Ophelia & I

 

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Happy Out Post Ophelia

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Few Thoughts about the beauty of storms while I look out at Kinsale Harbour

The calm after the storm. Few thoughts about yesterday storm while I chilled in the sun, with scenery like this on a beautiful evening in Kinsale 👍🏼.

So 16th October 2017, the day OPHELIA hit Ireland. First red level warning for myself as I wasn’t born yet when the last one was back in 1961 ? The night before the eery feel began to set in and a blanket of frog began to fill the valleys and land around the country, we braced ourselves for one of the worst storms to hit the emerald isle in over 60 years.

Not a puff of wind the night before and the morning she was scheduled to make her mark, winds picked up but there was a warm breeze that went with it. As the morning unfolded and wind began to pick up once again up to about 80-90 km/hr, rain started to pour down and hearing stories of trees beginning to fall before we hit 10 am. The storms highest intensity was to hit us between 12-5 pm and be sure it even latest more than that.

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Ophelia On Her Way

As I sit here writing this I think about the day that went by, no power, no electricity, phone coverge knocked out, just a black out and I absolutely loved every moment of it, why? It was because I was disconnected from technology, like flicking a switch to light a room up, to put the kettle on, to watch tv, to have wifi, what I loved was actually just being able to talk to the people around you without any distractions and this is why I enjoyed the storm knocking out the power for us. Good job we had a gas hob, as the parents wouldn’t have survived without a cup of tea. The gas kettle was the job and even having the gas to be able to cook our dinner, happy days.

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Kinsale was one of the worst areas hit by Storm Ophelia yesterday, damaging trees and buildings in the town while also knocking out our power and telephone lines and I absolutely loved it 😊 may seem strange to some of ye but not having electricity or power was really peaceful for me, no contact, no worries. I was at home all day while it raged outside, got some study while it was bright and lit candles and the fire so we could see around the house when it was dark. It gave me a chance to switch off, pardon the pun 😜 but it helped me to enjoy the peace and quiet and appreciate the simple things. I like having chill time anyways but this was next level and I loved it 👌🏼.
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I did go out after the storm had past last night to see some of the damage done and get my step count in 🚶🏻👍🏼 it was strange seeing the town in darkness as we are so accustomed to street lights and flicking a switch to light up a room. After coming back from my walk in darkness, I came back to a warm fire 🔥 a few candles lit 🕯 around the house 🏠 and just having a cup of tea and a chat with the parents for the night👨‍👩‍👧‍👦☕️. .
We take things for granted in life sometimes and forget the simple things and the people around us.

I came back from some coaching to hit the hay for an hour while the storm was only beginning to rage. Kipped for about an hour, got up sat with my parents having a chat and looking out the window at the weather that was hammering our home. We all agreed that it was to have the power outage as it gave that time to chat more in the day than what we would of.

I then sat down for 2-3 hours to do study which I am currently studying a nutrition course online and really enjoying it and today gave me more time then usually to get the head down into the book, again thereis only so much study that I could of done so I packed it in and began to make the dinner. Thinking ahead, I was down the butchers early before he braced himself for the storm. My mother and I began to chop Veg and cook our meat, we had meatballs and rice with a heap of veg. Cooked and ate it in no time.

After our dinner I decided I wanted to brave the conditions and head out and go for a walk and also to see some of the damage that the storm had caused. I wrapped up threw on the high visibility jacket and out the door I went, and I made my way down town to Kinsale only to see a tree that had fallen right outside my entrance to the estate, cars could still get by but I was just amazed by the power of nature and the damage that it can cause.

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Fallen Tree, Storm Damage

I made my way into the town to see a few cars travelling around and a few tourists walking around in the dark. Lights were all out bar the headlamps from cars going by, Kinsale seemed to be sheltered from the wind at that stage and I made my way down the pier road to head home but as soon as I left the town the wind picked up and I just turned around and went home the way I came. We live on the outskirts of the town on a hill and on the way home it was pitch dark, no street lights, just pure black. I was tempted to use my flashlight from my phone but decided against it as I wanted to feel what it was like to walk home as nature intended, the night sky and I.

Our neighbours had called over to get some hot water from our gas hob, she came in handy for the estate here. Not everything needs to be electric. There is something soothing about no lights, a fire and candles around the house. I also spent about 10 minutes outside looking up at the night sky and the beauty of it. Stars were shining bright, the weather was beginning to calm down and the air was fresh. I had my laptop charged so this is why I am able to type this. We still have no electric, the gas kettle has just boiled for another cup of tea and I’m still unsure if I have work in cork in the morning. Sure i’ll try and travel up in the morning anyways at 5;45am and see on the roads are and see if I can make. Again I enjoyed the power outage and been as natured intended. I’m going to join my parents now for a cup of tea and then off to bed. Thanks Ophelia. For reminding us that you can keep us at bay when you rage.

Nature will eat you up and spit you back out if you don’t appreciate it.
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Yesterday’s storm made people connect again, spending time at home with family, talking to each other without distractions (e.g. mobile phones, T.V. ) this is why I enjoyed no power, no electricity, no worries. Being able to appreciate the small things in life will help you to see the big picture that’s out there.
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Take home message, appreciate life daily and watch the world around you grow.

Mark

The Disease of Our Generation

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“Change Today, Not Tomorrow”

This blog post will hopefully give you an insight in how to become a healthier, leaner you. I’m not a qualified nutritionist but have learned about nutrition in my personal life . I am currently studying Precision Nutrition Level 1 course online to become a better nutritional advisor to my clients and I have previously helped people change their lifestyle by building healthy nutritional habits that can be sustained. We need to eat whole, unprocessed foods that is the key to your nutrition and performance goals. How are we as a generation becoming sick and more susceptible to illness, it comes down to two points: Diet & Lack of Exercise

Lets delve into these two topics a bit deeper to give everyone out there a little guidance in their daily routine for a healthier, stronger, more energetic lifestyle

1 – Diet:

This day in age, the marketing of so called “healthy products” such as nutri-grains, slim fast bars, and any other supermarkets idea of healthy food. They market healthy foods which in fact are not healthy for you at all. There has been a shift in a healthier lifestyle among the general public and supermarkets but only to certain extent. We eat food that is high in calories but has no nutritional value. Majority of the places you will look at promote healthy, slim, weight loss foods making people form this false pretences about how to lose weight, how to become healthier, how to change their lifestyle all these messages are only a ploy from companies to firstly grab your attention but most importantly make money and profit for themselves, they do not have your best interest at heart. What is the key to becoming a healthier you? it’s eating whole, unprocessed foods. Healthy foods are not made up of 100 ingredients they aren’t even made up of 10 ingredients, its 1 ingredient which makes a whole food nutritional. As a coach from my own eyes, I see people unhappy in their own skin who are stuck in a comfort zone of theirs and eat food that makes them happy for 5 minutes then unhappy and sick for hours after. Next time your in a supermarket, check out your surroundings when your go to pay for your shopping – you’ll find that you are surrounded by high sugary foods and bars which are unhealthy and have no nutritional value whatsoever, in some cases you might see nuts close by as well which are a good alternative then bars and sweets but if you have kids or teenagers they are more inclined to grab those sweeter items like a mars bar for example. Yes supermarkets have begun to have a “free from” section in their stores which promotes a healthier lifestyle. I’m not telling people to take everything out in order to change, i’m merely suggesting taking one bad habit you currently have and substitute it for a healthier one. One simple one to begin with is water, everyone should be consuming at least 2 litres of water a day – it keeps the body hydrated. Take out high corn syrup drinks such a fizzy drinks e.g. coke, replace with some water instead. Its a process in order to change it’s not a quick fix solution but a steady lifestyle change which will allow you to be happier healthier and more energised in your daily life. The first solution to any problem is admitting that their is a problem in the first place.

2 – Exercise:

The fitness industry is changing for the better but in years gone by people have been thought that running helps to loose weight and the odd session at your gym will help you become fit and strong. No mention of weight training or resistance training, this is the key to that healthier lifestyle people wish for. Personally I find machine weights at the bottom of the fitness industry chain of strength training exercises to begin with, free weights and bodyweight are better forms of exercise in order to become stronger and fitter being able to control your own bodyweight is most definitely underrated and something people actually take for granted. In daily life you want to be strong in any task that comes your way, there is a misconception about weights training especially for women where they see themselves becoming the size of a bodybuilder if they go any where near weights but the truth about the matter is that resistance training aids your body ability to become stronger, leaner, toned and fitter. Let exercise be apart of your lifestyle, it shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a modality that you find solace in and knowing that in order to become the best you want to be you need to enjoy the process just as much as knowing the end results. These fad exercise regimes which say become a super lean, sculpted physique only takes 6 weeks are lies, yes you become stronger, fitter and healthier but at the end of the day an exercise plan well a good one will give you the tools in order to sustain the new regime. As a coach I want to impart knowledge onto individuals to develop strength and help change their lifestyle to become that person they always wanted to be, for athletes to accomplish goals in their sport. Becoming stronger, fitter, leaner and more confident in yourself.

I hope I have helped to open your eyes into the meaning of a healthy lifestyle, enjoy the process and the journey you take into this lifestyle change. You as an individual will learn far more than expected and it will help you to discover that this change I speak of will be the start of a long lasting happier lifestyle.

Become better than the person you were yesterday, don’t compete against anyone else only yourself.

Mark Eaton

BSc Sport & Exercise Sciences

Precision Nutrition L1

#meatonfitness

Mental Health & Physical Activity

15204088_10154855819289374_1147627318_oMental Health Awareness DAY / WEEK has been circulating around the recently and below is a little post about the topic. Reach out to people and connect, it goes a long way.

I put this piece together a few months back and wanted to share it again and add to it this time round. I just wanted to write a small blog about Mental Health issues amongst our population to let everyone out there know that its ok to talk. All of us are effected by these issues at some stage during our lives friends and families can also be effected by these issues  but it’s the support system and people around us that help us through these difficult times, so let’s break the cycle and talk to each other and support one another.

When light shines it removes darkness, no matter what. Light can come in all shapes and sizes in your daily life and you can shine some light on others too with simple kind gestures throughout the day. For me I like to wish people a good day when they part my company and until I see them again. I ask people how’s their day going? It might be holding the door open in a shop for a stranger, it may be a smile towards a stranger, even letting someone cross the road, there are many little acts of kindness that all add up. These random acts creates positivity both for yourself and others. You may not know what the other person lives through or how their day is going so far, they may not be having their best day when you come in contact with them but what you can do is give them something to smile at. Wish them a good day 🙂

As part of my undergraduate course especially in my 4th Year of Sport & Exercise Sciences in UL, we learned a significant amount about psychology in daily life and related to sport and exercise and how it can effect us. There are many domains within psychology such as cognitive function, stress, anxiety, mood, emotions, depression, energy & fatigue, all these areas can be related but the most prevalent of them is depression. So let’s talk depression what it is, who it effects, prevalence of it and how to help someone with depressive symptoms.

Defining depression can be difficult because it includes several types of mood disorders with opposite symptoms (e.g., increase or decrease in sleep; increase or decrease in appetite to name but a few). Depression can be caused by catastrophic events such as death of a loved one, a loss of self-esteem (e.g.,feeling unworthy because a valued goal was not met), or chronic anxiety or stress. It can also occur for no apparent (Dishman et al., 2013). The International classification of diseases (ICD-10) gives common symptoms of a depressive episode in a person’s life the symptoms include;

-Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
-Ideas of guilt and unworthiness
-Bleak and pessimistic views of the future
-Ideas or acts of self-harm or suicide
-Disturbed sleep

When a person has a major depressive episode, these symptoms cause significant distress and impairment in social and occupational settings as well as in other areas of the person’s life. No one asks for depression, its something that can happen over time. People feel they can’t talk about their issues and feel they have to bottle it up inside so that others don’t see that they are weak. We the human race are compassionate to each other in times of need and distress, so reach out to someone if you feel they are down and not themselves. We learn and we grow from one another.

The fact below says it all really on how depression is being projected, we can change it by talking to one another:

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has projected that depression will be second only to cardiovascular disease as the world’s leading cause of death and disability by the year 2020 and first by 2030” (WHO, 2010). This is very alarming to see it projected to the leading cause of death by 2030.

Physical Activity & Depression

Physical activity (PA) has been recommended by physicians since ancient times (2,500 years ago) to combat depression. The benefits of PA for helping prevent depression occur regardless of people’s age, sex, race, or socioeconomic status. Aerobic exercise training and resistance exercise training have a positive effect on people with clinical depression and if you think about its a social scene as well where people train so many people that do show depressive symptoms feel a scene of inclusion and this in turn helps to reduce their symptoms. Making the exercise program fun and enjoyable is what makes someone have a positive experience with training.

My aim here is to give people knowledge about depression and how to help one another. If you know someone who is showing signs of depression, talk to them, organise a fun outing show them that you are there for them and that they are not alone. In our society we are taking ourselves out of social events by scrolling through the news feed on our phones, constantly! At breakfast, at lunch, at dinner, at family events, at any outing you will see someone out with their phones. I personally try not to be on my phone as much when others are around as it avoids conversation with one another. People want to check what others are doing but don’t think twice about what they are doing and the effects it has on other around them. Social Media platforms were built to connect people but in truth its just making us more distant than ever. Social media will always be around but conversation won’t.

So my take home message to everyone is to enjoy what you have, talk to each other, organise trips, social meetings, train with someone, be you, don’t be afraid, have a phone FREE time slot, connect with people physically, not through a screen.

Give a stranger a smile, hold the door for the next person you meet on your way out of the shop. Let a pedestrian pass by, wish the next person you meet a good day 🙂

Mental health is a huge issue for all of us, let’s reach out to one another and let’s talk 🙂

Mark Eaton
BSc Sport & Exercise Sciences
#meatonfitness

The Art of Coaching

The best coaches out there are the best not because they see themselves as a master but instead see themselves as a student

Many see coaching as your gym instructor counting your reps and sets and taking you through a pre made program in a gym with an individual but it encompasses much more detail than verbally counting from 10 to 1 for a client.

All great coaches acknowledge that it’s about the journey with their client whether it be physical and psychological and showing that individual a holistic approach to health and performance. For me, and my own coaching philosophy calls upon the interaction of nutrition, strength training, overall health, mindfulness, past coaching experience, becoming a better individual, music, culture, scientific based knowledge in exercise selection, self improvement, reading, learning, communicating.

These are the coaches who see their coaching practice as an ART!

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What is an Art? What is the Art of Coaching?

Art is related to the Latin word “ars” meaning, art, skill, or craft. When you hear the word art many associate it with paintings, drawings, music and literature but it is much more than these. As a coach, I see an art as the craft or skill developed in an individual and expressed through their work whether that be through paintings, music, writings, foods, coaching and even much more.

So what does the Art of Coaching involve? Well it involves as much care and detail artists give to their paintings, writing, and music only a coaches art is expressed to his/hers ability to communicate and elicit change in a person where it be body composition, athletic performance and quality of life all achieved through effective coaching and different training modalities

A great coach wants to learn more, do more and be more not for themselves but for the clients/athletes that they work with.

Great coaching styles and skills call on trust and building a relationship with their clients/athletes. A coaches role should be to teach the client/athlete how to teach themselves by enhancing his/hers awareness of the training method and it’s desired outcome. At the same time, they focus on building rapport with that individual through humour, small talk and inviting questions i.e. “So, how was your day so far?” “Did you get up to much for the day?” How’s the body feeling?”

A conscious coach understands that successful training is more than just the sum of various physical drills and exercises, it depends on a holistic approach to health and their training and the interactions of the physical, psychological, emotional and social components of a program.

A coach who can make your training sessions enjoyable and lead you on the right path in your fitness journey through nutritional habits, effective training, mindfulness, and building a healthy lifestyle in which you can maintain is a coach whom everyone needs in their life. I myself have been very fortunate thus far in my coaching career in being exposed to some top quality coaches and top quality facilities. I coach out of ACLAI where my love for coaching and strength training flourishes both in and outside the gym. Its a culture one builds in order to improve their life.

Take home message, find a coach who wants to do right by you and has your best interests at heart. Learn from them and they will also learn from you. Keep it simple, enjoy the process, and look after you body it’s the only place you have to live.

Mark Eaton

Flexibility, where’s it gone?

The human body was designed to move, be flexible and be strong 😊

As children we have no problem with flexibility or mobility issues until we start to get older and begin attending school where we sit for the majority of the day, becoming stiffer each day without realising it, for a second just think about it🤔
We went to school sat down most of the day, got collected from school and sat in a car for the journey home, ate our dinner in a seated position and then we do this day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, how many years are we in education for? 🤔
Over time it causes us to become inflexible and immobile and it’s not until we try to perform a stretch when we are older that we actually realise that we cant physically perform a move because our muscles and joints won’t allow us😐
If ye have children or young nieces or nephews ask them to pick something up from the ground and they will perform a perfect squat effortlessly 👌🏼🙂
Putting effort into my own flexibility and mobility all the time but one goal for 2017 is to perform a full pancake 💪🏼😃
My current pancake flexibility, a lot of work to do in order to get the chest to floor but flexibility is always improving 😊
Stay mobile, stay flexible, stay young

Mark Eaton