Maelle completed a community mission. Instead of watching TV or lying in bed, Maelle was out there making their community a better place to be. For making that choice they have earned the community cape.
Taking the 3 minute walk from my home I met up with Faye our Taskforce owner, Maelle, Sarah, Ceiling and Becky outside St John's Church, Hoxton. Once inside, we admired the stunning ceiling and stained glass windows before picking boxes of clothes donated by Nike (we estimated tens of thousands of pounds worth) and then sorting them by size and type of clothing. We then displayed them on trestle tables (Sarah was our expert in this area as she once worked for Next!) There will be an open day this weekend to distribute this clothing to needy recipients.
The Care4Calais team near Old Street have recently received a generous donation of new sports kit from a well known running brand. They are looking for anyone who would be available to help with sorting and sizing up all of the donations before an arranged meet-up with C4C clients.
We will be meeting at St John's Church on Pitfield Street this time, and will be able to easily maintain safe social distancing for this task.
An Autumn Spring-clean
24 committed runners assembled in our wonderful weekly meeting place to head to Oxford House for two tasks (more of that later), which was in need of a few pairs of GoodGym hands.
Dynamic task owner Deborah was beautifully prepped as usual, with kit galore and runners allocated to tasks via a complex, effective Post-it Note system. Runners were divided into
- One group headed to the theatre (we're lucky enough to use for our fitness) to give it a bit of a spring clean
- One team headed to blitz the bar area to get it pristine
- There was a furniture-clearing-and-lifting group
- A window-cleaning crew headed to the entrance area
- A large team gathered to blitz the cafe area
It was the usual hive of activity with GoodGymers working a hundred miles an hour, and Deborah speedily allocating them to new tasks, once one was completed.
And so the clock struck 8.
Cake and core
Now. Laura didn't know about the secret second task. Which was to surprise her with cake (magnificently baked and transported, no less, by our Kat to celebrate her 100th good deed, and for generally being an excellent group leader. While the Oxford House was being blitzed with hoovers, Windolene and dish cloths, runners were simultaneously slinking off to the dressing room to sign Laura's card. As we gathered for our usual outro, the cake was revealed and a tearful Laura gave a great acceptance speech about how lovely we all are, and then made us work on our abs before cake (glad you remained on message throughout, Laura). Will need a bigger bribe next time.
A quick run back to the hotel, not forgetting our weekly quad and ham stretches, and then onwards for beer and pizza to continue the celebration.
A last note from us, Tower Hamlets regular runners: For the last couple of years Laura, our very own Dora the Explorer has been a tireless coordinator of tasks, motivating us to move and reminding us that abs exist and need punishing!
Laura, we all appreciate the hard work you put in behind the scenes to make every Monday night a success. Thank you for your dedication, humour and kind words, they all help us forget our day and enjoy running with GoodGym. Thanks also for the snacks every week, the Cardi B playlists and the strict adherence to the red man at traffic lights that keeps us all safe!
Favourite Laura Catchphrases:
"You had one job, Laura" while running dashing around the task juggling an array of jobs.
Excuse the view", before turning around and demonstrating impressive glutes.
Other Monday shout-outs
Welcome to Emma and thank you for a fabulous first run! You worked tirelessly and contributed heaps. Thank you and come again soon.
Now, onwards to more glorious GoodGym events...
Next week we're heading to the lovely Parkview Estate, where we're going to help the Residents Association tidy up the grounds, and water the trees, that the residents all enjoy so much. Come on board for that here.
But closer than that is this Thursday, which sees the GoodGym social. Yes, a top night out - in fact, according to our very own Isabelle, it's "the BEST night out." So, head to Islington if you can to spend some time with friendly, fun faces. And remember - new faces are welcomed and wanted, so you'll never be left on your own. Details are here.
Over and out. Dave M.
Come and join us as we head down the road to this wonderful task with Deborah, who'll be showing us the ropes with a really fun task line-up tonight.
This will be followed by an indoor fitness session, where tonight sees us focus on our abdominals! Yes, it's tum-tastic task night.
Flags and frolics
25 runners stood on the Town Hall Hotel steps this evening to pose with our phenomenal flag as we celebrated GoodGym being 10.
This was a truly terrific task tonight: we were heading down to the Royal London to meet with Barts Volunteers and Tower Hamlets Councill for a combined effort, and with some new faces which is always one of the biggest joys of the night.
Yes, we said hello to the brilliant Siobhan from Newham, and first time runner Katherine who offered smiles, the hardest of work, and generally an all-round amazing contribution. Thank you and please come back soon. And we were so lucky too to be joined by Nurjehan and Rita who were on loan from Haringey, and wanted to celebrate #GG10 by running “where it all began”.
So. After a brief warm up and the weekly debate about which route to take, (“Fewer traffic lights would be good, what do you all think?”. “This is London, Laura, there are quite a few lights.”), we set out (weaving our way passed the many arrivals to York Hall for London Fashion Week activity).
We ran at a decent pace, with Eimear being the world’s best backmarker this week, and doing her utmost to keep the group together.
Two tasks, two TASK OWNERS
We arrived at the hospital to the warmest of welcomes from Nancy of Barts Volunteers, and James from Tower Hamlets Council.
Tasks were assigned and the team sped off:
- One team headed out with James and Mark to the front of the hospital to blitz the hotel grounds in a litter pick-and-a-half.
- Another team headed out front to get some new plants bedded into the planters by the A&E entrance.
- A third team headed to our favourite John Harrison Garden where Nancy took a team through a big operation of litter-picking, pruning and weeding the planters. The whole area looked beautiful by 8.15pm.
We picked, we pruned, we dug…We didn’t stop. Another glorious night.
Speedwork & cider
The time flew as always and before we knew it we head (and sped) back to base with our favourite greyhound-and-hare game: me leading the hares and David S brilliantly and slickly leading the greyhounds, for a blinding bit of speedwork to end the night with. Thank. You. All.
And then we all headed to our favourite bar, for a fantastic impromptu school night swifty to say cheerio to David V, who leaves us this week, and who will be much missed. David has contributed heaps in his relatively short time with us, from throwing himself into every task to providing us with some truly fine puns.
Will you check OUT what we have coming up?
Now, what’s up next. Well, the #GG10 celebrations continue as Task Force member Kat is running the most fabulous parkrun activity this weekend as part of #SuperSaturday. Join Kat and the crew for some pacing, marshalling, cake-eating and litter-picking in the park.
And next week, we’re back to two-tasking it again, as we head to Hollybush for some Autumn overhauling of the garden, and an all-new task at Canal Community Garden (yes, it’s on the canal – exciting!) to help Sally with a variety of tasks. So come on – make it an Autumn to remember and get your name down now.
But until then, make sure you have THE best week: enjoy the squirrels, enjoy the conkers, enjoy the sun as you pound the pavement, and take the very best of care of your lovely selves.
Come and join this task as we partner with two of our giant task owners!
Yes, for our 10th anniversary celebration task we're lucky enough to be combining a Tower Hamlets #BigCleanUp with a visit to The Royal London Hospital with Barts Volunteers.
There will be litter to be picked, celebrations to be had, hellos to residents and staff to be said...It's a big 'un!
Don't miss this mighty celebration whatever you do!
Maelle is a now a pretty committed GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the fifth time
27 runners headed to one of our favourite tasks at Meath Gardens, this evening, just a short run from our meeting point at the lovely Town Hall Hotel.
We were met by brilliantly organised task owners Joanna and Jane, who had everything prepped for our two main tasks: a litter-pick of the park, and a big watering operation! New young trees have been left a little parched due to a decent British summer, and without any watering points in the park currently, getting the trees watered is a labour-intensive operation, managed solely by the small team of Friends of Meath Gardens.
A canalside operation
And so the biggest crew headed to the canal to load up trolleys with buckets of water, while a team of 3 used the tap by the small Community Centre. And a further team headed to all four corners of the park to gather every last bit of litter.
As always the team worked tirelessly until gone 8, when every last thirsty young tree had been tended to.
Over to The Mystical Fitness Tree
And so we met for our cheerio and pics, before making our way to The Fitness Tree, a favourite fallen tree that acts as a wonderful base for some Bulgarian split squats, to kick our fitness session off with. Then we whizzed through the scorpion push up, some seated core exercises before moving on to some standing balance and strength exercises. The team are strong and focused at the moment. You could have heard a pin drop in the park as they balanced on one leg, putting their bodies through its resistance training paces without so much as a squeak of protest.
We completed our session with a couple of stretches before heading back to the hotel, and onto the pub for a quick drink to say cheerio to our beloved Becky J , whose last run it was with us for a while, as she pursues exciting career opportunities in another part of the world!
So long, Becky J!
Which leads me nicely on to offer a very big thank you to Becky all she has contributed over the last two-and-a-half years to Tower Hamlets. Becky is an active, regular Task Force runner, who shows up early at nearly every Group Run, welcoming new runners with a big smile; helping to plan tricky runs and Community Missions behind the scenes, and just generally offering smiles and support at every opportunity. You will be much missed.
Other Monday shout-out's
And thanks to Dave for tonight's wicked pun - it's a cracker.
What's coming up...
Next Monday we celebrate GoodGym's 10th birthday with TWO of our task owners, the wonderful Barts Volunteers and Tower Hamlets' Council's Big Clean Up as we head to the Royal London for a clean up in and around the beloved John Harrison Garden.
And also next week, on Sat 21st, it's SuperSaturday, the biggest day of GoodGym activity, when our very own Kat has organised a variety of activities with the Mile End parkrun team, so you really should check that out here.
Right, that's me for another week. Well done all involved tonight - what a thoroughly splendid night. Thirsty trees are hydrated; the park area is pristine, and your hip flexors are that little bit stronger. I mean, it's official now - you really do rock.
Have a wonderful week, enjoy the start of Autumn, and we'll hopefully see you very soon.