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Back to basics for 54321 Challenge this year

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CHALLENGE: The 54321 Challenge will this year revert back to its original format with just five participants due to current restrictions: Pictured were: Carole Moran, Siobhan O’Sullivan, Catherine Foley, Maura Sullivan, Mark Murphy, Mairead Dunphy, TJ O’Connor, Noreen Sheahan, Sean Sully, Martin McCarthy, Caroline Lynch and Tony Dunne. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

By Michelle Crean

Hit with the current restrictions, the annual popular 54321 Challenge will this year revert back to its original format with just five participants.

 

What began eight years ago as a challenge for the group with a team of five over four days, completing three cycles, and climbing two mountains for one cause, grew over the years to approximately 50 participants, with fund raised for local charities.

However, according to organisers this year it's "back to simplicity in complicated times".

"The Challenge has grown in numbers over the years, and this year was to be no different with a large number of participants ready to undertake the challenge," TJ O'Connor said.

"However, due to the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding lockdown, and health and safety recommendations from the HSA around large groups of people, the 54321 Challenge committee made the tough decision that all 50 participants could not complete this year's challenge. The 54321 Challenge's top priority is to ensure the safety of its participants and in the current climate; this extends to their families, neighbours, friends etc. Instead the decision has been made that the Challenge will revert to the original five participants undertaking the four day challenge, and this will take place from Thursday, August 20 to Sunday 23 inclusive."

The Challenge this year includes: Day 1 (Thursday 20) - Cycle the Ring of Kerry, Day 2 (Friday 21) - Climb Carrantuohill, Day 3 (Saturday 22) - Cycle from Killarney to the foot of Mount Brandon and then climb Mt Brandon and Day 4 (Sunday 23) - Cycle from Dingle to Killarney.

"The committee are currently looking at ways other people can participate in an online version of the Challenge while representing and raising funds for their chosen charity, and they will be announcing details in the coming weeks via their website and social media."

The Challenge has raised almost €207,000 to date supporting a number of very deserving Kerry Charities, This year’s selected charities are Skellig Stars, a group of children and adult athletes with special needs; Kerry Hospice Foundation and Enable Ireland Kerry. Each charity will have a champion undertaking the challenge on their behalf.

"We would be very grateful for any contribution to these worthwhile causes and supporting the participants of this year’s Challenge, he said.

​​​​​​​"You can donate via our website www.54321challenge.org or see the individual charities Facebook pages for online donation information or donate by Direct Debit to Bank of Ireland, Killarney. Sort code 90-57-58 Account No. 74356384 (BIC BOFIIE2D and IBAN IE88BOFI90575874356384), or if you know any of the participants you can contact them directly with a donation. With your support and donations, we can support all these deserving causes."

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Can you talk your way to fitness?

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing. If we can’t get them to […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing.

If we can’t get them to sit down with us, we’ll at least touch base via Zoom or phone. Text messages aren’t adequate to really understand how someone is doing and progressing as we help them towards their health goals, so we don’t count those.

What’s interesting is how difficult it can be sometimes to track down and set up a time to catch up with clients. In passing, it’s simple, but those conversations aren’t as focused and usually don’t allow us to get into why someone is or is not seeing the progress they need. So many times it’s something we all know we need to do, but to sit down and have a real conversation with someone about how they are doing can be tough, or even intimidating depending on the situation.

People start with us knowing we want to provide accountability, guidance, education, and motivation to help them accomplish their goals. But, when it comes down to the accountability portion, it can be difficult to want to talk about things that may not be going as planned.

However, when we look back at our most successful clients – those who have accomplished or are accomplishing what they set out to do when they started with us – they are the ones who actually seek us out to sit down and get help. When we ask them about their goals or if they have time, they are excited to catch up and see what they can improve. Or, they are asking us to help even before we reach out to them.

Those clients have not always had it easy either. Post lockdowns there were a lot of people re-orienting their schedule and lives and trying to make sense of what their goals needed to be. I personally had quite a few heavier conversations with people as we stepped through a plan to “reset” and get into a habit that fit their adjusted goals and schedules. Without those conversations, we may not have been able to help people as much as we are able to (thankfully).

ACCOUNTABILITY

For every area of your life; family, marriage, friendships, work; having accountability, a source of quality guidance, and motivation is as absolute must if you want to improve or progress. We can do some things alone, but we can do most of those things far better with others who have been there before or who can walk with us as we step through our journey towards our goals.

If you are looking to improve at anything in life, be it professionally, or with your health and fitness, the first step is to acknowledge where you are and then seek out a trusted source of information to help you clarify and align the moving parts to ensure you can get to where you want in the timeframe you want.

It’s why we start every member at Activate with a free consultation and why we continue to talk to our members. If we don’t know where you want to go, how can we help you get there? “Going to a gym” is fantastic and will be of huge benefit to your health, going to a gym that is invested in your journey multiplies this power exponentially.

So, no, you can’t “talk your way to fitness”, it takes many hours of work and consistency, but starting your journey with a good honest talk and someone in “your corner” will ensure you start – and continue – in the right direction.

To have a chat about your health and fitness goals, visit www.activate.ie and find out more.

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Former footballer to launch new book

By Sean Moriarty Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book. The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017. In January 2017, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book.

The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017.

In January 2017, O’Mahony won the RTÉ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ series with professional dancer, Estonian Valeria Milova.

His new book ‘Unbroken’ is an account of the discipline it takes to be part of one of the country’s most successful Gaelic football teams. It is also a story of managing external and internal expectations and pressure, and of the importance of knowing when to ask for help.

“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone next Saturday, great to finally release my book and I hope people enjoy it,” he told Killarney Advertiser.

O’Mahony’s Killarney book signing will be the first of many around the country in the run up to Christmas.

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