An anchor in the storm

Jenny's GoodGym experience in 2020

January 06, 2021


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Jenny has been a regular face at GoodGym Redbridge since 2019, taking part in group sessions and training sessions every week with trainer Julia and the team. Here she tells us about what GoodGym meant to her during the Coronavirus pandemic.

I joined GoodGym in January 2019 and enjoyed participating in group runs and community missions on a fairly regular basis. However, GoodGym Redbridge has become a much bigger part of my life since March last year, when we entered the first national lockdown due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

For me, the social and community aspect of GoodGym has always been as important as the exercise. Connecting with others and the places we live in is essential for our wellbeing. It helps us to find a sense of belonging and our place and purpose in the world.


While the restrictions have meant that we’ve had to change the way we do things, our group has accomplished so much in 2020. The challenges posed by Covid-19, from isolation and loneliness to economic hardship, make GoodGym’s activities even more vital.

We’ve all been living much more locally since the pandemic, and one positive for me has been visiting many places in Redbridge for the first time. For example, I’ve been litter picking in Hainault Forest, planting trees at Seven Kings park, and sorting donations at the Frenford food bank in Ilford.


As well as visiting new places, I’ve also been trying new things; I recently started participating in missions to help older people. It has been amazing to see how the smallest things, such as moving a bed or tidying a cupboard, can really make a big difference to someone. In a year where life has frequently been overwhelming, and so many things feel completely out of our control, GoodGym has shown me that small actions can lead to big impacts.

Even when we couldn’t meet in person due to lockdowns, the wonderful team at GoodGym Redbridge has motivated me to keep active for my physical and mental health. From weekly ‘Parkini’ selfie challenges to ‘Monday Funday’ HIIT workouts on Zoom, I’ve had a regular push to get away from the home-desk and have a lot of fun in the process.


As well as all the activities, last year it’s been especially important just to be a part of the community. Catching up on the chat in our Whatsapp group is guaranteed to make me smile, whether it’s finding out how everyone is getting on with the ‘Fitmass’ challenge or seeing the latest antics of the cats of GoodGym Redbridge (which soon might need their own Instagram account!).

It goes without saying that 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone, but GoodGym has been a real anchor in the storm for me and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2021 will bring for us!

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