Mon 12th Nov 2018 at 6:45pm
A good sized crew of 26 headed to Weavers Adventure Playground tonight to give task owner Alex a hand with a variety of interesting tasks…
We headed the short, ½-mile run to the playground where Alex greeted us with an assortment of tools to make a start on the main task: building tables and benches from reclaimed wood. The runners divided into three furniture-assembly teams, and soon the noise of drills, saws and hammers could be heard echoing around the Bethnal Green neighbourhood.
It soon became clear that many hands don’t make so much for light work as no work at Weavers, and so Alex took a team of three task-less runners to dig, wheel and shovel soil into the tyres surrounding the playground’s go-kart track, while another all-female crew of three headed inside to clear the upstairs area of the hall in preparation for an important meeting later in the week.
All teams accomplished a lot, and by 8.05pm Alex was, as usual, a happy customer (unlike some of the runners - this was the third time Polly and Si had returned to finish assembling a table, determined to complete the task tonight, only to discover to their horror that their previous effort had been dismantled…). Despite the fact tonight’s task involved the use of many potentially hazardous tools, it was nonetheless a bit of a miracle the only thing hurt was our pride.
And so at just after 8, Chi, the birthday boy whose birthday I forgot to mention tonight - ahem - took to the stage to deliver nearly 20 minutes of dazzlingly effective fitness content. He started the runners with squats and quickly progressed to jump squats, before the whole team hit the floor for every kind of abdominal abomination going. It was a brilliant session, leaving no abdominal muscle fibre untouched. Thank you Chi.
And then we were racing back through damp streets to finish with a final stretch on the hotel steps.
Amazing effort, everyone.
Thank you to Chi for his brilliant fitness session, and for being able to push the team so hard after all their previous hard work! And Happy Birthday, Chi – we’ll (I’ll) make up for it and celebrate next time we see you.
A big warm GG welcome to first time runner Dom – really lovely to have you along tonight and well done for getting so much work done outside, and we hope to see you very soon.
Next week we’re multi-tasking it: we’re heading to Look Ahead for some indoor decorating and to Margaret at Hollybush for some planting in the planters, so do sign up here.
I hope to see you then, and in the meantime, have a wonderful week.
Mon 5th Nov 2018 at 6:45pm
It was a feelgood factor like no other tonight as a large group of runners gathered on the steps of our lovely hotel to warm up for the evening’s run. Task force came to the rescue as several of the runners were called away to an impromptu medical emergency from a nearby local resident. Leanne speedily stepped in to lead the 18 runners down to the Royal London, while Bryon was already leading the task to the Cranbrook Community Food Garden. And thankfully Joel was already navigating the Royal London route, having previously responded to my route SOS (“Calling all runners who can show us a Low Traffic Light Route”), so as I remained with the three runners who were providing life-saving assistance to the local resident, the teams were led quickly and competently to our tasks.
Bryon and the team accomplished a lot at the garden, painstakingly taking tomato and runner bean plants out of their soil, and removing plenty of fiddly bamboo sticks and wire ties. Janet the task owner was over the moon, messaging me at 10pm to say, “They worked so hard! They were a delight tonight. Thank you.” And having completed their task very promptly, proceeded to put their additional time to good use, with Bryon taking the team on a detour back to the hotel, squeezing in some additional miles on the cardio clock.
Meanwhile at the Royal London, teams were divided into two main tasks: one large group continued last week’s training with task owner Nancy and Richard heading onto the elderly and dementia wards, while a further two teams were dispatched to deliver Evening Standards, chaplaincy packs and Friends and Family Tests papers to multiple wards, zig-zagging between the two towers of the hospital, navigating the somewhat complex lift system.
And then it was gone 8pm and we were heading back to base, with Chi leading the pack at a respectable speedy pace for those who fancied a fitness boost to end the evening.
What a night. BIG GROUP RUN SHOUT-OUTS tonight to: our wonderful task force members Leanne, Bryon and Becky for leading the runners to the tasks, and thinking on their feet with marvellous Plan B’s; Joel for jumping in with a brilliant new Royal London route; Chi for our end-of-evening fitness kick, and Stefaniaand Bryonfor lovely pics. And to Lisa, Polly, and Sophia, for your role in helping to save a life this evening. Thank you for putting the ultimate Good into GoodGym.
Onwards to the rest of the week, and on Thursday we’re kicking off our trainers and letting our hair down as we head to the GG social, which we’re co-hosting with Hackney at The Star of Bethnal Green! Do come along, even if just for a quick post-work pint – more details can be found here.
And next week we’re back to the adventure playground, where Alex has a variety of the usual fun tasks for us, which will be followed by a challenging Autumnal Abs session. Come and join in the fun!
In the meantime, have a really great week everyone, and hope to see you very soon.
Tue 6th Nov 2018 at 7:46am
I came for the run report title, I stayed for the run report itself! WOW! Astounded at all the amazing things that can happen within a couple of hours. Everything about this is inspiring.
Tue 6th Nov 2018 at 3:19pm
Yep, Tower Hamlets GoodGymers did REAL good last night. Amazing stuff from the whole team. Thanks for the encouragement, Alex.
Mon 29th Oct 2018 at 6:45pm
It was a task-with-a-difference this evening as 31 of us headed off to the Royal London to undertake some intensive training, under the care of fabulous task owners Nancy and Richard of Barts Volunteers.
We've enjoyed a few tasks at the hospital over the last few months and so with runners previously expressing a desire to visit patients on the wards, Nancy and her team arranged for us to participate in an evening's training at the hospital's Education Academy. The training covered not only the logistics and health & safety aspects of going onto the wards, it also gave us an insight into what's involved when visiting wards which treat patients suffering with dementia.
No sooner had we arrived at the hospital, were we all seated on benches in the lecture theatre, and learning about what goes on inside the Trust, and watching invaluable and moving footage of a hospital experience through the eyes of a dementia sufferer. The runners became absorbed in the training and engaged well - well done as usual, team!
Nancy also took this opportunity to thank the runners for previous work undertaken at the hospital, explaining that the litter-picking and gardening previously blitzed by Good Gymers in the hospital's John Harrison garden had been really well maintained, and, Nancy felt, had contributed to an improved perception of the hospital's green space, leading to less litter being deposited. What a thing to hear! What a thing to be responsible for! Another well done, team.
And then a brief hour later, we were heading back to base, playing our favourite greyhound-and-hare game, with Danny leading the greyhounds who caught us up at...the first set of lights, before co-hosting the stretching session with Leanne.
It was a really great night, and we look forward to returning next week to pick up where we left off.
And what a fabulous number of new runners joined us tonight! A big hello and welcome to our 8 first time GG runners: Hannah, Jess, Pippa, Lynda, Sarah, Sian, Sean, Sophie and Cath (new to TH but not to GG).
Tonight's Group Run thank-you's go to: Leanne and Lisa for back-marking; Leanne and Danny for leading our post-run stretching session (great job!); Danny for leading the greyhound runners, and to Joel for this week's perfect pun.
Next week we're returning to the hospital for Week 2 - but if you didn't attend this evening's training - don't worry, there'll be tasks available for you to do that don't require training!
Mon 29th Oct 2018 at 6:45pm
We're heading back to the Royal London for an exciting variety of tasksRead more
Mon 15th Oct 2018 at 6:45pm
An eager group of runners gathered to head to one of our favourite tasks - Stepney City Farm – this evening where task owner Charlie was well-prepped and ready with a variety of jobs for the GoodGymers.
We met and mingled in our usual lovely hotel room, giving a usual chatty, warm GG welcome to our new runners, topped up glycogen stores with Orange Clubs and Tunnock’s Teacakes before heading to the hotel steps for some dynamic stretching. Steve then headed up the run to the farm, opting for a slightly longer route, keeping us guessing as to which way we were heading, much to everyone’s amusement. It was a great run out, made for a nice change, and Steve kept not only a great pace, he also skilfully kept all runners in sight.
On arrival at the farm, Charlie swiftly divided the teams into three groups: one to move manure, one to dismantle gazebos and one to empty every single farm bin. As always, the runners made their way at record speed to the task. Armed with 5 pitchforks, the manure team wasted no time in jumping into the bays and began forking huge amounts of manure. The gazebo team dismantled the gazebos at such speed they were soon tasked with sweeping the yard, after having taken time out to pet bunnies and piglets. The bin team also finished early, such was the speed at which they worked, at which point Charlie whisked them off to a special secret task – pig-stroking (Mars the pig has surprisingly coarse hair, and a bit of a tum, in case you were wondering, according to Becky).
It felt like we’d been at the farm a matter of minutes before it was time for us all to gather for our cheerio and final pics, before dividing into two teams to play tonight’s fitness game: greyhound and hare.
Bryon had willingly agreed to lead the greyhound team, while Liz and I led and backmarked the hare team. The hare team were given a 3 minute start to race up Stepney Way and Whitehorse Road before Bryon’s team headed out to catch us up. And catch us up they did. Obviously speedy running played a big part, but my poor traffic light strategy didn’t do much to help Team Hare. And so we were back on the hotel steps stretching glutes, hams and calves before heading inside to finish the last of the snacks.
What can I say? Another wonderful night at GoodGym Tower Hamlets. It was fantastic to be joined by new runners Sue, Amy and Mercia, and thanks for all the hard work and big, big smiles, and for being such an asset to our team tonight.
Big group thanks to wonderful task force members, Bryon and Becky, for planning the fitness session in advance, and leading the greyhounds. Thanks to Steve for leading the fab run out, and Liz and Becky for beautiful backmarking on both routes.
Thanks to Si, for some brilliant pics this evening, and to the manure group for brilliant pun suggestions and task-team names.
Next week, we’re off to Hollybush for several different tasks – both of which are undercover/indoor tasks (hurrah – let’s hear it for indoor tasks on drizzly Monday nights). You can sign up for that here, while an absolute must for next month’s diary is the GG Social, which we are co-hosting with GG Hackney! on Thursday November 8th.
Right, that’s it for now! Have a wonderful week, and see you very soon.
Mon 8th Oct 2018 at 6:45pm
A hefty team of 26 headed out to the final #BigCleanUp of the current campaign organised by Tower Hamlets Council.
As we're joining in England Athletics #RunAndTalk campaign this week, we opted to litter-pick around Mile End Hospital, one of the borough's most valuable services for mental health.
Task owner Richard met us outside the hospital, and, as usual, provided a very thorough health and safety briefing, and ample litter-picking kit. Before we knew it, the entire team had been dispatched to the area in and around the hospital, and proceeded to fill many large bags in just 45 minutes.
As usual there was some good Tower Hamlets treasure: Bryon found a pound, Will found a hub cap, Dave found a...cat. All in a good evening's litter-pick. The runners were very good natured and characteristically patient about picking up hundreds of cigarette butts - a fiddly (thankless) task with a litter-picker. But, as always, no moaning or complaining - just lots of full bags.
And then it was 8.05pm and we were gathering to deposit rubbish bags and pose for our final pics. And, what a lovely surprise, when TH Run Leader Will stepped forward to offer an alternative to our planned fitness session, for those wanting a longer run over rainbow side planks in the park. We divided into two teams: one headed back on an additional mileage detour with Will; the other headed with me to Carlton Square Gardens for our serotonin-boosting sweat session which kicked off with squat jacks and ended with skipping lunges. Ouch (in a good way).
We sped back to base, route navigation salvaged by Si , to join the running squad on the hotel steps for the best calf stretch going. We blitzed hip flexors and hamstrings too, before heading inside to wolf down a Kit-Kat or two, leftover from the pre-run snack stash.
Big GG TH shout-outs tonight to first time GG runners Liam, Marta and Caiti, and to first time Tower Hamlets runners, Julie and Dharmesh (sorry your journey was a pain, Dharmesh - thanks for persevering).
Next week, we're back at Stepney City Farm, so do come and join us for more farmyard-and-fitness fun and games.
And in the meantime, have a thoroughly fantastic week. See you soon!
Monday 17th September 2018
Simona has done their first good deed with GoodGym.
Simona is a now a fully fledged GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the first time. They are out there making amazing things happen and getting fit at the same time.
Mon 17th Sep 2018 at 6:45pm
What a night! And what a beautiful evening it was indeed for another THREE tasks (this is becoming something of a habit…).
Becky led the largest team of 15 to the Keddelstone Walk Community Centre in Hollybush Gardens to meet some of our longest standing task owners, Michael and Margaret (and Beetlejuice, the elderly canine task owner). Despite having planned tonight’s pun around the staking part of the task, the accompanying staking noise was considered too much of a potential environmental nuisance by Margaret, so digging and raking was the order of the day. New gloves were dished out – thoughtful task owners we have here in TH – and, letting sleeping wasps lie (compost heaps can be quite the hazard – who knew), the runners ploughed away solidly for over 40 minutes giving the Ground Force team a run for their money. Thank you to the team for staging a brilliant stake scene, though, to accommodate the pun. What creativity! (pics of the non-staking task enclosed).
Lieke, meanwhile, headed another small team of dab-handed decorators back to the Glasshouse Community Centre to complete the painting task. Well done for taking a new team to the task and for getting so much done, in a confined, warm space this evening – and for making it back for Pilates Sculpt in such good time.
...And Gabrielle beautifully project-managed our leafleting task, a new task for fabulous charity Acknowledging Youths, planning an excellent strategy for the different leaflet themes vs. the most relevant outlets. Well done to her, Tim and first time runner Simona, who I had such a lovely time leafleting with - I felt we were quite the dynamic duo, with our sales pitch! We handed out many leaflets, to very willing and interested bar managers and coffee shop vendors, so a great job completed by all.
And so we met by the wonderful Stairway to Heaven memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens at 8pm sharp for Pilates Sculpt. Apologies to those who felt the Pilates was going to be a gentle wind down to the evening (but I’m over the moon that we managed to make the last 20 minutes of the session as effective as the first 70). Glutes and abs are where it’s at, when it comes to your running. Honest.
…Becky J, for planning and leading the Hollybush task; for writing the Hollybush report and taking some lovely pics and for helping out with the pun. Thanks to Bryon and Si for navigating and leading the Hollybush run, and to Heidi and Charlotte for back-marking.
Thank you to Lieke, for planning and leading the Parkview painting task, including some great pics, and thank you to Gabrielle for helping to plan and execute a truly effective leafleting task, and getting some lovely pics.
…to our lovely new runners this evening: Bijan, Henry, Ella, Chand, Daphne and Simona. And welcome back to Lauren, who isn’t new, but who hasn’t run with us for a while. What a joy to have you all on board this evening, and please do come back soon.
Next week I’m delighted to announce we’re heading back to Stepney City Farm, for all manner of outdoor tasks. This will be followed by a relay race back to base! So don’t miss out – sign up now. Can’t wait to see you then, and have a really good week in the meantime.