I recently wrote a pretty ordinary blog post Volunteers vs Beneficiaries about a couple of extraordinary organisations . One of these was GoodGym. After I clicked “publish” something made search to see if I had a local GoodGym. I did, and I registered there and then for Monday night’s run. It was the next day so there was no time to change my mind.
I started to have a bit of a wobble on the way – was I too old? Would I keep up? Was I wearing the right things? Would they all be weird? Would they think I was weird? I reached peak nerves when I arrived at the cafe and couldn’t see anyone else in running kit.
I tried to tell myself the reassuring words that I would say to a new parkrunner. I checked the confirmation e-mail again to be sure I was in the right place and then I went up to the bar to ask. And as I did, I spotted the gaggle of runners in red and black GoodGym t-shirts.
On the way home, as I synced my run to Strava, I reflected on what an unexpected evening it had been. I had chatted for the entire time and had become engrossed in conversations with runners with similar professional interests. I’d met parkrunners and talked about starting a junior parkrun. And I’d put the world to rights with a new friend who shared my volunteering philosophy and irritation with the expression “giving up your time to volunteer“. And somehow I’d managed to do all this while running in my red zone! Everyone was accepting, welcoming, interested and interesting. In the middle of the run we cleared some Sustrans walking and cycling paths, we did some yoga stretches and we ended with a beer.
You can read the run report here: Highly Functioning Cyclepaths