Share the love
Get your mission on
What are you waiting for?Find a mission
Become a member
with an optional monthly donation
- Run, walk, or cycle to help older people
- Access sessions across the country
- Claim your GoodGym t-shirt