High on the Hill with the Loamy Compost
12 runners ran 3.5km to help the Warneford Hospital in Oxford.
- Wednesday, 5th of June 2019
- Led by Anwen Greenaway
Feeling all smug that we had missed the torrential downpours of Tuesday we convened outside East Oxford Community Centre to soak up some summer-evening warmth, sunglasses at the ready.
We had lots to celebrate this week:
- Julia's 10th Good Deed - Garland of Glory for you!
- Two new Goodgymers Meg and Rachel - welcome!
- An invitation to a meetup with Goodgym Swindon to celebrate their 1 year anniversary on 23rd June.
- And also, a challenge was issued to come up with a potential weekend task suitable for up to 100 people...and ideas email Anwen.
News delivered, a brief warmup undertaken, including some Strictly Come Dancing-inspired Carioca (we weren't trying to delay the inevitable run up the hill, no no) and we were off!
Given Oxford's reputation for flatness it seemed a little unfair that the run to our task was almost entirely up hill, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so up we went.
Tonight's task was at the Warneford Hospital, which is a hospital providing mental health services in East Oxford. The Warneford has a few gardening projects underway for patients to get involved with, including a vegetable plot, a wildflower meadow, and some new plots for fruit. It is evidenced that having access to green spaces can aid recovery, calm anxiety and evoke memories.
Patients are encouraged to get outside to help with the gardening as part of their treatment and care.
Most of the gardening currently takes place on the Warneford Meadow side of the hospital site, but some new beds have been dug behind one of the wards closer to Warneford Lane. Our task for the evening was to prepare for the next patient gardening session by digging out some good-quality loamy compost (not lonely compost - one of the best mis-hearings so far) and transporting it across the site to the new gardening spot 400m away. Forks, spades and wheelbarrows at the ready, we set to work. The compost pile is under the trees so we raked back the top layer of un-rotted leaves to get at the compost underneath, before getting those arm and back muscles working digging out several barrow-loads of goodness for the patients to spread out on the new plots. It looks like they will have a lovely selection of fruit options by the end of the summer, as we spotted white currants, gooseberries and raspberries amongst the plants.
6 wheelbarrow loads full delivered, and a bit of litter collected on our tos-and-fros between compost pile and fruit beds, we headed back to the shed to return the tools, just as the rain started.....Nooooooooooo! We obviously tempted fate by bringing our sunnies.
At least the run back to base in the rain was all flat and downhill, so we didn't have to suffer the double misery of rain and uphill running.
Plus, running down through South Park instead of along the roads meant the joy of trail running AND a zip wire to play on.
NOTE TO GOODGYMERS: If Anwen asks "Are you all soaked already?" The subtext is not 'hmmmm it's raining, lets go home'. The far more likely scenario is that there's a dastardly fitness session about to happen. In the grand scheme of things, a short core session of partner sit-ups wasn't the worst that could happen on a Wednesday evening... You can thank the rain for getting you out of planks and burpees too!
Finally, I'll leave you with this piece of Thursday joy, in keeping with our pun (thank you for this one, I'm sorry I can't recall who came up with it!). Get practicing - we'll be working up to this routine in our warm-ups and partner exercises throughout the summer ;-)
Report written by Anwen Greenaway
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Goodgym trainer for Oxford. I run for fitness and for my sanity! Absolutely love trail running.
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