Connect with us


Everyone has struggles that we may not know about




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
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.

Continue Reading


Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]




Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

Continue Reading


Philip is running over 100kms for Cancer charity

Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday. Phillip has already […]




Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday.

Phillip has already completed four half marathons at various locations around Killarney – all in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group – or the Cancer Bus as it popularly called.

This is the second time that Phillip has run four half marathon and an official race for the charity.

Back in 2021 he finished with 5km Run Killarney event but his finishing race this time around is over eight times the distance at 42kms.

“We are delighted with Philip’s continued fundraising support but also with his awareness raising for the charity,” Breda Dyland, Service Manager Kerry Cancer Support Trust.

“We are getting busier all the time and still get no statutory funding so are dependent on fundraisers like Philip’s to keep us on the road. We have just put our new wheelchair accessible bus on the Cork route so Philip’s funding will be going towards the operation of this vehicle.”


Continue Reading


Last News