Poetry in motion
35 runners ran 4.4km to help the Crofton Books in Lewisham.
- Monday, 22nd of January 2018
- Led by Adele Prince
Breaking all GoodGym Lewisham attendance records, 35 fantastic superstars ran 5km, took on a whole heap of tasks at Crofton Books and celebrated two years of goodness in our borough.
Here we are, celebrating our second anniversary at GoodGym Lewisham! I can't believe how quickly this has gone! What an incredible two years we've had, with runners coming along for the first time, wondering what this is all about, saying they 'don't run', then becoming central to our group and - sometimes - going off and building towards bigger and longer running goals. I'm very proud of everything we have achieved as a group so far and here are some stats (correct at the time of going to press) to give you a sense of just what we've been up to.
- Total good deeds: 2809
- Missions: 128
- Group runs: 109
- Coach visits: 486
- KMs run: 36,916
- Cheers given: 55,961
- Cheers received: 36,645
One area that really stands out for me is the coach visits, 486 occasions where someone has visited an older person for a chat, so many hours spent reducing isolation.
Through our weekly group runs, we have visited many local organisations, helping to do those tasks that might otherwise get overlooked, or might take an individual days, or even weeks to tackle. At the weekend, we have runners heading out across the borough to help on missions, one-off tasks helping an older person with something in their home. This can be gardening, clearing a path, putting up curtains, or something seemingly as simple as changing a light bulb.
Two of our regular mission runners are celebrating a milestone this week, Nykolette reached her 50th good deed helping someone in their home, something she does often, fitting it in to a busy week, where she also visits an older person for a chat. On top of this, Nykolette manages to race most weekends (or even on weekday evenings!) and is part of our GoodGym Race Team.
Also on the Race Team is Stephen, who completed his 100th good deed at the weekend, alongside the top team of Nykolette and Helen. When Stephen joined us, he had just moved over from Ireland and 'wasn't a runner'. He quickly found his place in the group, building up gradually to 10k races, half-marathons and then going head first into the marathon distance. On Saturday Stephen also bagged himself a parkrun PB up at Hilly Fields, in pretty tough conditions! We're lucky to have both of you as part of our GoodGym family, well done!
Looking around, I could see a few faces who were with us at the start, two years ago and also a fair few new faces, what a week to make your debut! Lewisham Love this week goes to Olivia, Lucy, Tom, Gideon and Monika. We also had a couple of visitors, welcome to Channie, who usually hangs out in Greenwich and Simon, who has visited us before - revisits always welcome!
Pizza-pie and a little help from my friends
This evening was unexpectedly mild, after a stinker of a weekend (really well done to all of those who got out and ran!), but we still needed to warm up. An old favourite, shin/knee tag, a round of front/back/right/left (no, the other left!) and some good old stuck-in-the-mud got our heart rates up and ready to go. This week we were heading to the rather special Crofton Books, where Jason had a list of very varied jobs for us to tackle. Thank you to Stephen and Vic for back-marking on our run, ensuring we stayed together and didn't leave anyone behind.
Arriving at the task, we could see that Jason had worked hard to make sure we could get stuck in and choose from a selection of tasks, including:
- lifting/shifting heavy bags into the garden
- sorting through and pricing a stack of donated books
- pulling out and cleaning the IT area
- organising the children's books section
- creating a series of new category headers for the shop
- organising the shelves/putting books in the right section
- writing a poem
Yes, that's right, writing a poem. I wonder if any other GoodGym area has been set this challenge at a task...Our team of bards took up their pencils and put their heads together to compose a poem from GoodGym Lewisham to Crofton Books, a gift to be displayed for all to enjoy. Tom, Chloe and (a reluctant) Caireen set to with this, later joined by Emma and Chris. The laughter that rose from this area is a testament to just how much fun poetry can be.
Recently a new area has opened in the bookshop, with a great selection of vinyls now being available to buy. To help people decide, there is a turntable which, during opening hours, is accompanied by some headphones (sshhhhh!!) but, for our visit, was giving us the soothing tones of Elvis himself. Thank you. Quite soon it was time to wrap up all these jobs, with our poets in a slight state of panic, as their last line was unfinished. Chloe, our very own performance artist, took to the stage and gave us a gripping, topical, rhythmic and delightful rendition of the poem. As the end of the poem hung in the air, Katy called out her contribution, 'The last two years have been off the hook!' Perfect!
Deep pan-niversary meal
Running up and over Hilly Fields (you got off lightly here again!), with a pause to enjoy that twinkling view, we ran down towards home and the promise of the time-trial. Once again we had run out of time! One week, really, we will find time to smash that 1k challenge! Remember, it is a Strava segment, so you could pop along on your own and have a go! Instead we stretched, before those who could made our way down to Catford and the hidden gem that is Pizzeria Italiana, where we ate so swiftly that the proprietor commented on how hungry we must be! Once we had eaten our pizzas, out came the cake and we sang happy birthday to ourselves. Post-run socials are the best :)
Don't forget, on Saturday we have a starter session at Crofton Park Station Gardens, a chance to get some fresh air (in the daylight!) and a great way-in for anyone who isn't sure what our group runs are like and, with a shorter run, great for beginners. Sign up here and I'll see you in Hilly Fields! Next Monday we will be at GRACE, sorting through clothing donations, join us for a 5k run and a great indoor task.
Report written by Adele Prince
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