✅ Rain: check
✅ Wind: check
✅ Mud: check
But that didn't deter 13 GoodGymers from showing up at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve to undertake the sixth visit to what I think is probably the toughest task since I started.
So what's the story?
The Nature Reserve has been able to upgrade the pond of this important area, as part of the Mayor's Greening Fund project portfolio.
It's allowed the team to fund paid internships, and boost this area of biodiversity, which also serves as a dedicated local space whose objectives include improving both physical and mental health of all residents.
Where do we come in?
However, it's a big project, and emptying one large space, only to refill another large space with sand and mud takes, well, a lot of work. A lot of dark, damp evenings shovelling, wheeling and lifting heavy stuff.
But there they were, out in full force last night. Take two large sand mounds, umpteen wheelbarrows -ditto shovels and coffee sacks - and turns out you have the ultimate total body workout. (And, let's not forget to mention the members who showed up for the Middleton Green workout beforehand - way to go).
Don't Stop Me Now
The team didn't stop: from the moment they picked up the first shovel, to the last wheelbarrow being returned, it was one huge hive of activity. Mainly working in pairs, the GoodGymers shovelled sand into coffee sacks, wheeled them to the edge of the pond, before carefully tipping them out of the barrows and dragging them to join the lining line-up. Toughgoing, with treacherous terrain to boot, a huge amount was achieved.
"Look at that," said Michael as we approached the end of the evening. "Seriously, that is a really enormous help."
Well done, everyone. That was a Monday night truly well spent. You rock.
Until next time
That just leaves me to thank Liz for this week's spectacular pun, and to shamelessly promote the second session at the pond this week: a 60-minute full body workout on Wednesday, once again, as a small team help Michael start lowering the sacks into the pond.
Until next time.
Come and join this tough task, complete with two workouts, to really kickstart your week.
What we'll be doing
We'll be meeting at Middleton Green at 6:30pm for a pre-pond workout before we start the sixth installment of our big pond task.
If you'd like to meet at the task, we'll be meeting Michael at the Nature Reserve in Middleton St from 6:45pm.
We have allowed 75 minutes for this evening's task, but we may finish earlier.
There will be a short, post-pond stretch workout back on Middleton Green after the task!
There will be somewhere to leave bags if you're coming straight from work.
Why so early?
- Daylight! (this is a big new project, and we need to maximise the daylight left during the evening, so if you are able to sneak out of work a bit early...).
Well, we didn't plan on a double fitness bill tonight, that's for sure. Who knew.
So a small little group gathered in Museum Gardens this evening, for our pre-task run. It was fantastic to be joined by Nina, who we haven't seen for a while! And although the run started off as a short one on paper, Si thankfully took over and, after some brilliant navigation finding the quietest, longest route (including a lap of Middleton Green), we managed to squeeze in a little bit of extra mileage en route to one of our favourite tasks.
Many hands, etc etc...
Margaret greeted us with a well planned operation: brand new gloves; bundles of bin bags, and the obligatory crash course in "What's-a-weed-and-what's-not." The team busied themselves along Ellsworth Street, weeding the entire border and filling bin liner after bin liner in no time. It felt like we'd only just arrived when we were already posing for our cheerio end shot.
What's a single leg squat between friends?
The task was scheduled to take the GoodGymers ninety minutes but 45 minutes in, we were scrabbling around for the last little weed. "Well, we're here now," we shrugged at 7:15pm, and so we accompanied Margaret to the Nature Reserve to take a quick look at the pond that'll be the job for next week's two-part task (including our Group Run), and then over to the basketball court we headed, where we enjoyed 20 minutes of not-so-easy fitness: a few speedy laps, some balancing lower body work; the obligatory core moves, and some nice stretches, oh, and a last final lap to finish. Not a bad effort at all, team.
Another great evening, doing lots, interacting lots, and just a lot of doing what you do best: combining your fitness and your sense of purpose into a heavenly 90 minutes for all those who come into contact with you. Way. To. Go.
Until next time.
We were due to be starting work on the new pond tonight, but with materials being delayed, we'll be playing gardening catch-up instead...
What we'll be doing
We'll be meeting at the lovely Chiringuito spot at 6:15pm for those who fancy a run to the task. We'll be running via pretty Middleton Green to meet Margaret by the Ellsworth Street roundabout.
We'll then be accompanying Margaret to various areas of the gardens to help her tackle a number of overdue gardening jobs.
If you'd like to meet at the task, we'll be meeting Margaret at the Ellsworth Street roundabout, E2 0AX from 6:30pm.
Why so early?
- Daylight! (we chatted to Margaret, and we think we'll need as much daylight as possible for our next few Hollybush tasks, so if you can sneak out of work early...).
Once labelled the "Worst Pub in London", friend of GoodGym Mel has done an amazing job in re-vitalising this into a cosy, local community hostelry. Join the friendly folk of Tower Hamlets GoodGym on Thursday and see for yourself.
Please note that this community mission has been cancelled.
It's Friday night, so ditch the office wear and grab your trainers and get yourself down to one of GoodGym Tower Hamlets firm favourite tasks where we will be swapping the bar for paddocks and colleagues for animals (but also maybe heading to those bars afterwards ;p) .
So, what will we be doing?
- Weeding and pruning around the farm
- Moving a pile of earth to make a sheep mountain (No, I'm not sure either, but sounds exciting)
- A spot of litter picking before the night is over to finish the job
- The task will be led by TaskForce member Becs, and Clare of Stepney City Farm. If you're new to GoodGym then don't be shy, we welcome everyone and love to see a new face :)
- If you have any questions please ask in the comments below