Getting by with a little help...

How friendships and connections flourish at GoodGym

January 18, 2022

Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email and we'll be in touch.

We were so inspired by the brilliant GoodGym Stockport community mission with Stockport Rotary Lamplighters to scout out Buddy Benches that it sparked a huge conversation about the different ways GoodGym supports connections, friendships and sometimes unusual, unbreakable links between people.

The Buddy Bench Location session asks the GoodGym Stockport community to find suitable locations for 10 new 'Buddy Benches', a designated bench within a green space where people can sit and encourage communication and conversation with others. It's a great initiative to reduce the effects of loneliness and encourage community cohesion. This gentle encouragement to share an experience and have an impromptu, informal chat definitely sounds familiar to everyone at GoodGym.

How does GoodGym encourage friendship?

Happiness is often a byproduct of exercise, and within that so is personal connection. We often remind people that GoodGym happenings are a great way to meet people, and build connections with people they may not otherwise meet. The often informal nature of the fitness part of GoodGym means you are able to 'work out' without getting too exhausted or out of breath, and therefore have more time to chat. Side by side conversations rather than those that take place face to face can also be powerful in getting people to open up.


Shared experiences

GoodGym happenings offer experiences that you might not otherwise have. From mucking out animals at a community farm to clearing paths in an area of the city you have never visited, opportunities often present that you can share with someone else. These shared experiences can be the foundation of a bond, especially if you get to go back there on a regular basis. Simply being part of a GoodGym community is a shared experience, and those who take part with sessions at mulitple GoodGym areas report back that they can often feel alike. If you are at home at one GoodGym, you are likely to slot into into any of our communities.

When you're running, it's not just about speed. It's about having a good time in a holistic sense. Everyone is genuinely interested in helping eachother" - Melanie, Bristol.

Connecting with people outside of your age group

GoodGym communities are famously full of people of all backgrounds, sizes, shapes and ages. By signing up to mission, you're likely to meet someone outside of your usual age group, but it could also happen at a group session. Crossing paths with someone you wouldn't ordinarily meet can enhance a GoodGym session and build the foundations of a friendship, particularly if they are happy to share experiences of both their lives and the area in which you are running. Younger people are often more likely to know which big changes are coming in a community, while older members will have memories of what came before.

The social bit

Of course, GoodGym isn't all about getting out there and taking part in happenings together. The Covid-19 pandemic forced us all to think outside the box, and many GoodGym communities still offer some opportunities that link the social with the virtual. From online yoga to self-logged time trials, you can stay connected even if you can't make it to a session or have to complete an isolation. While our socials are paused at the moment due to the rise in Omicron cases, we know that there was a flurry of social activity at the end of 2021 with many groups meeting outside of their usual sessions for lunches, quizzes and after-work drinks. You can't keep a community down for long, and we know this will make a comeback as soon as it can.

It's feeling like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that I've been searching for over the last 20 years of running" - Dan, Norwich


Have you made a brilliant buddy at GoodGym?

What's the stand-out social thing you have experienced at your GoodGym area?

Is there something about GoodGym that has helped you to connect with others?

Get in touch via our socials, we'd love to hear your story.

Find a GoodGym area near you via the homepage and get involved today. Your next best friend might be waiting!


Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email and we'll be in touch.
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