I am not a naturally sporty or athletic person, I was not into playing the regular field sports as a child. I always loved watching Boxing though, maybe because of my Grandfathers interest in the sport. He would always talk about fighters and upcoming fights, he would also stay up late to listen to them on radio.
My first real training started with Martial Arts (Cho’s Tae Kwon Do), in 1990 in Aughrim Co. Wicklow. I started with two of my first cousins and can still remember parts of that first class 28 years later. My cousins interest was short lived although one did stay and received one or two testings an the art before moving on. I loved the class, it was like nothing I had ever done or seen before.
My best friend at the time (and his two older brothers) was into Boxing and we would swap training exercises and routines throughout national school. I started lifting weights in the Arklow Leisure Centre in the old Gym (inside the door, first room on right, I think it’s a crèche now) in 1993. I was only allowed train because my Mother and Aunt were attending a fitness class in there too.
I quickly fell in love with the Gym, being in the Gym, doing everything by yourself for yourself. From then on I would always be trying to lift the heaviest thing I could find while working with my Father on our family farm or plant hire business.
I continued training with weights in the little Arklow Gym as often as I could and any other day I used machinery bucket pins and other items I could find as weights at home. I joined the Boxing club and stayed for a year (1999), I enjoyed it but found it difficult to adjust from kicking people! Later (2000) I started training in the local GAA club’s Gym and trained there for a few years while building up my own equipment and space at home. At this time I was competing regularly on the mats with the AIMAA Ireland National Tae Kwon Do Team and in the ring with Full Contact Kickboxing.
I decided I wanted to become a Gym Instructor and so I started an on-line correspondence course in 2004, I passed and continued on to study for level two in 2005. I then started another course on the Gym floor in Dublin City Centre and qualified from that in 2008. Next, in 2009 I started studying for my Personal Trainer and Sports Massage qualification in the National Sports College (NSC) in Athy, Co. Kildare. All the time I was continuing my Martial Arts training and competing. I traveled to England, Scotland, Jersey, North America and Hawaii with my training and while there (Hawaii) I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and started studying the art from 2006.
Once I passed my exams from the NSC I immediately set up Leinster Nutrition (in fact it was the project I used for my final exam) which offers Personal Training, Team Strength and Conditioning, Personalised Diets, Sports Supplements, Fitness Classes, Sports Massage and On-Line Personal Training. I also opened “The Action Gym”, a small local Gym that offers people the chance to come in and fall in love with the way of lifting, just as happened to me in that little Gym in the Arklow Leisure Centre years ago!
Recently I have been approached to become a Tutor at the National Sports College where I received my qualifications. It was an honor to be asked to instruct courses there and become a small part along the journey of other Personal Trainers.
I am so grateful for the path my life has taken me on so far and am thankful that so many people come to me looking to train and change their lives for the healthier.