Q1 What are your earliest recollections of playing sport?
I always remember growing up and literally doing anything I could, to be active. Living in the south of Ireland for a few years I remember joining a local running club. Everything from long distances to hurdles. I loved being active. That shortly turned to playing soccer and literally never having a ball out of my hand. Soccer then became the biggest part of my childhood.
Q2 Who were your early mentors/coaches?
Charley Begley and Norrie Clyde were my earliest coaches in soccer. My main mentor is, and always will be, my father. We never had much but as kids we wanted for nothing through his hard work, my hero.
In Crossfit, Graham McFadden was my first coach and the person who believed in me he pushed me to do better and still is there at anytime for help. I’m now working with Emma Mcquaid and that’s been awesome.
Q3 How many years have you been participating?
I’ve been participating in CrossFit now for 6 years.
24hrs a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. I get out what I put in. For me hard work and dedication should be a given.
Q4 What do you enjoy most about your sport?
It’s the one thing that pushes me to places I’ve never been. Everyday, I get to work on all aspects of fitness and I love it. Anyone who knows me knows my passion for being fit. Strength was never important to me but now it’s the whole “fitness” umbrella. I need to be rounded in everything. From walking on my hands to running, swimming, lifting, etc, it’s the whole package. Everyday, I do things I never dreamt possible. If I can, anyone can. It just takes dedication.
Q5 Of which club(s) are you a member of?
I own and run Crossfit Limavady. The best community in fitness.
Q 6 What is your greatest achievement to date?
This is a tough one. I don’t feel I’ve achieved much. Like you’re never really happy. But being a father to 3 beautiful kids and having an amazing wife is up there. My kids have seen me perform in Crossfit on a world stage which is a special feeling.
Don’t get me wrong, going to Australia and winning my age group world title for me is something I will remember forever. “Greatest achievement” hopefully hasn’t happened as of yet. I’ll never be content I can’t be. I’m too scared of that turning into an excuse to slow down. I’m 36 now and I’m far from finished.
Maybe when I’m not as competitive in Crossfit anymore, I will be able to answer this.
Q7 What was your biggest disappointment in sport and why was that?
When asked that the first thing that always comes to my head I don’t know why is...
I was in the Under 14 soccer trials for the county team to play in the Milk Cup that year. All my mates got selected but I didn’t. It hurt. Basically, I was not good enough. That then lit a fire in me to make sure that no matter what it is, no matter the outcome, my effort and fitness will never be a question. If it’s meant to be, it will be. I did go on to make the Coleraine District team that same year but it just wasn’t the same. I simply at the time wasn’t good everything. It still hurts.
In Crossfit, there are two moments that have stayed with me.
1st. The European championships, standing on the podium in second place, with a 1st beside my name on the score board. I lost on a count back. I wanted to win. I just wasn’t happy with second.
2nd. The Irish fitness championships in 2018, again taking second on the podium. There were 7 workouts that weekend, I won 5 of them but a sprint on the rower cost me. I came in 7th I think with only 6 seconds between us all, so another 2 secs faster would of done it, again I wanted to win.
Q8 Who are your sporting heroes?
Roy Keane. If you want to talk about mindsets then his is up there. Yes, he has had a few outbursts with media. But in a sporting world, I don’t believe there is a leader in a sport as inspirational as Keane.
Q9 What has been the stupidest/funniest thing to happen to you while playing your sport?
The list is endless. Crossfit shows me everyday how stupid I am (in a good way). Everyday is fun, I’m living a dream with great people around me.
Q10 What is your favourite bit of sporting kit?
My Nano 9s Crossfit trainers. It’s all I wear nothing else.
Q11 What advice would you give to anyone thinking of trying your sport?
You won’t find a better training protocol to improve your health and fitness. The whole ethos is unbelievable.
If you’re a competitor, there’s not a sport more challenging. In my eyes, it is the true test of overall fitness, it’s the whole package.
If you are a non-competitor, it’s a community like no other. Support in Crossfit gyms is unique. It’s not a regular gym it’s a full on community vibe, making people healthier and fitter.
The hardest thing to do is walk through the doors that first day. The rest is easy.
If you are reading this, please give Crossfit a go. No matter where you are, there’s a Box near you. Fact. I’m always here for anyone who needs any advice.
Q12 Where to you see yourself in 10 years?
In Crossfit Limavady, hopefully being coached by one of my kids, still living the dream and still being fit and healthy. This isn’t just a phase, it’s my life. I love it, I breathe it, and I intend to do so until my final days.