I would first like to give a big welcome to Chloe, Kate, Rachael, Victor, Lorhaine and Saorla. Hopefully you endjoyed yourself and you will come again. Tonight was a big group of enthusiastic runners looking to do good in the community of Tower Hamlets. The evening was a double whammy with their being 2 task to pick from. The 2 task were flyering in the near by estate about a new performance happening soon and the other was going to Meath Gardens to help clear weeds and rubbish. I would like to welcome the new comers and I hope the treats and the other Goodgymers made you feel welcomed.
The group started of with saying their name, number and favourite drink. It seems Gin is the drink of the day with this group We did a nice 5 min warm that involved some squats, lunges, running on the spot, hand to toes and some other hamstring dynamic stretches.
Nikki and Lieke took the 2 Dave’s away from some stair climbs while the rest of the group followed me to Meath Gardens while Kat helped me out by being the Back Marker.
The run was a short one with the group reaching the task without breaking a sweat. We met up with the 3 Meath Garden helpers who then explained the task to us and split us into 3 groups. They all took a corner each of the park to get down and dirty on. The group did well with the time that had and also taking the time to talk to one another and making it feel like a true social group. To push the group at the end I gave them a countdown like the crystal maze to let them know when the task would finish. I can see the competitive side came in because the was ripping out weed like that was gold underneath the soil. It was great work by the team and the difference could really be seen.
Meath gardens is one of my favourite places because it has one of the fitness equipment it had there. The group got split up into smaller groups and we each had a go on each piece of equipment. The list of exercise were:
Monkey Bars Plank Sit-ups Jumping over logs Pull-ups Knee to elbows Hangs Inverted pull ups Dips Press-ups 1 lap run.
This helped make the runners aware of what there weakness or strength might be. Looking at all of their faces i can see that everyone tried their hardest. After a final lap round we headed back to the hotel where we stretched and gave each other high 5s.
Extra News: * If anyone is interested in helping out at the blind sport session in mile end then click here for more information.
A large crew headed to this much-loved local arts centre this evening for painting and Pilates.
A cool sized crew
Yes, we were a team of 34 this evening, with a real flurry of new runners, which we were delighted about. Gathering on our hotel steps for our briefing of this evening’s activity, we were in high spirits as, not only were we heading to one of our favourite tasks, the sun was still shining and the skies a beautiful blue. What. A.Treat.
TSB (Taping, Scrubbing and Brushing)
After making our way through some of East London’s busiest streets, we arrived at Oxford House where task owner Sarah was ready and waiting with kit and task perfectly planned and prepped as usual. After the speediest of briefings, three teams were despatched to all floors of the building: two teams were split over two floors to pain large wall spaces in the corridors, while a third team was dispatched to the dance studio corridor to finish the high spec scrubbing runners had started last time we were there.
Runners worked tirelessly at top speed, sealing off woodwork with masking tape before rolling and brushing thoroughly over these large surfaces. It was a speedy effort, working in a tough temperature, in a confined space in all three areas - GoodGymers, you did good.
The work was so efficient, ahead of time runners came forward to volunteer to start the clean-up effort, and so the pace continued as any spillage was dealt with swiftly by enthusiastic sugar soap-ers and mopper-uppers.
Posture, pelvic floor – and a proud trainer
And then it was a little after 8, and we all gathered in the theatre for this evening’s Pilates. I must, at this point, thank Sarah and Oxford House for giving us such generous use of this space every time we visit. It is a real treat to be able to offer our runners an indoor venue for our fitness - we really love it and appreciate it, so thank you.
So back to the fitness session - after a little Pilates theory, we proceeded to practise our abdominal vacuums, posture and pelvic floor basics, and a little stretching.
Runners took the tougher moves such as the time-honoured Double Leg Stretch in their stride and gave it their all, before finishing with some lower back mobility work and that lying pretzel glute stretch.
And then we cheerfully (and maybe somewhat wearily), made our way out to the front of the building to get our first daylight end-of-task pic in eight months.
Another treat! What an evening!
A massive GG welcome to our first time runners, Beth, Tom, Lorhaine, Victor, Mate, Anna, Eugenie, Lily and Michael! 8 new runners! Thank you so, so much for your incredible contributions to this evening's run. And I hope you join us again very soon.
A massive thanks to Katherine and Liz for back-marking; Katherine for some great pics, while possibly the biggest thanks of the night goes to Tim and Michael who stayed behind at workout time to clean up the painting equipment, missing our Pilates session. You're heroes. Thank you for going that extra mile.
Okay, well that's nearly it from me this week, other than to highlight what is...
On this week’s running radar…
The GoodGym London Monthly Long Run is happening this Saturday, 18th May, offering distances of 19K and 10K, with runners running at different paces, and no one ever getting left behind. It’s a picturesque, multi-park route, with a food finale at POP Brixton, so definitely one to check out here.
…While on Sunday, here in Tower Hamlets we’re manning the bag-drop at the Hackney Half, in exchange for your free placeat either: the Asics London 10K, or the Oxford Half, or next year’s Hackney Half. There’s still time to sign up for this Sunday 19th May - details are here.
Right, that really is it for this week. Have a wonderful week, everyone, and hope to see you really soon.
Bank Holiday new faces!
We gathered for this evening’s run welcoming a flurry of new runners. What a treat!
14 of us then headed around the corner, half a mile away on leafy Sewardstone Road to meet Catherine, our task owner and Parkview Estate power house, leading the initiative to get the estate greener and full of food.
Two trees - and plants for the bees!
Runners were quickly despatched to all areas of the estate: Team Tree headed out to the front gardens, onto Old Ford Road with barrows full of compost to plant new apple trees in some stubborn soil.
The rest of the runners quickly filled buckets with compost and plants, grabbed a watering can and made their way to the estate's Sydney House to see if residents wanted balcony planters filling with geraniums and other small plants that bees love! Plenty of residents took us up on our offer to tend to their planters, with one resident even opting for the new Resident Association plants over what she currently had in her planter! The runners worked tirelessly, both on their seedling sales pitch, and on ferrying new compost back and forth from the garden to the balonies.
Meanwhile, the apple tree crew had their work cut out. Digging deep in that soil was no mean feat. And even with some useful tools at their disposal, the runners still broke a sweat on what was a chilly Monday evening. But they did it. GoodGymers don’t give up. Never mind not giving up easily, they don’t give up full stop. And so with the apple trees in, they set about replacing the grass, watering, and planting water tubes. Job done.
Going full pelt in the park
And so with minutes to spare, we raced ‘round the corner to neighbouring Victoria Park and played two rounds of the greyhound-and-hare game, with every runner speeding across the grass going full pelt. Impressive. And then they were met by me, and the burp-free burpee to a soundtrack of the Backstreet Boys. Monday motivation or WHAT.
Then we stretched, and made our way back to the hotel, animated and over the moon at what we’d helped to achieve.
Big shout out’s
And a really huge shout out this week to our very own Hass, who recently hit 300 good deeds, and who has been a consistently active member of GG Tower Hamlets since January 2014.
Okay, we’ve got some biggies coming up…
• This Thursday it’s the GoodGym Social, hosted by our splendid Southwark crew. Details can be found here.
• And don’t forget, you can still bag a free place at the Asics London 10K, or the Oxford Half, or next year’s Hackney Half, by joining us on Sunday 19th May for volunteering at this year’s Hackney Half. Details and sign up are here.
Right, that’s it. Have a wonderful week, and hope to see you soon!
We were two-tasking it again this evening, and really putting the ‘earth’ into Earth Hour on both our tasks.
A secondary SOS task to Cranbrook Community Food Garden
In an eleventh hour addition to our planned activity, task force member Becky J headed up a splinter group of four to one of our longest standing, favourite tasks, Cranbrook Community Food Garden. Writes Becky, “Just a mini detour en route to Cranbrook this evening, as fellow Task Force member Bryon challenged me to attempt navigating our route without assistance (always a challenge...). This added just one small loop to the run, but I'm all in favour of a little extra (accidental) mileage.
On arrival at the garden, we witnessed Storm Gareth had indeed left a trail of destruction in his wake, felling a tree and damaging fencing in the process. Bryon and Eimear set to work removing twigs from a boundary fence, while Tom and I began the tricky task of untangling climbing plants from a now broken trellis, before pulling down the arch.
Having successfully achieved this, (and, btw, saving a tree we feared may have to be pulled up in the process), we were then presented with a flat pack replacement arch (turns out flat pack instructions are easier in daylight, with a mug of strong coffee, than in a dark garden, deciphered under torchlight alone).
But Bryon and Eimear joined us and together we got the arch standing, just in time to pose for a couple of pics alongside our evening’s handiwork.”
Team Tower Hamlets to the rescue indeed.
Potting at Parkview
Meanwhile, I headed up the Parkview crew who were Glasshouse-bound to this most wonderful community hall on the Parkview Estate. Task owner Catherine met us with two tasks – potting bee-friendly plants and leafleting for the upcoming Spring Fayre - leaving no preparation stone unturned as she presented a proposed plant production line of such efficiency, the likes of which I’ve never seen before; ditto leafleting instructions (think hand drawn maps of the estate).
Two leaflet teams were dispatched onto the estate's many blocks, while the plant-potters, headed up by Luke, and initially Dave (who was then demoted to deputy by young Connie, who joined from the Parkview residents team to instruct on best plant-handling practice) grouped in two different areas of the hall.
It was a race to the finish, but by the time we left all 800 plants had been potted, and the area swept and scrubbed down. Wow.
Tempo run and tree pose
And then it was back to our beautiful hotel base, where we were lucky enough to have Christina, a regular runner and qualified yoga teacher, lead us through some fabulous yoga stretches to finish.
Another totally neat night. More missions awesomely accomplished. More thoroughly relieved and appreciative task owners. Well. Done. You.
And thank you to Becky, for enabling the second task to happen, and for kind of saving the day and for taking some great pics, and writing the report.
Now, don’t forget, we’re doing it all again on Saturday when task force member Bryon leads up a brand new gardening task in E3 – yes, we’re putting the ‘earth’ back into Earth Hour for the second time this week. More details and sign up are here.
Have a brilliant week, won't you all, and hope to see you very soon.
GoodGym & Earth Hour Run: Potting up bee-friendly plants at the beautiful Parkview gardens - followed by #runforyourworld laps of Victoria Park!
Come and join us on Monday in the lead up to Earth Hour for this evening’s run.
Earth Hour is the biggest global event in place to help us protect our planet - now more than ever, nature needs our help.
So come on board and #runforyourworld as we join the magnificent Glasshouse Community Centre and Parkview residents for a selection of indoor and outdoor tasks, including:
• Potting up bee-friendly plants for Parkview's ‘Brighten Your Balconies’ spring fair plants giveaway
• Giving residents a helping hand to collect leftover litter from the estate after a busy weekend in nearby Victoria Park.
- Flyering on the estate for the Parkview Spring Fayre
And this will be followed by a few laps through the centre of Victoria Park, where all runners run, jog and walk at their own pace. We will be running for our world, running for our heart and lungs and most of all, running for enjoyment, so you’re only ever competing against yourself.
Come and join in the third of this series of our New Year Community Missions with Friends of Meath Gardens.
On this Community Mission led by Task Force member Issmaeel, you'll get a surprisingly effective total body workout, as you: negotiate planting tools; embrace the isometric squat, and whittle waist muscles as you get these little trees bedded in.
We will be meeting at the Victorian Arch entrance to Meath Gardens. All kit is provided, so wrap up warm and just bring yourself and we'll be there to greet you with usual GoodGym cheer.
3 very different tasks, 3 very determined teams…
What a night! And what a beautiful evening it was indeed for another THREE tasks (this is becoming something of a habit…).
A stake-out (or not, as it turned out)
Becky led the largest team of 15 to the Keddelstone Walk Community Centre in Hollybush Gardens to meet some of our longest standing task owners, Michael and Margaret (and Beetlejuice, the elderly canine task owner). Despite having planned tonight’s pun around the staking part of the task, the accompanying staking noise was considered too much of a potential environmental nuisance by Margaret, so digging and raking was the order of the day. New gloves were dished out – thoughtful task owners we have here in TH – and, letting sleeping wasps lie (compost heaps can be quite the hazard – who knew), the runners ploughed away solidly for over 40 minutes giving the Ground Force team a run for their money. Thank you to the team for staging a brilliant stake scene, though, to accommodate the pun. What creativity! (pics of the non-staking task enclosed).
Dab hand decorating
Lieke, meanwhile, headed another small team of dab-handed decorators back to the Glasshouse Community Centre to complete the painting task. Well done for taking a new team to the task and for getting so much done, in a confined, warm space this evening – and for making it back for Pilates Sculpt in such good time.
...And Gabrielle beautifully project-managed our leafleting task, a new task for fabulous charity Acknowledging Youths, planning an excellent strategy for the different leaflet themes vs. the most relevant outlets. Well done to her, Tim and first time runner Simona, who I had such a lovely time leafleting with - I felt we were quite the dynamic duo, with our sales pitch! We handed out many leaflets, to very willing and interested bar managers and coffee shop vendors, so a great job completed by all.
Pilates on steroids
And so we met by the wonderful Stairway to Heaven memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens at 8pm sharp for Pilates Sculpt. Apologies to those who felt the Pilates was going to be a gentle wind down to the evening (but I’m over the moon that we managed to make the last 20 minutes of the session as effective as the first 70). Glutes and abs are where it’s at, when it comes to your running. Honest.
On behalf of the group and our task owners, very big thank you’s go to…
…Becky J, for planning and leading the Hollybush task; for writing the Hollybush report and taking some lovely pics and for helping out with the pun. Thanks to Bryon and Si for navigating and leading the Hollybush run, and to Heidi and Charlotte for back-marking.
Thank you to Lieke, for planning and leading the Parkview painting task, including some great pics, and thank you to Gabrielle for helping to plan and execute a truly effective leafleting task, and getting some lovely pics.
…And big hello’s and WELCOME's
…to our lovely new runners this evening: Bijan, Henry, Ella, Chand, Daphne and Simona. And welcome back to Lauren, who isn’t new, but who hasn’t run with us for a while. What a joy to have you all on board this evening, and please do come back soon.
We’re back to Stepney City Farm next week!
Next week I’m delighted to announce we’re heading back to Stepney City Farm, for all manner of outdoor tasks. This will be followed by a relay race back to base! So don’t miss out – sign up now. Can’t wait to see you then, and have a really good week in the meantime.
Three determined teams
And so it came to pass we were a three-team crew this evening again. Already committed to tree-watering at Meath and painting at Parkview, three GoodGymers were invited to return to Weavers Adventure Playground for some unfinished table business.
1) Let’s turn the tables
Task force member Dave headed up the Weavers crew, taking Polly and Si back to the tricky table, and remaining at the task until the four-legged furniture had, well, four legs, egged on by a resident fox.
2) An emulsion return to Parkview
Leanne, another of our fabulous Task Force, led the Parkview team to the task, and then onto Meath for our workout, on post-Great-North-Run legs. Much, much appreciated. The team finished the spearmint-green kitchen, making great time after a bit of delayed prepping at the venue. Well done to you all for making it to Meath in such good time.
3) Multi-tasking at Meath
Meanwhile, the marvellous Meath bunch combined tree-watering with litter-picking. Once it was established there were too many hands for two trolleys (there’s nothing a Good Gymer hates more than to be empty handed, right?), Chris, Charlotte and Heidi wasted no time in getting stuck in to some very productive litter-picking.
Buns, guns and…bands
And then we all gathered around in what was initially a slightly-strange looking circle for our Buns n’Guns workout – a 20-minute delight for the runners, using body weight and looped bands to effectively work arms and bum. Well done for you all putting up with both my playlist and continual exercise instruction. And so we headed back to base, for some final stretching and a quick drink ‘round the corner, for a non-weary few.
Thanks to everyone this evening, for making tonight so unbelievably productive, and such fun. Congratulations to Ruth, whose 50th good deed it was tonight. What a lovely addition to the evening .
Welcome to Katherine and Sam, whose first run it was. It was fantastic to have you both be part of tonight, and we hope to see you very, very soon. And lovely to see Justin from Newham GG, by no means new to GoodGym – but new to me. Please come back soon.
And so to next week…
Next week, we’re two-tasking it, at least, so do sign up here to come and be part of the fun. Have a really great week until then.
Choice of task: Painting at The Glasshouse Community Centre OR gardening at Meath Gardens - followed by Buns & Guns Workout
Come on board and save the day - many hands will certainly make light work this evening as we send a small crew of confident decorators to the glorious Glasshouse Community Centre, while those who fancy taking on stubborn dandelion roots and trying their hand at filling oversized bins with canal water for young trees can join us at gorgeous local Meath Gardens.
We'll all meet after both tasks for a Buns and Guns Workout - yep, we'll tackle overlooked arms and lazy glutes in this multitasking masterclass, before a tempo run back to base.
All activity is suitable for beginners: Exercise modifications are always offered, and we run at a whole range of paces, to suit all running abilities.
Come and join in the farming fun as we head to one of our favourite venues for some summer sanding.
This is going to be a decent workout indeed as we sand the huge barn doors in preparation for their big repaint.
This will be followed by an Upper Body Extravaganza in the farmyard.