We are just a few weeks away from the clocks springing forward 1-hour which brings with it all the thoughts of warm weather and balmy evenings doing some lovely park based volunteering with GoodGym. As if to mark this optimistic time, when I arrived in Walthamstow this evening at 6.30, there were the remnants of daylight receding over the horizon.
Anyway, that is a bit of a digresion as for now we are still toiling away in the dark. Not that the crew from GGWF would care about that as we had yet another lovely indoor task. Yes, we were back at the lovely St Mary's to complete our painting of the Welcome Centre. As always when we visit St Mary's our contact Tim had done a great job setting everything up for us to get cracking.
We were lucky to be joined tonight by a local firefighter, former London Marathoner and all round good egg, Mandy. With everyone working like the clappers, it was not long before the room we were painting was gleaming beautifully., After a quick tidy-up, we headed back out into the night for a drill-set to work out some of our less well-used leg muscles.
After that, it was back to GRBC for some lovely biscuits that had been kindly left for us by our very generous hosts. What a lovely evening.
Next week we are doing a spot more painting at our GRBC base followed by a 5k road run and maybe a visit to the pub. Sign-up here
Annoying warning! Before I get into this week's Group Run, I'm just going to repeat some news from last week's run report as it is all still relevant.
Would you like to volunteer at The Hackney Half?
GoodGym has filled one Hackney Half aid station, but so that no one gets left-out and GG can get double the presence, we’ve now got another one, not far away at Broadway Market.
- Date – 17th May
- Location – Broadway Market (10 mins walk from Bethnal Green Central Line)
- Task – Handing out water with a load of other GG people
- Incentive – Free VirginSport bib. So that’ll be the the Asics10K or Oxford Half this year, or the next Hackney Half in 2021.
GGWF Taskforce Member Ercole has set up an excellent Community Mission on 8th March.
Sign-up to the Leyton Jubilee junior Parkrun Volunteer takeover here. It's like an adult Parkrun but much shorter and far more rewarding. What could be better than helping to facilitate youngsters doing a 2km race?
The next monthly social will be at Yardsale Pizza on Wednesday 4th March. That's next week y'all. Thanks to Ruth for sorting (again!)
Check the WhatsApp group for details. If you are not on the group email, hit me up
Wednesday's Group Run The crew from Waltham Forest have become so adept at decorating this winter that I am expecting a call any day now from the people in charge of painting The Forth Bridge. That would certainly keep us going for a few Wednesday's, although I am not sure about the 390-mile run we would need to complete to arrive there.
Luckily, St Mary's Church is only about 1 km away in Walthamstow village. As always when we visit this place, our task had been admirably set up by Tim, so within in minutes of our arrival paint was being liberally applied to the walls of the Welcome Centre. Our numbers were boosted tonight by (Megan and Emma. who were joining us for the first time. Great having you both along.
It wasn't long before all the walls were gleaming with lovely white gloss and it was time to wash up our brushes and pack everything away to head out for a set of intervals. However, it was a cold, cold night and getting straight into an interval session might have been a bit risky without a warm-up. Luckily, the welcome centre has a lovely hall where we could stretch our legs and get our blood pumping before heading out.
Our subsequent intervals were totally bossed by the women's team tonight with Ruth, Aimee, Meg and Emma bringing it home in 1 , 2, 3 and 4. Nice running.
Next week, we are back at the same place for coat number 2. Sign-up here
It doesn't get much easier than doing a task at your base and that's what the crew from GoodGym Waltham Forest had slated tonight's. Pretty handy when one of our plucky crew was walking wounded and unable to run (kudos, Pippa!).
As for the task? Well, over the winter GGWF have developed some pretty decent skills with paintbrushes. We have been slapping coats of paint on all over the place, today was another one of those tasks. It was out with the orange and in with the white as the team set about smartening up a couple of rooms in the lovely Greenleaf Road Baptist Church.
After painting, cleaning and a quick game of table tennis, we decided that a nice little tour of Walthamstow was in order. With the chilly wind whistling around the street outside, we went kicked off with an indoor warmup up before trotting out into the night for a few km's.
We are back here next week for a bit more of the same. Join us and sign-up today.
It's been a long time coming, but the day I have been waiting for since mid-December 2019 (come on, it was last year!) has finally arrived. The wonderful, the marvellous, the magnificent, the dry-witted, the clever, the all-around cross-fittingly smashing Ms Pippa Cossey has now reached a fantastic fifty good deeds.
Pippa's first Good Deed took place way back in April 2018 only one week after GoodGym Waltham Forest had started. Since then she has been a regular contributer rain or shine, cold or warm, light or dark. She has picked up tons of litter, built a few planters, painted plenty of walls, improved no end of parks and gardens, and generally raised the aggregate level if happiness in Walthamstow a few notches. Well done, Pippa, you rock.
With that said, let's talk about tonight. Okay, I'll keep it brief. We met, we ran, we painted, we ran, we drilled, we ran, we ate cake, we went home. For me the highlight there was the cake-eating bit. My God, it was delicious. Amazing cupcakes baked by guess who? Yes the versitile, Pippa. They had everything a great cake should have, fluffiness, sweet and delicious, a treasure trove of chocolate bits and bright pink icing. To make sure I did have to eat two, though.
Next week, same time, same place, same task, different cake (it's my birthday). Sign-up here
Two-weeks hence it is our monthly social. We will be eating curry and Ruth is booking a table. Check WhatsApp soon for deets and sign-up here. If you are not on the WhatsApp group email me and I will add you
Before we kick-off tonight's proceedings I want to give a plug for this weekend's Community Mission. Please join us for some volunteering at Walthamstow Parkrun. We are meeting at Greenleaf Road Baptist Church at 8 am, but we won't have access to the facility so please be ready to run. More details and sign-up here.
Tonight GoodGym Waltham Forest kicked off a three-week project to spruce up a community centre attached to St Mary's Church in the heart of Walthamstow village.
After a short, sharp jog up Church Hill, we met our amazing task organiser Tim who had dutifully laid out the dust sheets ready for us to start work. Week one was all about the prep, so it was scraping, sanding, washing, masking and filling. Our DIY specialists wasted no time in getting to work, and before you could say Polyfilla the place was prepped and ready for paint...
And on that tantalising cliffhanger, we will leave the going on at the Welcome Centre until next week, but we are not done with today's action just yet. After our tasking, it was time for a sport of running so after a warm-up jog we hit the drills with some slow, medium and fast reps of the churchyard.
After that, it was back to our lovely warm new base at Greenleaf Road Baptist Church. Next week. We are back at the same place but moving to the painting stage. Sign-up here
Welcome to 2020 one and all.
As if to mark the occasion GoodGym Waltham Forest moved home over the Christmas break, and today we set off from our fabulous new base, Greenleaf Road Baptist Church. These luxuriant surroundings come with comfy sofas, a chill-out room with table tennis, decent changing rooms and the melodic sounds of a local choir group down the hall. Tonight we were treated to Downtown, originally a Petula Clarke hit back in the day.
With a new home and a new year, I was hoping for a new runner and my wish was granted when Charlie joined our group tonight. Great to see you, Charlie, I hope you are going to help us kill this January Challenge by joining us for a spot of painting next week!
I did shed a tear for the demise of our former home. The marvellous Mirth, Marvel and Mauad shut down at the weekend, but I gather it will reopen after some renovations at some indeterminate date.
Anyhoo, with all these opulent new surroundings, it was hard to prise ourselves away from the warmth and comfort of GLRBT but prise we did as we burst forth into the night and headed for another holy location, St Mary's Church up in Walthamstow Village. Actually, our task was at the Welcome Centre next door and who doesn't like a spot of gardening on a cold damp January night?
Attack of the plants
We let me tell you this was no ordinary gardening task. As we walked through the gate and with just the eerie light of a few head torches for company, we entered a domain where plants had well and truly taken over. Man (and woman) sized weeds loomed large from cracks in the paving. In the shadows, claw-like branches seemed poised ready to entangle unsuspecting humans who dared to draw too near.
Undeterred by the little shop of horrors, our plucky crew set to work. It was touch and go for a while, but eventually, GoodGym prevailed, and the plants were vanquished. It was a sight to behold as probably half a ton of organic matter was eventually piled up on the compost heap.
To round off the evening we did slow, medium and fast reps of the churchyard nearby before heading back to our lovely new home for a chill-out and a chat.
Welcome to GoodGym Waltham Forest! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every week to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations and projects in our area.
The Task: Tidying up inside the Church in readiness for Christmas
The Run/walk: GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and it is often possible to walk to the task if you would prefer.
We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.
Sajid has completed their 15th good deed with GoodGym
With a handful of diehard leaves stoically clinging to the trees and the temperature in the low single figures, it's hard to believe it's still autumn. Nevertheless, according to The Internet, winter doesn't start for another month! In these conditions, it takes a lot of guts to lace up your trainers and pounds the streets. Tonight a dozen fine folks from The Forest did just that. Particular kudos should go to Cecilia and Matt who joined us for the first time tonight.
Fortunately, it wasn't all cold and dark. After heading Walthamstow's lovely high street and passed the newly installed and glorious Christmas tree, we arrived at our destination. Shining bright into the night like a luminescent cattle shed in a nativity scene was The Mill (https://themille17.org/). The Mill is a pillar of the local community, and it hosts a diverse range of services and activities. With advent advancing, and some festive fun forthcoming, it was time for some decoration making to get us into the mood.
I thought we were bunting making, but it was even better than that. Our task was none other than festoon making. What a lovely word festoon is, I keep saying it again and again. This was a fun task and we wasted no time cutting the multi-coloured fabrics into strips in part one of a two-week task.
After our creative efforts, it was time for some exercise and we went for a bit of fartlek running tonight. Unlike festoon, fartlek is not a word that trips off the tongue so easily. Fartlek is Swedish for speed-play, it basically means mixed pace running in for short bursts. We used lamposts to guide us and headed down Copermill Lane into the wiles of the wetlands. It wasn't long until hearts were thumping and all thoughts of the cold weather had dissipated — truly magnificent running from everyone.
After our session, we still had to get back and it was a bit of an uphill slog, but we made it back to Mirth.
Tonight we have reached the end of our three-week project to decorate a large room at Greenleaf Road Baptist Church. When we started this space evoked a drab 1990's decor, and now it is taking shape as a much more jolly place. A pristine and resplendent white room full of possibilities and I am sure the dynamic team who run this thriving community hub will soon put it to good use.
For everyone who has contributed over the three weeks, well done, your efforts are appreciated. They will have a real positive impact on the overall ambience of a lovely community space.
We reached another and more poignant ending tonight as we bid farewell to long-term GoodGymWF pair, Alex and Kirsty. Between the two of them, they have clocked up a whopping 67 good deeds with us. Sadly they are moving far off to the unchartered territories of South London. The number of deeds they have done is nothing compared to the bonhomie they have brought to our collective. We will miss them but I feel sure our paths will cross one day again. Of course, we couldn't say goodbye without some cake and beer so after our painting and, now familiar, hill reps, it was back to Mirth to enjoy the cake supplied by our departing duo.
Thanks, guys, we will miss you.
For those of us that remain, we will be back to an old favourite, The Mill next week for some indoor bunting making followed by something other than hill reps, I promise! Sign-up here