Plankfully we didn't let our standards slide or go up in flames as we took the weeding edge with some axetensive nettle

13 GoodGymers made their way 5.3km to help the Hammersmith & Fulham Play Association in Hammersmith and Fulham.

  • Catriona Sibert
  • John D Wren
  • Bexley runner
  • Steph hallett
  • Beth Nelson
  • Will Toms
  • Alice Gregson
  • Danny
  • Tom Clough
  • Andrew Swanton
  • Catherine Moore
  • Jonny Knight
  • Carla
Tuesday, 27th of November 2018
Led by Beth Nelson

Despite the pouring rain and prospect of another wet and cold run, last night a brilliant 12 other GoodGym'ers joined me to do good and get fit. On #GivingTuesday, an annual event that aims to highlight the importance of giving back, our task tonight was at the wonderful White City Adventure Playground. It was lovely to welcome along Carla for her first H&F group run - great having you along, hope you enjoyed it!

With the rain still coming down as the clock struck 7pm we headed outside and for the second week in a row made use of the sheltered Better Gym car park area to do some quick intro's and a round-up of the week's news...

Have I Got News For You!

  1. Community Mission (this Thurs!!) - Supporting Fareshare - volunteers are needed to hand out leaflets & chat to people shopping at Hammersmith Broadway Tesco Metro from 6-9pm, encouraging them to contribute something from Fareshare's 'shopping list' of suggested donations. For further details & to sign up here.
  2. Tree planting at Brook Green (this Sat!!) - This weekend is London's biggest ever tree planting weekend. Join the Friends of Brook Green to help them plant 250 saplings between 11am-3pm. Please email to register and find out more. To view all the London tree planting events, click here.
  3. GoodGym London Christmas Party (this Sat!!) - Hosted by GoodGym Southwark at the Old Library in Burgess Park. If you're coming along, please sign up here, and please also don't forget to pay the £4 donation. If you have any sportswear donations for Polly please bring those along too.
  4. GoodGym H&F Christmas Party (Tues 11th) - After our run on the 11th December we're going to head to Nando's for a Peri Peri Christmas. All are welcome! Please sign up here to help us get an idea of numbers.

Enough of the news, hopefully the rest of the run report is a good weed...

With a quick pulse-raising warm-up completed and Strava's set we began the 2.5km run up to White City Adventure Playground with Danny expertly back marking. Tonight our luck seemed to be in as we didn't get caught by all the traffic lights and the rain had thankfully begun to ease as we headed north up Hammersmith Grove. At the top of the road we had a brief pause to regroup, the time was of course filled by some strength exercises, the first one tonight being some one legged squat holds and pulses. Once we'd all regrouped we continued on our run up and through Uxbridge Road up towards White City. With one final pause to get in a quick 30-second wall sit we headed across the zebra crossing and up to the entrance of White City Adventure Playground.

Our play date at the children's play haven!

As was the case two weeks ago, upon our arrival we were greeted by the very enthusiatic and appreciative Deputy Manager, Koj. He welcomed us in and briefly explained to the group about the Play Association and the amazing projects and work they do at White City Adventure Playground - from delivering after school and holiday provision for local children aged 8 to 14 years, to specialising in providing play opportunities for disadvantaged children, and also teaching for children with complex special needs at weekends.

Koj also pointed out a lovely touch that was now hanging up on the wall by their entrance, a GoodGym t-shirt with a scrapbook underneath that the children of White City Adventure Playground had been working on earlier in the day, all the photos and previous run reports were being cut out and pieced together - what a lovely gesture and partnership!

After we'd admired the scrapbook in progress, Koj explained the jobs that we needed to lend a hand with tonight:

  • Weed around the water slide area
  • Weed and move all the logs around the fire pit

All seemed nice and simple! Following a quick health and safety briefing: be aware that it's slippery under foot, be careful with the tools (despite there slight bluntness), be aware that there are stinging nettles, be careful on the play equipment, don't get trollied...

The group split into two groups: team water slide and team firepit! Would team water slide extinguish team firepit or would the latter fan the flames of competition?!

It's a slippery slope once you've done one weeding job...

With a plethora of puns once again being fired around by both myself and Koj, much to groans and the odd chuckle, everyone quickly set about gloving up and removing all the weeds from the area that they were working in. Team firepit had the added bonus of a trolley in which to place all their weeds and nettles, "a vegan's haven" as Koj cheekily commented. Unfortunately for team water slide it was a wheelbarrow without the key aspect of the wheel, so merely a barrow in which to place all of their weeds. However, with some great teamwork from both Jonny & Johnny - Jon squared - and from Carla and Jonny, they did an excellent job of lifting and unloading the barrow throughout.

Ace of spades!

As before, it was a case of quality over quantity in terms of garden tools, there was some shearly blunt shears, some rakes to rake it in and of course the axeceptionally useful axe. Thankfully Koj had managed to locate amongst the aforementioned tools a couple of spades, these did an ace job at uprooting some of the weeds that had very much made themselves at home both around the water slide and the fire pit areas.

Getting to the root of the problem

In and around both the water slide and fire pit areas there were many weeds and plant roots that provided stiff competition and required extra nettle. With Tom brandishing the axe, he displayed incredible persistence at removing a stubborn root, which was followed by the slightly unorthodox axe cutting of nettles....although it has to be said it worked axecellently!

Wheely good jumping action

Catriona wheeled over the overflowing trolley and emptied in all the weeds and garden waste into the industrial sized wheeling bin which had now also begun to get overly full. To maximise the space inside the bin, Catriona took the decision, with absolutely no encouragement whatsoever from anyone else, to get into the bin and jump up and down so as to flatten the weeds and garden waste - it worked a charm!

Bin there done that!

As always, half an hour passed in no time at all and it was time to clear away the tools and place all the weeds into the industrial sized bin that Koj had helpfully wheeled equidistantly between the two groups. Both the water slide area and fire pit area had a weedy good clearing and the wonderful playful paintings were once again visiable, with all the logs neatly placed around the fire pit...perfect for a cold winter's evening with roasted marshmallows!

With everything tidied away we headed inside for a team photo around the GoodGym t-shirt and scrapbook. We're all looking forward to our next visit and seeing the completed arts and craft scrapbook creation, we too love helping out at this wonderful play haven space!

High fives all round

Before we said our goodbyes and thankyous to Koj, we 'luckily' had time for a quick indoor fitness session. Tonight's music based fitness session involved the 90's classic (the term classic used loosely!) "Everybody Get Up" by 5ive. The challenge was to hold the plank position until the phrase "Everybody get up" in which everyone got up to the press up position, and back down to the plank position on the phrase "Five will make you get down now", and as an added bonus, on the verses a side plank! The song seemed very much longer than it had done on last listen but everyone did a cracking job and pushed through to the end, an excellent upper body workout completed by all, including Koj....and no the song plankfully wasn't an extended remix!

Task and fitness completed, we said goodbye to Koj and headed off on our 2.5km run back to base. We all picked up the pace for the latter part and aside from one quick stop by some traffic lights outside of Nandos, which provided the inspiration for our Christmas dinner in a few weeks time, it wasn't long before we were back at base completing a quick cool down and stretch off.

Despite some pit-iful conditions we'did good!

Thank you all for turning out on what threatened to be a pretty wet night, I'm glad we were rewarded with some dry conditions for the task! Next week, we will be heading down to Parsons Green to help St Dionis Church with some tidying of leaves, followed by some Christmas Card delivery for Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank. Sign up here. Hope you have a fab week!

Report written by Beth Nelson

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Beth Nelson
Led by Beth Nelson

GoodGym Hammersmith and Fulham Run Leader

GoodGymers helping out
  • Back marker

    Make sure that no one is left behind

    • Danny
  • Photographer

    Take photos for the session report

    • Danny

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