By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness
A famous former Kerry Footballer was once credited with saying: “There’s only six inches between a pat on the back and a kick up the arse” – and he was right!
Quite often we defer to platitudes rather than harsh truths.
I recently came across a young coach who wanted to please everyone, and you know what they say about wanting to please everyone? You end up pleasing no one.
This coach’s heart was in the right place for sure and wanted to be liked and keep clients happy, but by telling everyone they were “doing just great” and never having a hard chat with clients, it transpired no one was making progress.
You see, a good coach’s responsibility isn’t just to tell you how great you are, even though encouragement and positive reinforcement are of course vital.
Sometimes you need to be told it’s your fault or, sometimes you need to be told, you need to work harder, so let’s do this instead. Perhaps a problem with the modern world is we’ve become too conditioned into taking offence and only wanting to hear good things about ourselves, but that really serves no one.
Would you rather be on the receiving end of a kick up the arse and get told the reality of a situation and start making some progress towards solving it, or just continue to receive the pat on the back and never solve the issue at hand?
If any of the below sentences apply to you, they may seem harsh, but you may need to hear it:
* It’s your fault if you are overweight.
* It’s your fault if you are unfit.
* It’s your fault if you aren’t where you want to be in life.
Once you stop looking for someone else to blame, stop accepting the meaningless pats on the backs from toothless guides, then you can start to strive for what you want.
This may come as a shock to some of you reading this.
After all, I own a gym that we like to call “the happiest place in Killarney”, but you see, being a happy place isn’t all about telling everyone they are great all the time, sure, if someone works hard and achieves something they previously couldn’t, well then get ready for that pat on the back! It’s time to celebrate!
But you don’t achieve happiness by just accepting the status quo and being pleased, placated and rolling over and having your belly rubbed. We’re also in the business of changing lives, and that doesn’t happen with pats on the back alone.
If you want to get results, if you want to get fit, if you want to succeed at something, you sometimes need that kick up the arse, and a good coach knows when it’s time pat or kick.
If you’re ready to have an honest conversation about your health and fitness and start to make meaningful changes to your life, schedule a free consultation today by visiting our website: www.activate.ie.
Large shrubs are easy to care for
By Debby Looney, gardening expert
There is a whole group of plants which form the backbone of any garden, which need little care once planted, but are of great use to the new gardener.
These plants form the ‘shrubbery’ – that place in many large gardens where plants are put and forgotten about, but which give a good display and add interest to the garden. However, for a beginner, the question of what goes into these large beds, these places which you fill ‘down at the bottom of the garden’, can be quite a daunting one!
So I thought I would arm readers with a list of large shrubs which will grow in just about any condition, are easy to care for but are still attractive and worth having. These plants are generally not for small gardens as they will grow to about 1.5m x 1.2m.
An old favourite in many gardens is the Weigelia. It is deciduous with trumpet shaped flowers in summer. W. variegate has lovely brightly variegated cream and green leaves with pale pink flowers, ‘Eva Rathke’ has dark green leaves with deep crimson buds opening to dark pink flowers, and ‘Looymansii aurea’ has golden leaves with pale pink flowers. Weigelia middendorffiana is a little unusual and more difficult to find, but has beautiful yellow flowers with deep red throat markings reminiscent of a rhododendron. These all flower best in a sunny site.
There are many Berberis varieties, but Berberis ‘Rose Glow’ is ideal for any large border. It has deep purple foliage but the new shoots are bright pink flecked with white giving it its glowing name. B. Aurea has golden foliage, and B. ‘Helmond Pillar’ has red-purple foliage and a columnar habit.
Another ideal purple foliaged plant is Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’ which really will grow in any condition adding height and width to a large border. It does have flowers, the buds of which are pink opening to cream, but it is its foliage and tall arching branches which make it a winner! P. ‘Dart’s Gold’ has golden foliage, and is equally attractive in its own sunny way.
Philadelphus, or mock orange, is a plant which should be in everyone’s garden. It has white flowers which are highly scented. P.’Lemoinei’ is an excellent variety, a strong grower and tolerant of wind and cold. It has single, white flowers. ‘Boule d’Argent’ has double flowers and is also very reliable. There is a lovely miniature, albeit spreading, Philadelphus suitable for a smaller garden, growing to about 60cm, called ‘Manteau d’Hermine’. It is very easy to grow also. ‘Belle Etoile’ is probably the easiest to find and will reward you with masses of fragrant white flowers.
A great evergreen shrub is Drimys lanceolata. In early spring it has clusters of creamy coloured, insignificant flowers – which are a haven for bees and pollinators at that time of year. I never realise mine is flowering until I walk past and hear the buzzing! The leaves are deep green, glossy and leathery, but the shoots are a bright to deep red, making it quite striking. This is an ideal plant for flower arrangers as its stems are so unusual.
As usual, I have run out of space, but next week I will continue this list of useful, hardy, low maintenance staples!
Inheritance rights of cohabiting couples
Question: My partner and I have two young children together. We live together but we are not married and haven’t got around to making our wills. If something happened to one of us, would we automatically be entitled to each other’s estate?
Answer: It is important for you and your partner to discuss the matter of inheritance sooner rather than later. Because you are not married, neither of you is automatically entitled to inherit anything from the other. If your partner dies without a will, you have no right to any share of their estate no matter how long you have been together. So, for example, if you live with your partner but they own the house, you could be left in very difficult circumstances if they were to die unexpectedly.
If you own items jointly, these automatically pass to you and are not part of your partner’s estate. However, you might need to pay Capital Acquisitions Tax if the inheritance is above a certain threshold or value.
If your partner has not made a will or has not provided for you, you may be able to apply to the courts to provide for you from your partner’s estate. This is known as the redress scheme for cohabiting couples. If you get redress by a court under this scheme, you may be exempt from paying Capital Acquisition Tax.
However, making a will can ensure that proper arrangements are made for you and your dependants and that any property is distributed in the way you both wish, subject to certain rights of spouses and children. Tax planning advice can help reduce or minimise the amount of tax your partner or family must pay. A solicitor can help you draft a will or you can draft one yourself.
You can read more about inheritance rights of cohabiting couples on citizensinformation.ie.
During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.
You can also get information and advice from:
Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer
Make your feet look and feel great
By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio
Finally it’s that time of the year when we have to get our toes out and dust off the sandals and that means we have to prepare the feet for some sun and sand. Both men and women can treat themselves to pedicures!
They are important for many reasons as they help to enhance the feet by having the hard skin removed, old polish taken off and new polished perfectly applied. A deluxe pedicure can improve the circulation, reduce dead skin cells, and improve your mood. It generally makes the feet look and feel amazing. One of the added benefits of a pedicure is a boost of circulation to the foot and lower legs. Poor circulation can lead to numbness in the feet or swelled joints. The effects of our jacuzzi jets, hot water with tea tree and peppermint foot soak, followed up with a lower leg and foot massage, increases the blood flow around the body to improve joint mobility and helps to reduce swelling and pain.
Our feet are exposed to some harsh conditions, whether you’re in high heels all day, wellie boots, hiking boots, runners etc, it’s easy to forget to look after your feet. Having a pedicure should be considered a necessity not a luxury. This can help avoid a number of issues from cracked skin or painful calluses on feet to ingrown toenails. I hear from clients all the time that a pedicure can be incredibly relaxing and reduce stress. There is a blissful effect from the massage but it is also a great way to set time aside for you. It’s a great way to feel pampered and relaxed with the added effect that the toe paint is a constant reminder of the feel-good factor long after the appointment.
The treatment is incredibly relaxing and highly recommended for everyone, old and young, male and female. We soak the feet in hot water with jacuzzi jets; this helps to soften the skin straight away. Our pedicure chair includes a back massager, then the nails are cut, filed and buffed. A nail drill is used if required to reduce thickened toenails. Cuticles are then trimmed, pushed back and old polish removed. The exfoliator is applied on the entire lower leg and foot, followed with foot rasping on the stubborn hard skin. A massage is performed on the lower leg and foot. You can then choose from a wide selection of OPI polishes, or Gelish UV polish can be applied for a longer lasting effect.
Finally, pedicures help promote your mental health. Just like massages, pedicures can help reduce stress. They are very relaxing and boost your confidence because they make your feet look and feel great.
For more information or to book an appointment please call Jill on 064 6632966.
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