25 Month Streak
Wed 1st Feb at 6:30pm
After last week's soaking it was a joy to meet up in the dry with the hope of spring poking its head just around the corner!
It was our first session back at the Community Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House last night, and the start of our regular visits there every few weeks. It's an important local resource for local communities, and is run as a charity. At one time not too long ago the kitchen garden was in a state of neglect and disrepair until a group of local residents turned it into a community project which is today used for teaching local residents, schools and community groups about horticulture and growing food.
It was only a short run down to the gates where we were met by one of the lead gardeners Chris, who led us into the dark of garden, past the creepy disembodied warning voice, and to our task for the evening.
Our job was in two parts - to lay down cardboard in a huge area of the garden to prevent weeds growing as it gradually decomposes, and also to shovel mulch into bags to spread over it. This method means that the gardeners don't have to use weed killer and other nasty chemicals to keeps the weeds down, allows the nutrients to soak into the soil and also means that nothing is wasted. As Chris wisely said, 'if in doubt, mulch!'
The two teams got stuck right in, and before long we had loaded up countless bags of mulch to be transported to the cardboard lawn. With 30 hectares - the equivalent of 30 football pitches - of land to cover, there is plenty to keep us busy over the next few months!
Job done we headed over to Turnham green for a tough but effective speed fitness session. Great job on the shuttle runs everybody! Next week we have a community mission in partnership with Wild Chiswick, and there are also two great missions coming up to help protect the riverway - you can sign up here and here - and this one features shire horses!.
Have a great few days of doing good and getting fitter GG!
Wed 25th Jan at 6:30pm
Last night was a masterclass in speed volunteering thanks to some very inhospitable conditions!
Just as we met for our Wednesday group run we were greeted with threatening skies and it wasn't too long before the downpour started good and proper. Undeterred we did our warm up and ran down to Cavendish school where we have been helping create a sustainable learning area for the children.
By the time we got there we were already sodden, but we grabbed tools and cracked on with our task for the evening. The space is being slowly transformed from an overgrown tangle of weeds and unwanted bushes and we have been lending a hand over the months getting it into shape. Previous sessions have seen us create a pathway, hack down the waist-high undergrowth, dig over the soil and clear the pond area. The school now want to install composters to make use of the leaves that are clogging up the place, so we got cracking raking, stacking and collecting the remaining leaves to create mulch.
After a good hard session we were quickly getting increasingly soggy and the rain was showing no signs of stopping so we put away our tools and made a run for the safety and warmth of the town hall. It was a relief to make it back but we didn't get too comfortable, immediately starting on the full body strength and conditioning workout. If that wasn't tough enough, the finisher was a wall sit that everybody smashed, holding the tough position for a whole two minutes. If that wasn't enough there was even a singalong to distract from the pain!
Amazing work in tough circumstances last night team, well done! Next week I'm hoping for a balmy Wednesday evening for our trip to help out at the Chiswick House community kitchen garden. Have a great week, GG!
Thu 26th Jan at 5:45pm
Wow, where is that classy interior?
Thu 26th Jan at 5:46pm
We were lucky enough to have the Town Hall for our workout last night - although we missed you Kash!
Thu 26th Jan at 6:23pm
Haha, I did bet on a different horse yesterday night. Still had my share of soggy running! Well done guys for working in such weather conditions!
Wed 18th Jan at 6:30pm
Wit the thermometer dropping below zero last night, it would have been so easy to stay inside wrapped up in the warm. Not at GoodGym! It was amazing to see 11 GGers don their thermals and woollies and make it out to lend a hand at an important local organisation.
Cultivate London works hard to improve health and wellbeing across London by encouraging and helping local communities to engage with their green spaces, and last night we going to support them doing this at a local school.
With Chris leading the way we took the scenic route to Berrymede Junior school to meet Romina who was organising the job for the evening. The idea was that we would mix up the enriched soil and leaves that GoodGym Ealing had collected with some magic ingredient called 'bone meal'. Apparently this stuff will boost for the plants that Cultivate London will sow to help them flourish. For Harvey and Kash it was a repeat task as they had been the night before but they threw themselves into the job with all their usual enthusiasm and muscle power!
With the chilly conditions the group worked hard and fast and before long the super soil was mixed and getting bagged up at a rate of knots. Can't wait to see what it produces!
Next week hopefully Spring will be poking its head around the corner, and we have a task helping to create a learning area at a local school. Until then, keep warm, keep running and stay happy, GoodGym!
Wed 11th Jan at 6:30pm
A last minute change of location last night meant that we managed to squeeze not one but two different tasks in to last night's session - double the fun, double the good!
In an extra bonus, it was Chris' 100th good deeds, which is definitely something to be celebrated! If you'd like to say well done for all those litter picks, weeding sessions, squats and sprints, then give him a cheer right here.
Unfortunately the head gardener at the kitchen garden we were meant to be going to has picked up an injury, but a last minute request had come in from the Friends of Harvard Hill to plant 100 daffodil bulbs before it was too late for them to bloom this year. We sprung into action!
After a short run down to the pick up the daffs and tools, we made our way over to the park and got planting. In what was perhaps a GG Hounslow record, we got through the whole sackful in no time at all. As Chris pointed out, we must be getting better at this! The reward? A pack of chocolate digestives to share.
With the rest of the evening ahead of us and high on a sugar rush, we decided to get in a litter pick. Michelle has noticed some areas locally with a real rubbish problem, and after a few minutes of running she took us to a particularly bad spot and we got stuck in. Before long we had stuffed full several bin bags of litter and Kash had even found an old bed head!
Two tasks down, we headed over to the park to do a fitness session which started off with partner based sprints. There was some great form on display, and warmed us up nicely for the circuits session. It was a tough full body workout, but everybody gave it everything, which was great to see.
Wed 4th Jan at 6:30pm
It was our first group run of 2023 last night and we were back with a bang! 13 runners went to Kew Bridge to tackle the worst state of litter pollution we had ever seen there.
After a thorough warm up we ran the 2km down the bridge to find Richard waiting for us with masses of litter pickers and trugs. The dock was in quite a sorry state, full of plastic bottles and other rubbish.
We sprang into action, finding all manner of surprising - yet not biodegradable - objects. Along with the hundreds of plastic bottles there was a very nice rucksack, although none of us were brave enough to look to see what might be hiding inside, an old oil can and several individual shoes.
After half an hour and a bonus spruce up of the public walkway, the place was looking a million times better. Have a look at the before and after shots to see the difference!
Waving good bye to Richard and a much cleaner drawdock we headed back to base, not without stopping along the way for four different fitness stations. These included tough ones such as steps ups, progressive squats, plank variations and cardio finisher that meant there were mutterings of 'are you mrs Trunchball?'
We finished off a very productive night with some stretches. Next week we're back at Cultivate London to help with various jobs, and don't forget that there is a big January plog happening on the 14th where we aim to clear the terrible rubbish problem alongside the A4. Hope to see you there!
Wishing you all a very happy, fit and goodness-filled 2023!