This piece has been written to touch on some moments from 2016 at FFS along with a few stand out memories that the team and I would like to share. It’s going to be hard to put so many great times into this blog but I’ll give it a lash anyway.
January’s met con. Simple, non stop work, no one liked it! In February we all joined the "Rowing Club" while in March we "Held On While Our Mates Rowed. After all that rowing the question was asked many times, “can we burn the rowers?” well we didn’t exactly burn them but we did go on to have fun in April, “5 Minutes Of Fun” to be exact.
January TOM = Richie Leonard
February TOM = Aoibhin O Hare
February also saw Rudds represent Irish rugby clubs against France and Scotland while in March we threathened members with burpees if they didn’t beat our S&C grip finishers. It worked!
March TOM= Sarah Sparks
April TOM= Rich Stuart
In April our FFS tag rugby team and supporters travelled across the Irish sea to take on the best teams in Europe. The standard was incredible, it was freezing and Rory denied anyone the opportunity to wear extra thermal clothing (bear crawl if you are cold was his philosopy) but we did manage to leave with a one victory to our name. The spring fling will certainly live long in the memory of Stevie…….
May brought about the introduction of the “Terrible Two’s And Nasty Nineties”. While summer began with the very apt name “The Perfect Storm”. July’s format may go down in history as our most talked about ever “Lung Buster” many members still to this day like to talk their Lung Buster experience.
May TOM= Paul Whelan
June TOM=Twins Baby (Turlough and Fiachra McIntyre)
Summer Summer Summertime!
Summer time at FFS is always great! Our tag teams are up and running in their respective leagues, golf outings are being put together and the place is alive with enthusiasm. We like to think of ourselves as more than just a gym, that’s why we continuously try to provide our members with social events and external activities so that we can all get to know each other a bit better.
My Favourite moment of 2016
Two of our largest ever social activities took place in 2016. On July 9th we took two tag rugby teams (35 members and staff) to Limerick for the annual Pig and Porter tournament.
One team fought against extreme adversity after being landed in the group of death. While our second team bowed out agonisingly in the cup semi final by one point. In an amazing fact that I only realised after that game, that team were unbeaten through the spring and summer league until that game. Progress! We danced the night away and Diarmuid Furey, Sarah Warren and Clara Kelleher were awared with male, female player of the year and most improved player of the year respectively.
July TOM=Giustina Mizzoni
August TOM= Gareth Logan
Rory's Favourite Moment of 2016
I think we all knew what this was going to be. Doonbeg 2016 and Leinster V The Rest Of Ireland (champs). Now to say the rivalry was fierce even from a month out before our first ever FFS Ryder Cup would be the understatement of the year.
I thought Daire Cullen loved Leinster more than anyone but OMG Kier Johnson takes the biscuit. It’s in your face, non stop relentless boasting. We started our foursomes in Castletroy Limerick early Friday morning, followed by a swim in sub zero waters at Kilkee. We then spent our final two days at Trump International, Doonbeg.
The singles matches were drawn late Friday night and the rest is history.Team ROI ran riot and came home easy winners. Surely the match will be more hotly contested next summer and maybe this time Donnacha Neary’s victory suit will be followed by a victory speech (yes I’m now boasting even though I lost both my matches). This was an excellent weekend one which Rory tirelessy coordinated.
September TOM=(coach) Laura Carroll
October TOM=Peter Kennedy
In August we worked on getting “Fit, Fast and Strong”, a shamelss plug. While in September we completed all levels of “Die Hard”. Back by popular demand in October was our now infamous "Lung Buster".
October, what a month! Work started on our second location at number 34 and finally we were able to drag Rudds to California for ten days we will never forget. Nine sessions completed, a big than ever Mindbody conference overlooking the Hollywood hills and our first ever coached session on American soil. One part of this trip will always live long in my memory, our drive to Las Vegas through the night with palpable excitement considering we slept for 3 hours before departure.
As we approached the bright lights of Vegas at 8am on a Friday morning I soon realised the enormity of what was happening. Three and a half years ago we were a small start up business, now here we are with our second location under construction at home and about to coach with our friends (Bryan, Marc and Francis) at Real Results Las Vegas. There was a huge sense of pride.
Brian’s Favourite Moment of 2016 (In his own words)
“My favourite moment of 2016 would have to be FFS Live from Las Vegas, despite running into some technical issues (Technology is only as smart as the man who made it!), there was a surreal amount of energy and excitement surrounding the event on the evening, unlike anything I had ever experienced and to share this with our members was amazing (I promised myself I wouldn't cry writing this..)”
For us on the other end in LV the feeling was mutual.
November TOM=Joanna Butler
November was on the horizon and our Met Con and Suspension formats took on a whole new meaning. We needed to be “Fit For December”, as we will “Always Remember The 10th of December”….
Craig's Favourite Moment of 2016
Some members who had stayed under the radar were making significant progress, none more so than Niall Connolly. Under the watchful eye of Big C, Niall was making huge strides, which Craig alluded to on many occasions. Craig’s words, “Niall C going from absolute novice to smashing Competitor Friday.”
Our second location was near completion and there was a historic event just around the corner, exciting few weeks ahead. In our final strength and conditioning weeks we chased the “The Pump before Christmas”.
As we sat in Starbucks on a cold October afternoon we decided to push the boundaries with our annual charity challenge. Let’s give every member, PT and friend of FFS the chance to take on our charity challenge and Stand Up To Cancer. Second thought (madness at the time) let’s raise €50,000, cue Rory, Ciaran and myself lolling out loud. To be continued……
Ciaran's Favourite Moment 2016 (In his own Words)
"It is difficult to mention just one favourite moment in the gym from 2016........There have been so many enjoyable experiences. I believe the best is yet to come.........I am pretty confident that my favourite moment of 2016 is going to be the 8th and 10th of December when FFS stands up to Cancer. I am so excited to be involved with everyone at the gym as we work hard to complete our physical challenges and most importantly raise the 50,000 for the Irish Cancer Society".
And so there we were Saturday December 10th had arrived. 34 Lower Leeson Street was ready for over 100 great people to Stand Up to Cancer, and did they what! To put into words the atmosphere that day is just too difficult. From 10am to 4.30pm people stuck their chest out, carried a smile and cheered their mates over the line. At the time of writing we are over the €89,000 mark, beyond anything we thought was possible. In January we will decide where we would like to see your funds used.
"A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life" - Mandy Hale
Here is to a momentous 2017 at Fitter Faster Stronger. From the coaches and I, Have a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Closing note: I would like to dedicate this piece to all those who have lost their battle with cancer, are fighting cancer right now and those who have won their battle with cancer! Stay Strong!
Mike is a Certified Personal Trainer and Head of Operations at Fitter Faster Stronger.
Mike is the proud holder of a BA (HONS) in Business Studies, qualified gym instructor and personal trainer. Mike is both a rugby player and coach and proud member of #TeamFFS
If you would like to learn more about Mike, you can check out his profile here or follow him on social media here.