Originally from Clonakilty, Colin Murphy is a fitness professional, workout specialist, founder of the fitness website properlybuilt.com, certified personal trainer, author and blogger. He is an Ironman, sub 3-hour marathon runner, occasional CrossFitter and all-round fitness fanatic.
The night before I had carefully planned the workout that we were going to do on the day. That may sound like a simple task, but there were many factors to think about. I was going to be dealing with a very broad crowd that would range from two or three years of age all the way up to mid-seventies! The workout had to be challenging enough for avid exercisers while also being easy enough for everyone to do. No bored yawns or heart attacks please!
I began with thoughts of an hour-long workout before reducing it to 45 minutes. Once I was happy with the moves, I had to test it out. I pride myself on doing every single move in my fitness classes. I have to be working as hard as the group to appreciate the pressure they are under in that moment, and adjust the timing and workload if necessary. So, I got into my fitness gear, cranked up the music to a neighbour-disturbing level, and battled my way as hard as I could through the full set. Once finished, and dripping with sweat, I was happy that the flow and pace of the workout was good.
Once I knew I had my routine down, now my thoughts turned to the two questions that would make or break the day…would people show up, and would the sun shine? Social media was hopefully going to take care of the first concern, but only multiple prayers to the weather gods were going to maybe bring a blue sky!
Over the years I’ve learned that by simply arriving somewhere with lots of spare time, you can seriously reduce the chance of getting stressed. It also allows you to enjoy yourself more. I arrived at Inchydoney beach at 8.15am and just appreciated a few quiet moments. I expected everyone to arrive, either dead on the 10am start time, or just after, so mentally I had prepared to begin the workout at 10.30am. When 9.30am rolled around, I was genuinely surprised that people were already showing up.
At this stage I had no idea how many exercisers would be sweating it out with me. I told myself I would have been happy with fifty (and that’s the truth), but deep down I had my heart set on 200! I have absolutely no idea where that number came from, but from the moment I was asked to lead the workout, that was my goal.
More and more people made their way onto the beach until I realised that this was going to be an amazing day! The sun was blazing in the sky, everyone’s energy was up, and people were prepared to give it their all.
As I made my way up onto the manmade sand mound that was to be my stage, I couldn’t have been more appreciative of every person that looked up at me, and were ready and eager to go. Children, parents, older folk, CrossFitters, bodybuilders, and athletes, were all beaming with positivity and community pride. They were making this a special morning and we could all feel it.
The workout began with, “OK let’s jog it out…”, and off we went! For 45 minutes we sprinted, jumped, boxed, and moved for a special cause. It was a celebration of being healthy, being alive, and being able to make a difference by a combined group action. By the end of it we were covered in sweat and sand, breathing heavily, but loving life!
To the two hundred plus people that were part of such a special morning, I thank you with all my heart for your contribution in euros and time. The €2,200 raised will go a long way to help Down Syndrome Cork. Thanks to technology, we can relive the morning through pictures and video, and I’m delighted that many of you got to see it from my viewpoint. To watch everyone moving in unison to the beat of the music was something I’ll remember forever.
West Cork is a special place, with breathtaking scenery, and truly wonderful people. On Sunday, July 23, it was great to be reminded of this in such a different and beautiful way.