Gurus, goals and grimaces

Posted on: 17th January, 2017

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Originally from Clonakilty, Colin Murphy is a fitness professional, workout specialist, founder of the fitness website, certified personal trainer, author and blogger. He is an Ironman, sub 3-hour marathon runner, occasional CrossFitter and all-round fitness fanatic.

It’s just a few days into January and the word ‘Goals’ is ringing around my head. I can’t go online or walk down the street without somehow hearing about goal setting for the millionth time. Everyone has an opinion about what we should be doing at this time of year and are furiously trying to let us know that they have the answers. But the truth is, they don’t. Not a person in this world can truly advise us about our life without first getting to know us. They need to understand where we have come from and what we value for our future.

The Gurus just love this time of year. They finally get to spout out all their knowledge about how things are done to get the best results. For most of us, who have been around this world for more than twenty years, it all gets stale and discouraging very fast. In the fitness space, trainers are crawling over each other to write the first blog post of the year on their 2017 goals. They can keep their goals because they are theirs, not ours. In a way they have dirtied the word. It has been reduced to a trendy buzzword that makes the gurus millions, from us following their goal plans and seminars. I simply get turned off now when I hear it.

The truth is we all know what to do. We are focusing on the wrong thing. It’s ‘how’ to do it is the challenge. Figuring out what we want to do has never been a problem for anyone with an imagination. I can write a list of ten goals right now based on what I think I want to have in my life. As always the contemplation and thoughts are the easy part, the treasure is to be found in the doing. Too many of us feel the disappointment of failure when that goal just isn’t coming our way. It’s more helpful to put a plan together about how we are going to achieve what we want, based on the context of our own lives. They have to fit.  If you want to get up at 5.30am every morning to meditate before work, then that has to line up with the time you can realistically get to bed at night.

Do you know how many lists of goals will be put together this week and then left in a drawer for the rest of the year? I grimace at the thought, but I expect it will be an awful lot. The real effort shouldn’t be put into building the list. The effort should be put into building our consistency muscle for the year ahead, whether that be by going off coffee for a day, drinking a two litre bottle of water daily, or stretching for five minutes every morning before work. We all have top class list building skills but a rather out of shape consistency muscle. If we can’t stick to something small for a week, then that six-month goal is dead and buried before we even start.

Maybe talking about our ambition, and not goals, is a more successful route to take. The word ambition comes from Latin and means ‘the desire for honour and power’. What power do you want to add to your life? This suggests there is work involved, as power has to be developed. This may lead to a much healthier vision for what is needed to achieve a big change in our lives.

When we really break things down, to achieve success, a good starting point is to just have the ambition to be better than you were yesterday. If you do this one thing, then amazing results will start to show. It’s about pushing yourself to make simple daily progress that will beat the all-out burst every time. Those people that are quick out of the blocks now and are exercising at a ferocious pace will quickly run out of steam.

Just ask the tortoise. That hare got easily side tracked while the tortoise just kept relentlessly and consistently ploughing along. Every time I read that story the tortoise wins…absolutely every time! Forget the gurus. Be the boring successful tortoise, and leave the flashy fast paced hares to crash and burn, as you consistently stride forward. A hardworking ambitious man or woman will always beat an inconsistent drifter with a wad full of goals in their pocket.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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