On Wednesday 9th May 2018, GoodGym Portsmouth had their first group run. For those of you who don't know what GoodGym is, it's a group of runners (and now also with walking groups!) who get together and run (or walk) to a task in the community where they volunteer their time before running (or walking) back to where they started. We also do fun fitness sessions, help lots of people and there is even the odd social evening thrown in. You can click here to visit the GoodGym page and read more about the amazing work they do. It's all around the UK, so have a look to see if there is one near you.
I was excited when I heard GoodGym was coming to Portsmouth. I'd been waiting for it ever since I first discovered GoodGym in Bristol. I saw someone in a red t-shirt run by and thought "GOOD Gym? That sounds GREAT!" So immediately got online to see what it was all about. I was sad to see there wasn't one in my area, but there was something in motion so I signed up to hear more.
I can remember how nervous I was, showing up that first time. Was I a good enough runner? What if I couldn't talk to anyone? Would the group be too fast for me? I can't believe it's been a year since I joined GoodGym. I'm one year and over 50 good deeds in now. Forever grateful I took that first step on that first Wednesday evening. So I wanted to take this opportunity to share Three More Reasons I Love GoodGym (one year anniversary of GG Portsmouth), as I know I've posted about my love for GoodGym before but I couldn't resist sharing the love for the first birthday.
The people will always come first in my list of things I love about GoodGym. I've made some brilliant friends through running with GoodGym. I knew when I set out that it would be an ideal way to meet nice people. People who wanted to run together and do good? Yes please. When I turned up on my first Wednesday I was SO nervous. Looking back, I'm so proud and grateful that I took that first step. Not only have they become good buddies to have a cup of tea and a chat with after a run, but I've just been on a running holiday with some of them and it was great fun. Wednesday is a highlight of my week, absolutely.
Seeing different parts of the city I live in.
When I'm not running with GoodGym, or running my local Parkrun, I'm running alone. I do my best to avoid busy city streets so I end up sticking to a very similar route a lot of the time. That's fine, as it's absolutely beautiful. However, running with GoodGym has given me the opportunity to discover quaint back streets and parts of the city I've never seen. Sometimes it's like we're getting a backstreet tour of Portsmouth from our run leader, Katie. In April she set us a fun challenge of an "Easter Egg Hunt" run around Portsmouth where we had various clues to figure out and run to each bit before moving on to the next clue.
It's not always easy to get out and run. Sometimes it feels like the last thing you'd want to do. But every time I've made the effort and pushed myself to just get out there, I knew I'd be met with warm smiles on the other end. GoodGym also offers what they call their coaching program, where they will pair you with an isolated older person, aka your coach, who you run to visit every week. Have a cup of tea with them and a chat. Everyone feels good, and it's pushed you to do an extra run. There are also weekend missions and community missions where you can sign up to go and do extra good deeds in the neighbourhood. Maybe someone needs help clearing their garden, or rehanging some curtains or there is a local beach clean. It gives you the get up and go to get up and get out there.
GoodGym really is something special. If you're looking to meet nice people in your area while helping out the community and getting fit, I can't recommend it enough. Make sure to check out the GoodGym site to see where your local group meets: www.goodgym.org
This month I've also shared my story on the GoodGym site - click here to read my story about Good[Gym] Mental Health.
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