Ed from GoodGym York did 30 good deeds in January and won the ‘GoodGymer of the Month’ award. He explains how he got into GoodGym, what it means to him, and how GoodGym York beat every other GoodGym in the country this January in an amazing community challenge:
“I’m not going to lie, a couple of months ago the January challenge meant very little to me. I’d heard other GoodGym members mention it, but other than potentially going along to a few extra GoodGym ‘Missions’ I didn’t really think that it would be much of a game-changer in terms of my participation in running. But little did I know what was around the corner.
“I’ve been a reasonably active member of GoodGym York since May of last year. I joined up almost exclusively for the social side as had hit a bit of a low point in my life and wanted to make new friends in a city that didn’t quite feel like home. I was also an occasional runner but tended to keep fit by having a mostly weights-focused gym routine.
GoodGym had given me an opportunity to get out of the solo gym sessions and forge new friendships with people who were a mix of keen runners and relative newbies.
“It was from these new friendships that my interest in the January challenge started to grow. A fellow GoodGymer realised that he and I had done a similar amount of ‘Good deeds’ and we should use January to see who could be the first to make it to 50. And that was it…
“The slightest hint of competition (and a wager involving a round of beers) and I was hooked. It started with running to each GoodGym mission and then a realisation that I actually quite enjoyed being out on the road and was doing distances I hadn’t done in ages. Next thing I knew I had signed up to volunteer at a Junior Parkrun. It seemed silly signing up to be a volunteer without ever having run a parkrun myself, so that seemed the next logical step.
“The January challenge encourages each GoodGym area to set goals for the amount of good deeds and miles run. I’d managed to complete a good deed almost every day, and so was running every day too. On days when I couldn’t do a good deed I felt compelled to contribute to the challenge by running additional miles.
The biggest personal achievement for me was heading out to run 10k but ending up running a half marathon distance. Something I never thought I’d be capable of, but had accomplished simply by being a lot more active due to the January challenge.
By the end of the month I had run more miles than I had completed throughout the entirety of 2018, signed up to my first competitive half marathon, achieved PBs at both 5k and 10k distances and completed 30 good deeds! More importantly, spurred on by an amazing group of encouraging people, I helped contribute towards GoodGym York achieving a total of 704 Good deeds. Therefore beating all other GoodGym areas to claim the top spot in the January challenge and winning the fabled Golden Trowel!”