For the last 4 years I've lived near my best friends, and that rarity affords us the opportunity to make impulsive plans. Texts that ask for a drink in ten minutes time are lovely surprises, and only work when you're close by. I'm moving next week, and although we'll all still live in London, I will be much further away from my friends. This being said, I'm really trying to push myself to make new friends in my new area, to start my new chapter with a bang.
So I decided to try GoodGym. It's a running group that merges fitness with community volunteering, and its free to try.
I don't think people think I get nervous, I'm loud, chatty and very comfortable leading a group. However everyone gets nervous, some of us just get better at feeling the fear and doing it anyway! I get much more nervous when I'm not in control, or leading, as I don't know what to expect. Being the newbie in a group is scary isn't it?!
I arrived at the cafe meeting point, and was first to arrive (I'm generally an early person!) so chatted to the run leader. GoodGym sessions are run by trainers, they plan to push your fitness like a trainer would. GoodGym is an organisation with paid members of staff, so have no fear, you'll be looked after.
You can leave your bag at the meeting point (they're not locked up, so don't leave valuables), but it means you can bring coats etc with no worries. This week there were two tasks, and the group divided in half. The group that I wasn't part of stayed at the cafe and helped move their compost, and the group I was in ran to the Dalston Curve Garden, again to move compost. Who knew people had so many compost piles they needed help with!?
The group were chatty and inclusive, and of course, I was my regular chatty self. It was welcoming and easy to be part of.
GoodGym do a variety of runs - shorter and longer, and they help older members of the community with their befriending/coaching service. They can pair you with an older person you visit each week by running to them.
I'm really starting to accept that I'm a generally fit person. However I even found typing that sentence tricky! Like I'm saying something that isn't true. This run gave me confidence though, I kept pace, and felt fit enough. That isn't saying I wasn't out of breath; running is meant to make your heart and lungs work! But even when I get lazier for periods of time, all the effort of the past two years and a half have meant my body remembers how to work. Getting fitter and losing a bit of weight have been one of the best things I've done for my general well being.
Once we'd run back to base, we headed to the park for some pretty brutal leg work. This is the benefit of running with a leader, you're pushed much further than you'd achieve on your own.