Business owner, father, cyclist, bucket list completer and learning to play piano


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Dan went on a group run

Mon 23rd Oct 2023 at 6:15pm

🪵 The stakes are high 💥

York Report written by Nicky Woodall (she/her)

🦉 22 excellent GoodGymmers gathered on a chilly Monday evening for our weekly group run. We named, numbered and warmed up whilst discussing our favourite birds. Owls were popular, although some folk went for the innuendo options!

✌️We had two tasks this evening so split into two groups and parted ways. Here’s what Ed had to say about the Park Grove crew:

🧸 On arriving at Park Grove we split off into two teams. Nikki G had unfinished business with a mound of earth so swiftly got to work with a spade along with Laura, Jenna and Cara. The second team armed themselves with loppers and saws and set about cutting the willow trees down to size. All was going well until the lights from the school went out and Lucy discovered a very creepy doll nestled in one of the trees.

🃏 After completing the task the two teams joined together for a round of card based fitness. Each person taking it in turn to 'draw a card' (press a button on Ed's phone) which determined the subsequent exercise. There may be a few sore logs after waaaaay too many squats!

🍎 Meanwhile, at Holgate Community Orchard, we’d been promised destruction (hence it was a popular option!)

💥 They’re wanting to build some new sheds so the area surrounding the old sheds needed clearing, which involved some fairly heavy labour! Rich, Dan and Max set to with removing a stake from the ground, digging, mattocking and tugging until eventually, it came out! Others were shifting bricks, picking them up and digging them out. Again, a very manual task!

🪵 The other half of our Holgate crew were “Team Stick”. These guys were moving previously-piled sticks to a new location and removing side-branches/“nobbles”. The sticks were then sorted by girth and shortened to the 60cm standard. Much discussion over the accuracy of everyone’s 60cm measurement ensued, with Dom claiming to have “an unerring sense of 60cm”.

🌳 With two minutes remaining, Helen asked if one final job could be completed - sawing down a (small) tree stump. Rich volunteered and completed this quickly.

📸 And with that, it was time for a group photo and fitness session before a run back to base and on to the pub for some.

👏 Thank you everyone, good work 💪

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Dan went on a group run

Mon 2nd Oct 2023 at 6:15pm

👑 Triumphant triumvirate 📣

York Report written by Nicky Woodall (she/her)

😳 Well, this week’s group run started with a bit of drama as our task cancelled 20 minutes before the session!

🦸‍♀️ Never fear though, a trio of terrific Taskforce members organised a task each, providing a triplet of terrifically taxing tasks for our gang of 24.

🔨 Laura led a group to Holgate Community Garden for the infamous “post-whacking”. Here’s what she had to say:

🍐 6 of us carried the posts and equipment to the garden and bashed in posts around the young fruit trees to stop council mowers from damaging them.

🌱 Meanwhile, Abi, Dom and Martin C kept it local, cracking on with some weeding at Prospect House. Apparently they made a “good ol’ dent”, which is excellent news. They also “apparently” did 500 press ups each. I think I’m tempted to believe the former more than the latter!

🚸 The rest of us headed to Park Grove to continue shovelling the big pile of (now sodden) soil, clear more of the ground for it to be laid and cut the under-layer into just the right shapes.

✂️ With the three wheelbarrowers working incredibly hard (despite wonky wheels and uneven ground), we made good progress with the soil pile. Meanwhile, the weed-clearers dug and extracted to their hearts’ content, under a variable level of shelter from the rain. The cutters had fun tessellating various shapes of underlay to be covered with soil.

🌧️ Progress was swift, undeterred by said rain and Vicky was “delighted” that we were able to come tonight. It was soon time for a group photo and fitness.

🪜 Fitness took place under the shelter, with steps handily provided to offer us our theme. Step-based fitness it was then, and a co-operative affair, with everyone offering suggestions of their favoured step-based activity. Step ups, heel raisers, press ups and tricep dips all made the cut, and were then repeated.

🍋 Nicely warmed, it was time to head back to base for a cool-down and stretch. We were treated to some delicious lemon bar bites (thanks Barbara!) before parting ways to head to the pub/home.

🙌 Thank you everyone, for your patience in the initial chaos and particularly for the sourcing of the triumphant task trio. See you next time!

  • I’m aware this isn’t actually a pun but the opportunity to use the word triumvirate was too good to miss 👌
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Dan went on a group run

Mon 18th Sep 2023 at 6:15pm

Flake & Barrow & Roll

York Report written by Mitch

On a cool Monday night, 14 GoodGymers braved the autumnal conditions, keen to do some good. Before we headed out, we celebrated Carl's 200th good deed! Go give him a cheer!! We warmed up by playing a game of duck duck goose, and after successfully locking the building up (with some difficulty), we headed out.

We arrived at Vicky's school, known as Park Grove Academy to some, and got started on two tasks.

1) One task involved moving a large pile of soil to fill in 3 raised beds. We were supplied with wheelbarrows (one with a very deflated wheel), spades and of course a large pile of soil. You know what this means. It's a GoodGym classic barrowing task. Under the leadership of Leanne, GG quickly got to work digging and moving the large pile of soil, until it was a slightly less large pile of soil. But more importantly, the raised beds were filled. There was even a fox in the woods who was very content watching and admiring GG's hard work.

2) The other task involved whitewashing a painted wall so it can be used again for painting. Max and Abi gave the wall an initial scrape to remove the loose pieces of old paint (and covered themselves with plenty of flakes) and then we got to work. With rollers and brushes in hand, we made quick progress on the wall. Some of the children nearby were asking why we painted over such a nice picture, but after explaining to them they seemed happy*. We made quick work of the wall and have put on the first of probably many coats. I think I speak for everyone when I say it was a very tidy job :D

After completing both tasks, we did a quick circuit for fitness which went down very well. Even Max was thankful he was out of breath. We finished up with a refreshing drink at the Akorne. It's what Monday's are made for!

*they laughed at us

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Dan went on a group run

Mon 4th Sep 2023 at 6:15pm

🐞 Bitten by the bugs (literally) 🐛

York Report written by Nicky Woodall (she/her)

🥵 15 GoodGymmers braved the (very) warm evening for our group run this evening, supporting St Nick’s in two of their projects.

🥥 We named, numbered and “warmed up” (we were already pretty warm) by discussing what product we’d love to be able to grow on demand. From the exotic coconuts to the more local plums, there were also wine grapes and other such pleasures.

✌️ We split into two groups and here’s what Ed had to say about the Millennium Fields gang:

🐝 We arrived at the task and split into 2 groups. Mitch and Max were on raking duties whilst Claire, Charlotte and Laura got to grips with digging over the compost, with Ed splitting his time between the 2. Whilst Mitch and Max introduced a dance routine to their raking, the diggers were doing a dance of their own to ward off the wasps and mosquitos. Unfortunately the goodgym crew proved just too tasty and ended up with a fair few bites and even a wasp sting to show for all their hard work. Dan and Joanna arrived and soon got stuck into the raking before our time was up and we headed back for a brief fitness session.

🐠 Meanwhile, at “the fishy triangle“ (blame Dom for that particular nickname), we were met by Jonathan who’d already got stuck in with the digging. We were provided with spades (except for Vicky who got lucky and got a fork) and similar got digging. Our task was to dig out the weeds that were persisting. The plan is for this area to be woodchipped and for wildflowers to be planted there, to create a lovely low-maintenance area.

🌺 Jonathan also gave us some good news about the new wildflower area at the top of Millennium Fields that we dug/turned the turf for. Apparently it looks lovely now and the bees love it, which is great news.

🦟 The lowlight of the evening was probably the bug bites that we were also subjected to - apparently GoodGymmers are just too tasty for our own good.

🤭 We all got a giggle when Paul Kelly and Amy tried to helpfully point out the soil whiskers on Vicky’s cheeks. Only to be greeted with Vicky’s bum - which cheeks?!

📸 Soon, it was time to pack all our weeds into bags (which Jonathan declined to cycle over to Fulford in this heat), take our group photo and head back towards base.

💪 We started a quick fitness session before the other group arrived, focussing on knee-strengthening (though avoiding floor-based exercises for fear of more bites). Then it was time to head back to base for a stretch before heading to the pub/home.

👏 Thanks everyone, see you again soon!

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Dan completed 15 good deeds with GoodGym. 😎

Monday 21st August 2023

Finding your feet

Finding your feet

Dan completed 15 good deeds with GoodGym.

Dan has completed their 15th good deed with GoodGym

Dan went on a group run

Mon 21st Aug 2023 at 6:15pm

🦫 The vole wide world 🌍

York Report written by Nicky Woodall (she/her)

🥵 18 GoodGymmers met on a pleasant (if a tad humid) Monday evening for our group run. The threat of rain may have lurked, courtesy of some rather grey clouds, but thankfully held off until we were in the pub.

🏔️ We had some folk “fresh” from Race the Train and Abraham’s Tea Round at the weekend - incredibly impressive 💪

📠 In honour of National Senior Citizens’ Day, we named, numbered and warmed up while discussing inspirational senior citizens. From Judi Dench to Bruce Springsteen via David Attenborough, the Queen and some of our own, there was a great selection.

✌️ We were helping our friends at St Nick’s in two places this evening. A smaller (but perfectly formed) crew headed back to the Fishergate Triangle to continue our joint project with St Nick’s there.

🌱 The team worked hard but there’s still more to do so look out for more opportunities to continue this work!

🦫 Meanwhile, the rest of us headed to another joint project with St Nick’s, helping attract water voles back to Hull Road Park. Maria explained that by building up the new bank, we’ll be linking habitats along the stream. Once the bank is built, it’ll be planted so the water voles have access to vegetation during the winter when they prefer to stay in their bank burrows. It might take a while but we’ve all got our fingers crossed that the hard work will pay off and we’ll be keeping an eye out for those water voles in years to come (and attempting to distinguish them from rats) 🐀

😴 Anyway, Max declined the conventional walking/running with the equipment from St Nick’s to the park, instead volunteering Steve Rice to give him a lift in his wheelbarrow. Steve put in an incredibly impressive shift, and took Max all the way to the bridge next to the earth piles that need shifting 💪

⛏️ We noticed that Jonathan from St Nick’s had sneakily added a second pile to the one we were hoping to finish tonight. Ed took the mattock and cracked on uncovering the original pile to make it more diggable. Meanwhile, some people cracked on with the new pile.

🏋️ Abigail resumed her raking role from last time we were there, with Maria from St Nick’s, after some agile fence-jumping. Martin and Lucy took the role of barrow-lifters while the rest of the team split their time between digging and barrowing.

👋 Far too soon, it was time to finish and run back to base, to head on to the pub and/or home.

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Dan went on a group run

Mon 17th Jul 2023 at 6:15pm

You can bank on GoodGym to save the day!

York Report written by Mitch

For yesterdays task we split into 2 groups, one led by Ed to help St Nicks at Hull Road Park, the other led by myself (mainly Leanne) to help St Nicks (deja vu??) at Fulford.

Hull Road

We arrived at St Nicks to be greeted by Maria, who gave away some clues about our mystery task by equipping us with wheelbarros, spades and rakes. From here is was then on to Hull Road Park where all became clear as Nikki, Rich, Stef and Debs were stood around (and on) a big mound of earth.

The task was to create a bit of a bank along the side of the beck so people clould get closer to it and enjoy the soon to be abundant wildlife, such as the watervoles that Maria has promised!

Amy promptly joined the already established team of earth diggers whilst Martin and Vicky were the obvious bankers. The rest of the team were running the barrows back and forth.

Wobbly wheels, flat tyres and the muggy heat didn't deter the team from a great banking session!

Fulford Ings

We arrived at Fulford Ings to be greeted by an incredibly tall talking plant, which revealed itself to be Jonathon in the midst of bashing some balsalm. We immediately got started on a GG classic, see some balsalm, remove that balsalm. The idea was to clear an area to the large wetland could be mown without the worry of distributing the balsalm seed.

So for the next 40 minutes we got stuck in. There may have been some nettle stings and stubborn plants, but that didn't deter the GoodGymers getting stuck in!

We managed to clear a large section and open the wetland for mowing. There was a large section left to do, but we are slowly reducing the numbers year on year...they may have won the battle, but we will win the war!!!

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Aidan Kettle
Dan signed up to a group run.

Mon 10th Jul 2023 at 6:15pm

Help St Aelred's School's new wildlife area - Part 1 of 2

Helping them to become a forest school, which would be 'priceless' for the children

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Nicky Woodall
Dan went on a group run

Mon 3rd Jul 2023 at 6:15pm

The Bash

York Report written by Nicky Woodall (she/her)

😁 20 excellent souls met on a (ever-so-slightly chillier than it has been) Monday evening for our group run.

👋 We were thrilled to welcome Ailsa for her first York group run, having moved up from London (and had twins in the meantime!)

🥳 Our party pace group partied off while we named, numbered and warmed up in honour of national “eat your beans day”, impersonating our favourite beans. Of course the runner bean featured, along with the hasbean, kidney bean and cocoa bean.

👟 We had more trainers to send to the Jog On charity collection so I did that quickly while our runners and cyclists made their way to Fulford Ings. There, they were met by Jonathan from St Nick’s who provided balsam-based instructions.

🌱 Everyone swiftly set to work, pulling up the balsam and snapping it in half to prevent it from regrowing. Jonathan said this is the first time they’ve tackled that area and they know bashing works (it just might take 3-5 years to rid that spot of pesky balsam). He was very grateful for our help and said their volunteers would be in soon to finish off.

🌅 By this point of the day, the light was lovely (though getting in the way of photos somewhat) so we all had some picturesque fun. And before we knew it, it was time to stop and regroup for a photo. Our two running groups headed off and stopped by Millennium Bridge for some bean-based fitness. We had three glorious winners of our number-grouping game (much to the disgruntlement of certain competitive folk) and set off along a scenic river route back to base.

😎 There, it was time to cool down and stretch, before heading pub-wards or home-wards.

👏 Thanks everyone, great to see you and to get much balsam bashed.

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Nicky Woodall
Dan went on a group run

Mon 5th Jun 2023 at 6:15pm

Let the saw do the work

York Report written by Michal Czekajlo

Today we had two tasks to complete.

Mitch led four Goodgymers to continue preparing the Acomb Methodist Church notice board for repainting. They all spent an hour sanding scraping, brushing and observing (Mitch and Ellie) and managed to make good progress.

Meanwhile the rest of us, including Anna who was giving GoodGym a try for the first time went to Ashton Park in Clifton to remove tree guards from some mature trees.

As it happens in that park we had an opportunity to engage with local young people. One lad told Jenna that the job is best done when you " let the saw do the work".

Abigail had an opportunity to show off her extensive boxing knowledge and Leanne stood on hammers.

Stef and Lucy competed on who is faster at cutting the wooden posts and Max admired Abi's shooting skill to get the litter bag down from the tree.

The rest of the crew stuck in at removing the metal guards and carefully trimming thorny branches that were in the way and packing them into bulk bags.

Once the trees were freed and tools tidied up a fitness session with a focus on back and abdominal muscles followed, then run back to the HQ to enjoy some of Lucy's birthday cake.

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Nicky Woodall