Blog 8 : 2nd August 2020

“Oh, you’re doing the leaving cert, what’s the story with that now?”

The most common sentence I think I have heard in the year 2020. Life during the Leaving
Cert in general for me was very tough this year. I struggled a lot, there was stress, worry and
anxiety, nevermind a global pandemic throwing itself into the mix. We were all thrown into
the deep end when schools closed and lockdown was announced. At the start, there was a
small element of excitement that we had got time away from school and that easter had just
come two weeks earlier, nobody could have predicted the storm that was coming. There
were endless mornings and nights where I argued and pondered why The Department of
Education was putting us through all of this, there was a serious lack of clarity and honesty
for students and teachers, and I still feel strongly about that today.
There were some positives to the situation, for the first time in six years, I could take my foot
off the pedal a small bit and get some headspace and learn to take care of myself. It put a lot
of things into perspective I realised what was worth fighting for and what wasn’t.
I learned how to balance school time and personal time and keeping balance. It may sound
odd but being at home and having no judgement or external influence boosted my
confidence and I learned to take ‘leaps of faith”, I wouldn’t be wiring this very piece if it
weren’t for lockdown.
I feel ready to take on any challenge that life can throw at me, be it CAO, College or anything
in my personal life. Nothing will be more stressful than this experience, so bring it on!

Blog 7 : 12th July 2020

I started work again and it’s definitely a learning curve having to teach watersports with 2 m of a gap is difficult but not impossible. So far I’m loving every minute of work I am laughing every day and I need to remind myself how lucky I am.


Blog 6 : 5th July 2020

Today was brilliant it was the first day without restrictions. I was able to go anywhere in Ireland. I drove all the way to Dublin for viewings of college accommodation.  I was able to  meet up with friends I know and go for a meal and sit down in the restaurant.  It’s kind of interesting when you walk into a  place take your name and your number and your address for contact tracing.

I started work today and it was brilliant it was almost as if nothing had changed social distancing in the ocean is actually surprisingly easy

I can really feel Ireland start to open up again all this week everybody is doing things again places are open you can go and have food I really like the direction we are going.


Blog 5 : 29th June 2020

We’re on the final run-up to the 29th when normality can resume and I can go places and do things and I am literally counting the days.

I also now know for sure the start date for my work. I never thought I’d say this but summer is actually back on!

There was one major highlight of my week and that was crossing the line of the 100k in 30 Days programme. After just 26 days I had run the equivalent of two full length marathons, this is coming from someone who used to collapse after 500 metres. In the first few days I was certain that I was going to drop out and “pretend it didn’t happen”. I stuck with it though and I made it, along with the complimentary rivalry from Derbhla. Who would take every opportunity to remind me how far I was behind her, her unorthodox support method worked. It made me get up every day and prove to myself that I can do this. 

The amount of money that was raised is astonishing and I am so grateful to anyone who followed, supported or donated over the month.


Blog 4 : 21st June 2020

This week was one of the most varied weeks I’ve had since this whole pandemic started, it started with the most intense thunder and lighting and heaviest rain I’ve seen in a long time, so naturally, I went for my runs in the storms and it probably wasn’t the smartest of ideas but it was so much fun.

On Wednesday things changed the direction I received an email from DCU and I missed the second round of accommodation and I was pretty much out of the running, that wasn’t very ideal and it put it in a bad mood all day. With a bit of convincing and motivation, I sat back down and started to do my research and I managed to find a few off-site locations that I like the look of, so after the travel restrictions have lifted I have appointments made to go up and view different locations.

In a mad turn of events that I don’t think anyone expected it was announced that on the 29th I can pretty much go back to normal life again, I can go to the gym, I can get a haircut, I can travel anywhere in the country again and I can go back to work. I am beyond excited for what’s going to happen, summer is back on track again.


Blog 3 : 14th June

Having restrictions lifted more makes everything so much more fun and enjoyable, all this week I was able to go into town, meet up with my friends and we can go and do “normal” things. I can go out and get food again, even if it was just a takeaway. A lot of my friends can drive so all week I went to places in my county I never would have gone to and I explored as much as I could.

My runs have got better and better I’ve been going faster and longer nearly every day. On the day I’m writing this I just passed the halfway mark, I have 51/100km done and I’m ahead of schedule. So my new goal is to try and beat the 100km before the 30 days and then to see how much I can do then.

The pink t-shirt came as well and I did realise how pink it actually is, the top is pretty much fluorescent. I’ve been getting a lot of strange looks when I’m out with it on, but I like the design so it doesn’t bother me.

I’ll throw in a few photos with this of the top so you can see what I mean.


Blog 2 : 7th June 2020

My second week was not as exciting as the first week, whatever could go wrong, did go wrong.

The first half of the week was fairly uneventful I spent most of my time inside baking because my hay fever had decided it was going to make an appearance.

So I’ve done my runs in the early hours of the morning to get around this, and it’s nice to be out when nobody is awake.

On Wednesday I got the chance to get my braces looked at for the first time since lock down started.

It was a long process involving consent forms, temperature checks and a million health questions, to then get my teeth looked at and to find out I had gone backwards in progress and they had to be tightened a lot.

You’d think it couldn’t get any worse but then it did….The car decided it was going to breakdown on Friday.

I also got an email off of DCU and the first round of the lottery for accommodation is happening on Monday so that has been on my mind all week.

On a positive note, I will get a courtesy car on Monday and my 100km in 30 days fundraiser has exploded with donations.

I’m up to €500 which is so much more than I ever imagined I’d get and I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who has donated, it makes a huge difference and I have almost 25km ran so we’re making progress.

Now with the travel restriction being expanded to the whole county, I think next is going to much better than this one.


Blog 1 25th May- 1st June 2020

On Tuesday 26th May, I woke up at the earliest time in the morning since school finished, expecting this Grading Portal to be difficult and annoying. The process only took about 40 seconds, lost 3 hours of sleep I’ll never get back for that. I went for a strength workout in the garden, got the usual confused looks off the neighbours. Later in the evening, I got the call from Debbie; I won’t lie, the nerves were pretty high. After going on radio for the first time, my photos and first article went up on Beat’s socials; the explosions of responses has begun! It feels great to finally do something “out there” and step out of my comfort zone.

We’ve had the hottest weather so far this year this week. At one stage I fell asleep outside and woke up in agony. I look like a lobster I don’t think there’s a part of my body that’s not sunburnt. It was good timing too that Lidl has summer items on sale (barbeques, pools, outdoor lighting etc.).

The government restrictions lessened meaning we can see a couple of people outside our families at the moment. So, I went for a walk with a friend of mine; he’s in college so it’s hard to find the time where we’re both free. It was nice to have a long catch up with someone who I don’t get to see as often. I was told “oh get there 20 minutes before they open, just to be safe” I honestly thought this was overkill but I went along with the plan. I pulled into the car park a whole half hour before they’re meant to open. The queue was enormous, there could have been at least 35-40 people in front of me. Then, just before the doors opened the queue had doubled in size, I think the management had realised they were about to have a riot so they started a ‘ticket’ system where you just shouted what you wanted and it’s first come first serve. I got the last ticket for a barbecue, paid for it inside and got out fast.

Since I can’t get back into a gym until at least September/ August I’m trying to build a home gym. I have most of what I need apart from a big mirror and a bench and the level of weight on the equipment needs to be increased also.

I didn’t expect much to happen this weekend but out of nowhere an opportunity landed on my lap I can’t refuse. I had originally signed up to do a marathon with a friend of mine in February but naturally, that was called off. She showed me the 100km in 30 days campaign by Breast Cancer Ireland today where the aim is to run 100 km in 30 days throughout June. I hate cardio but I love a challenge, without thinking about what I’m doing I’ve signed up and will be able to receive my dashboard profile and donation link in time for tomorrow. This is going to be tough but I’m up for the challenge.

To check out my fundraiser , click here.


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