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Everyone has struggles that we may not know about

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

In Part One last week of 'Do we all have the same 24 hours in the day?' I discussed negative comments such as “No one is too busy in this world. We all have the same 24 hours. It’s all about priorities”. In Part Two below we'll look at how life can throw a spanner in the works of even the most persistent of people.

If it’s not a matter of ‘motivation’ and ‘grind’, what creates barriers in peoples’ lives that stop them from achieving financial, health, or fitness goals?

There can be many things, but in this case, we should look to research rather than conjecture and anecdote and the most comprehensive research on this are The Social Determinants of Health (SDH) as defined by the World Health Organization as ‘non-medical factors that influence health outcomes’.

We’re not even talking here about those whose chronic disease keeps them from being active and living a ‘normal’ life, but SDH affect them, too.
It’s all inter-connected.

This 2014 study outlines how Social Determinants of Health are inseparably linked to health outcomes.

So yep, motivation doesn’t enter into it.

The social determinants of health include:

Income and social protection
Education
Race
Gender
Working conditions
Housing and environment
Early childhood development
Social inclusion and non-discrimination: this can range from having friends to lean on during structural conflict
Access to adequate health services
Unemployment and job insecurity
Food insecurity
Put simply, we all have different priorities and needs.

Social Determinants of Health are why people who are lower socioeconomic status often have poor health compared to their more affluent counterparts.

Someone who is working multiple jobs, shifts, is on their feet all day, and/or is struggling to pay their rent might not give a sh*t about your amazing transformation.
Their 24 hours are exhausting and stressful.

Another person who lives on Social Welfare, or who is struggling to afford food at all, is probably going to have an issue meeting the latest fad diet guidelines which include organic kale that can only have been grown under the light of a full moon in soil infused with sacred manure!

It’s not that they ‘aren’t trying hard enough'. Their 24 hours are devoted to putting food on the table as best they can.

How about the person with a medical condition that saps their energy making them unable to work or even leave the house? Are they supposed to find the ‘motivation’ to force themselves to be active and ‘get off the couch?’ Their 24 hours are spent trying to cope.

These people aren’t lazy, and they don’t lack direction or drive. They also don’t have the same 24 hours a day as someone who shops at the trendy organic market and can afford someone else to clean their home (or who has a home) and mind their children.

They don’t even have the same 24 hours as a person who has a 9-5 job and a roof over their head.

These sayings make me so mad, and I’m sitting here writing this from a place of extreme privilege.
For someone in a less fortunate situation, I can’t even imagine how insulting and demoralised they feel.

We should remember that not everyone has the things that most of us take for granted: time for food preparation, having someone to do the cleaning (or the time and energy to do it ourselves), food shopping, being able to take sick days, being able to get out of bed, having access to and money for medications, and being able to work from home.

Those are all luxuries.

We often know nothing about the people who see our content or who we interact with, so proclaiming that we all have the same 24 hours, or that they just need to get up off the couch, or that a ‘challenge’ is good for them, can be really off the mark.

It’s also ableist: that is, assuming that everyone is physically and mentally able.

Your only point of comparison should be yourself.

If you want to do a challenge, you do it, but please don’t shame people for not doing it with you.

If you want to eat organic food, go right ahead, but please don’t say that everyone should be eating that way.

Everyone has struggles that we may not know about. What’s good for you, isn’t necessarily good for someone else.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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