Tue 4th Jun 2019 at 6:45pm
17 GoodGym'ers ran 4km to help prepare Age UK H&F's garden area for their summer party
So just how many GoodGym’ers would be joining me tonight I thought as it bucketed it down at lunchtime... not only was there the possibility of a wet run, there was the return of love island...and despite all the pre-run chat I’m still not sure what a “bevvy” means?! The youth of today!
As always I needn't have worried as 16 other GoodGym'ers joined me tonight full of energy to run and do good. They're a lovely and hardy bunch in H&F!
It was lovely to welcome along Lucy for her first GoodGym run, and to our GoodGym Lambeth tourist (soon to be GoodGym H&F...) Victoria who recently completed her 200th good deed - epic, well done Vics!
Stacks of news!
Firstly, well done to Eloise and Matt who wombled their way around Wimbledon Common on a very muggy Sunday, and to Catriona who got a new parkrun PB!
FINALLY, well done to Andrew and Helen on some brilliant double-deeding, both were on their second good deed of the day having joined 150 other volunteers at City Hall this morning for Team London and GoodGym's biggest run of the year #runtodogood2019 to help celebrate Volunteers' Week.
Sun for the road
Following a quick pulse raising warm up we headed off on our short run to tonight’s task at Age UK H&F. The sun was even beginning to appear through the clouds, what perfect weather for a run!
We headed along Fulham Palace Road weaving in and out of the pedestrians and Mo managed to time his run to perfection as we seamlessly joined up with him at the crossroads. As we turned up Greyhound Road we came across a nice flat wall, perfect for a wall sit - after parkrun on Saturday Lucy may have said to me that she’d really missed the wall sit these past two weeks and requested that we stop en route this week and complete one, so I ensured her request was granted*.
Ain't no party like an Age UK H&F party!
As we arrived at Age UK we were greeted by more red GG tees and the ever smiley and welcoming Volunteer Coodinator, Aileen and their Chief Executive, Dawn. As the group congregated and signed in, Aileen and Dawn first thanked the group for all that they do to help out before explaining that next week they are hosting their annual summer volunteer party in their garden, and everyone at GoodGym is invited! - please drop Johnny or I a message if you are able to go so they can get an idea of numbers.
In preparation for next week’s summer garden party, tonight the group were going to be helping to spruce the garden up. One of their volunteer gardeners, Jack asked the group to split into four equal teams and began delegating out the jobs to be done:
Everyone gloved up and quickly got stuck into the jobs at hand, with Mo again on hand to take some wonderful candid snaps. Weeds were being pulled up at a rate of knots from in-between the patio cracks and lots of elbow grease plus soapy water was being applied to garden furniture.
As always the time quickly flew by, but in just 40 minutes the group had managed to transform the garden area: the tables were now gleaming white again, the cuttings were all bagged, the patio weeds were all removed and swept up - great job all! We called it a day and the teams began to pack away all the tools and stack all the full bin bags.
Oh, crumbs there's so many biscottis!
As a thank you for the groups hard work Aileen had kindly provided lots of biscuits, though as a certain Johnny Wren was busy putting his feet up in Italy, not because they were hobnobs, there seemed to be a lot more biscuits leftover than usual! Cheekily we decided to pose for our group photo with the biscuits as props to show Johnny all the treats that he was missing out on!
Everyone was squat amused
Before we headed off back to base there was time for a quick ‘Sally Squats’ leg workout. Catriona and I synchronised our phones to ensure a little more volume and we were off! For those that were wondering, in those 3mins 25 seconds, Sally goes up 30 times and down 30 times, so 30 squat reps! Did it feel like it?! It was also lovely to have all the Age UK volunteers get involved too! Squats all round - no one doing diddly squat...
I don't remember forgetting!
With quads burning we said our thankyous and goodbyes and headed off back to base. Clearly still in holiday mode and with no Alice G to help me remember to pick up my first aid kit, I had to make an unplanned u-turn halfway back and return back to fetch it. As I headed back Catriona kindly led the group safely back through Barons Court and Mo helped delivered the stretches and cool down. Thanks both!
Sadly, it was Martynas' last run as he has now moved up to Brent so we said our goodbyes and thanked him for all his hard work over the past year as part of GoodGym H&F. We'll miss you around Martynas! And thank you for the post-run treats.
Next week we're heading to Flora Gardens to paint, destroy some cupboards and help remove a fence, this will be followed by our monthly social. Sign up here. Awesome work tonight all. Have a great week, see you next week!
*Lucy actually just pointed out that the group hadn't done a wall sit in two weeks...
Tue 19th Mar 2019 at 6:45pm
Tuesday evening = GoodGym H&F fun! The week had flown by and it was once again Tuesday evening, and another night of 'getting fit and doing good' awaited 22 GoodGym'ers. A big welcome to Zofia who all joined us for her first GoodGym run and to GoodGym tourists Amy and Ian - Ian came along to surprise Jeanette instead of running with his regular Tuesday GoodGym group, GoodGym Bromley - Adele I promise I haven't poached him...yet ;-). Lovely to have you all along, hope to see you all again soon. And of course, wonderful to see my ever present regulars, thank you as always for your enthusiasm and help!
Despite the rain falling earlier in the day, as we stepped out from the Better Gym and headed towards our regular warm-up spot we were greeted with a nice mild and dry night, hooray! The group formed a perfect circle as I ran through the intros and week's news...
Free to news
AND a big well done to Helen and Sophie who smashed the Hampton Court Half at the weekend - PB's all round!
Wow. So much news!
More school you
With the name, number count and short pulse raising warm-up completed, with extra kudos paid to Martynas for his brilliant sprinting on the spot technique, we headed off on our short 1.5km run to our task tonight at Flora Gardens Primary School. With one quick wall sit completed en route, it wasn't long before we arrived at the school gates and were buzzed inside by the school's Business Manager, Jeanette who was waiting for us inside the school's 'The White House'.
In 'The White House', Flora Gardens Primary School run a before- and after-school club where meals and snacks are provided so that no child goes hungry. Unfortunately like most schools, they were facing tough financial pressures so did not have the Monet to pay for full price paint and professional redecoration of their school buildings. Thanks to Community Repaint, a brilliant scheme that redistributes leftover paint into their communities at around a third of the price, Jeanette had managed to source around 60 litres for under £150 and for the second time, the many helping hands of GoodGym runners to help revamp some white rooms. What a steal!
This was our fourth visit to Flora Gardens Primary School and it was lovely to see the main room that the team painted on our last couple of visits looking bright and fully functional - Jeanette had included a nice little feature and thank you in the school's latest newsletter which was really lovely, check it out in the Whatsapp group!
Someone like blue can green on me!
Tonight there was more painting on the agenda, and the task was to paint the following rooms: the toilet, the smaller room next to the kitchen and Jeanette's office upstairs in either the green or blue, or more specifically, 'Gilbert Green' or 'Heavenly Horizon' colour. As before, half of the group quickly armed themselves with paint brushes and covered up their valuable GoodGym tees and sportswear with the free oversized L'Oreal t-shirts that Jeanette kindly fetched - the t-shirts are normally used to protect the children's clothing when they do arts and crafts.
Sprinting at the speed of white
While half of the group were painting away under the watchful eye and camera lens of Jason, the other half made use of the playground area outside for this week's fitness session. First up, the group ran eight laps of the playground to get the blood pumping and pulses raised. On these eight laps there was some excellent short sprint work and perfectly executed indian running, or crocodile running as I have renamed it! Now that everyone had noticeably red faces (this is more assumed since it was dark!) and heavy breathing it was time for some 'child's play'....
Dodge in the dark
British bulldog, a classic playground game which was later banned in some schools due to overly 'foul play' was tonight's first game, the nice friendly version where only a gentle tap was permitted by the bulldog, and 10 jumping jacks were given to those that were caught. The first group managed four waves past the bulldogs with Will, Jonny and Amy the last standing, while the second group managed a massive seven waves past the bulldogs with Matt, Eloise and Sapphire the last standing, impressive effort! In a slight Gladiator-esk version of bulldog gauntlet, those that were last standing then guarded their 'home area', despite a couple of slips and slides thankfully no injuries or fallouts occured!
Finally, was a quick 2-minute game of 'shot up, shot down' with 29 red plastic shot glasses. It was Team Up v Team Down, who would emerge victorious? There were some interesting tactics and battles that occurred with shot glasses quickly being up then down or vice versa, shadowing of others, naming no names (Rowena!). All round it was a highly competitive game which provided a great quad workout. In the first match-up it was a landslide for Team Up, and in the seoncd match Team Down pipped Team Up by 4. Awesome shot work all!
Forget me shot
With the rotation of the groups seemless, the walls were quickly transformed from their original white colour to a fresher and brighter blue and green colour. Paint brushes were quickly cleaned and the tidy-up operation in full flow when the first painting group returned from their fitness session. I admired everyone's handywork and was amazed at the incredible transformation in just 45 minutes, the phrase "many hands make light work" felt very apt!
Pulling out all the shots
Before we said our goodbyes and thankyous to Jeanette, the group put together our '24' photo to represent our launch area number in celebration of the 50th GoodGym area launch in Solihull tomorrow. With some excellent props: red plastic shot glasses, paintbrushes and of course a ladder, in order to gain the best vantage point, the group posed for a fabulous group '24' photo - definitely cover photo worthy, big thank you to Sarah and Sapphire for leading on the artistic direction and to Jeanette for kindly providing a ladder.
The magic 24
Task, group '24' photo and fitness session completed, we said goodbye to Jeanette and headed off on the final part of our run down through Furnival Gardens, along the towpath and back to base - with a couple of bonus pistol squats thrown in when we regrouped. Everyone ran a strong pace back and aside from a couple of quick stops for the traffic lights, there was no stopping everyone! There was a closely fought sprint off between Matt and Jonathan on the final stretch that may have needed a photo finish. Back at base we all regrouped and completed a quick cool down and stretch off.
Cool down and stretches complete the class were dismissed to enjoy some delicious and moreish homemade banana bread (1 of our 5 a day?!) made by "the baker man, Johnny", in early celebration of all the 50th good deeds that are coming up in the next few weeks! Thanks as always for the baked delicacy, Johnny!
Next week we're heading up to White City Adventure Playground to help them with a range of painting and environmental jobs, sign up for next week's GoodGym x Earth Hour run here. Have a fab week and good luck to all those who will be running a parkrun on Saturday or the London Landmarks race on Sunday.
Thank you very much to Jason for the wonderful array of photos and for backmarking!
Wed 20th Mar 2019 at 9:39am
Great to be with you guys next week - I know from Jeanette how much she really values everything you've done at Flora Gardens. Love.
Wed 20th Mar 2019 at 9:40am
oops, typo - "this week" - else Adele will be worried!
Wed 20th Mar 2019 at 3:09pm
Beth, I would only really worry if Ian had brought along his paint stirring stick, that would be serious!
Tue 19th Mar 2019 at 6:45pm
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Tue 5th Mar 2019 at 6:45pm
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Tue 26th Feb 2019 at 6:45pm
It was all Gogh, Gogh, Gogh again as 24 GoodGym'ers ran 3km to white up a room!
On an unseasonably warm and Spring-like February evening - the kind of weather where everyone quickly locates their GoodGym t-shirts and shorts! - a fantastic 23 smiling GoodGym'ers greeted me at the Better Gym to run and do good. A big welcome to our 2 runderful new runners Libby and Sarah who joined us for their first GoodGym run, and welcome back to self-professed 'fair weather runner' Luis. It was also lovely to see so many runners back for their second and third runs, and of course my fab regulars - thank you all for coming along!
With everyone present and correct we all headed outside to our warm-up spot where I ran through a quick intro and round-up of the week's news.
News, news, news
1) Community Missions - Up for a weekend community mission? No DBS check is required for a community mission.
2) Sunday 3rd March - Long Runs - Tower Hamlets Run Leader, Simon is leading a 21km run along stages 6 & 7 of the Capital Ring. For all the details and to sign up, click here. There is also talk of H&F long run as well, keep an eye on the WhatsApp group for details!
3) Volunteering opportunities - If you volunteer for either the Adidas City Runs 1 hour on Sun 7th April or the Hackney Half on Sun 19th May, you'll have a great day out cheering on fellow runners and earn yourself some nice freebies that include free entry to a future race, a t-shirt, and possibly even some jelly babies!
The 'artist part was finding the way...
With the news and intros complete we did a name and number count followed by a quick pulse raising warm-up and some dynamic stretches, that of course included some 'shooing of the chickens' and closing of the gate, all in the wrong order! With the warm-up complete and Stravas set, we were ready to head off on our short 1.6km run down to our task tonight at Gibbs Green Tenants Hall, with Jason as always being the trusty backmarker. Along the way there was a short group wall sit to enable everyone to re-group as we headed down off the main road. In a complete déjà vu of our last run to Gibbs Green Tenants Hall I took the group on a minor 'scenic' detour around the back of West Kensington tube station - don't say I don't treat you all to the sights of H&F team!
Water great place to come
It wasn't long before we arrived at Gibbs Green Tenants Hall and were warmly welcomed in by Sara and Peggie. Sara and Peggie had kindly provided water for the group which was gratefully welcomed. As the group rehydrated Sara briefly explained the vast range activities and engagment events that are provided at Gibbs Green Tenants Hall for the community – this ranged from low cost yoga to providing meals from surplus food.
The walls are all white now
Two years ago the group had visited and transformed the green walls of the main hall from green to white, however, over the years the space has been incredibly well used and as result was bearing some very visible dirt, scuffs and stains that needed a bit of GoodGym painting love. Tonight's task was simple, but big, repaint the main hall area walls with a nice fresh coat of white paint. With Sara and Peggie providing a wonderful selection of rollers, paint brushes and trays, the team quickly divided up and began distributing the white paint into the trays ready to tackle the big painting challenge.
Blinded by the white!
Many went up ladders, under ladders or even stood on chairs to ensure that no hard to reach spots were missed. With so many pairs of hands quickly and efficiently painting the walls and skirting boards, it wasn't long before the area that Sara and Peggie had originally prepped with ground sheets for us to paint, so as to protect their newly washed and cleaned floors, needed to be extended out a lot further and wider.
As always the half an hour quickly passed, and not wanting to leave the main hall looking unfinished the group pushed on for a few additional minutes until most of the walls were all completed, and there was no paint left to paint with! With the painting completed, equipment washed, and everyone fed and rehydrated the group posed for a fabulous 'jazz hands' group photo with the ever smiling, Sara and Peggie. We all said our thank yous and goodbyes as we headed outside to the nice grassy area for some quick fitness-based games. After enjoying the Sally squats so much a few weeks ago, Tom had requested more squats and so as to be fair to the whole group I ensured that everyone got to do lots of squats tonight - big thank you to Tom!
Off in squat pursuit
We started off with a fun but tough game of championship knee tag, with lots of squat action and good tactical game play on display - well done to those who were victorious! Next up was a game of squat, squat, goose, where it transpired that many had never played the childhood classic of duck, duck, goose - what madness! After ironing out the rules we had a quick few rounds, all of which were very closely run. With the squat fix not quite acquired we finished off with three exercises to improve our strength, flexibility and balance: pistol squats, alternating supermans and squat thrusts. Great effort all!
Fitness session complete we all began the short run back to base for a cool down and stretch. Cool down and stretches complete we all headed off home our separate ways, with some going via the pub for the monthly social. Excellent work tonight all, hope you all had fun and hope to see you all again soon!
Next week we're heading back to Flora Gardens Primary School to continue our big painting challenge task, sign up for next week's run here. Have a great week!
Tue 19th Feb 2019 at 6:45pm
A run that wasn't for the paint hearted...24 GoodGym'ers ran 3km as they went back to school to tackle a big painting challenge
Another Tuesday evening where there was no rain and snow, what a treat! Despite it being a great deal fresher than it was last Tuesday we were not complaining, plus we had the bonus of an indoor task where the team would be doing some cathartic painting!
A big welcome to Becky, Hannah, Jonathan, Katie and Lily who all joined us for either their first EVER GoodGym run or first GoodGym H&F run - hope to see you all again very soon! It was lovely to have so many new faces tonight amongst the ever wonderful regulars, thank you all for coming along.
Tonight my voice was pretty much MIA so Catriona kindly helped out with the intro and round-up of this week's news as we formed a unformidable double act, Ant and Dec be very afraid! (or not!)
You snooze you news...
As we went to start the name and number count, Sarah and Catriona put a hold on proceedings as they completely surprised me with their own announcement and the reappearance of the wings from last week. Wings successfully attached and first aid kit now with Sarah after the humourous comment of "Ooo you're quite small, Beth" - yes, it's hidden well...!
With the name and number count and short pulse raising warm-up completed we headed off on our very short 1km run down to our task tonight at Flora Gardens Primary School. It wasn't long before we arrived at the school gates and were buzzed inside by the school's Business Manager, Jeanette who was waiting for us inside. As a group we all walked through the outside area of her school, admiring the massive outdoor area that was kitted out with ping pong tables, basketball hoops, a bandstand, amongst other fun kid's activities everywhere, it was huge, what a fab place to go to school!
The breakfast grub!
We were warmly greeted in by Jeanette who briefly explained the age range of the school, the meals they provide for breakfast so that no child goes hungry and how unfortunately like most schools they were facing tough financial pressures so did not have the Monet to pay for full price paint and professional redecoration. Thanks to Community Repaint, a brilliant scheme that redistributes leftover paint into their communities at around a third of the price, Jeanette had managed to source around 60 litres for under £150 and the many helping hands of GoodGym runners. What a steal!
We had it covered...
Tonight's task was to make a start on painting the walls of a room used for the children's breakfast and after school club and Jeanette's office upstairs in a bright 'Gilbert Green' or 'Heavenly Horizon' colour. As space and paint brushes were limited Sarah had kindly planned a circuits session outdoors in the playground so the group split into two groups which rotated after 20 minutes.
Jeanette had been really organised and had all the paint cans and paint brushes at the ready for the team, she even kindly provided some cereal bars as a thank you and some large L'Oreal t-shirts that had been donated to the school for when the children do arts and crafts - tonight they proved very valuable in covering everyone's GoodGym tees and sportswear. T-shirts on, all the prep that was left was some masking of the fire alarm and the covering of the floors with some recycling bags. As Sophie and I headed upstairs to scout out the size of Jeanette's office room they stumbled across another secret stash of cereal bars, which they decided to keep quiet from Will and Johnny!
With half the group efficiently painting away in the warmth of the indoors, the other half of the group were being put through a tough circuit session that consisted of lunges, supermans, burpees and other beneficial core exercises to improve fitness and ultimately aid our running, rumour was that Sarah had based this on one of the fitness sessions run by GoodGym Trainer, Ana...thankfully for the group, not Mr Abs on Tour, Chi!
A blue green that was all white!
With the rotation of the groups seemless, the walls were quickly being transformed from their original white colour to the fresher and brighter blue and green colours. Unfortunately, as always the time had flown by and it was time to call it a night. With all the paint brushes put down a quick team photo was captured in front of the room's windows so that the fantastically painted walls of the room were visible. With the final handwashes completed we all regrouped outside and headed off on the final part of our run down through Furnival Gardens, along the towpath and back to base - with a couple of bonus squats thrown in when we regrouped.
Cake to cake our day!
It wasn't long before we were all back at base for our cool down and stretch. Cool down and stretches complete the class were dismissed to enjoy some delicious and moreish homemade treats - a biscuit cake made by Johnny and chocolate brownies made by Catriona in celebration of my 200th good deed!
Thank you for all your hard work at the task tonight, hope you all enjoyed the cathartic painting and run. Next week we're heading to Gibbs Green Tenants Hall where we will be doing some more painting! Sign up for next week's run here. Have a fab week and hopefully see many of you next week where I will hopefully be a little more vocal!
Thank you so much for the winged surprise and all the cake based treats, I was totally blown away. You're such a lovely group and an absolutely joy to lead, big love and thanks to you all!
Tue 19th Feb 2019 at 6:45pm
Help improve the local communityRead more