Carol

“Decision makers are human; they filter data through their beliefs, values, their agendas and ideologies.”

Carol H. Weiss (1927-2013)

I had never heard of Carol before. But I had come across the Theory of Change which she helped develop. And it was she who first used that name for the framework she and her colleagues had been working on.

Let us go to the other side.

“She argued that stakeholders of complex community initiatives typically are unclear about how the change process will unfold and therefore give little attention to the early and mid-term changes that need to happen in order for a longer term goal to be reached”, says a website promoting the theory.

The approach she and her colleagues chose in the second half of the 20th century has been developed further over the years and is now used by many philanthropic organisations, nonprofits, and the UN. There even is an online tool available to support the process of developing a theory of change for a particular community project.

We will not go down.

Can Change be achieved more readily if the process to achieve it is theorised?

I don’t know. The graphs and powerpoints look impressive. Google ‘theory of change’ and click on ‘images’ to get a taste.

Don’t you care if we drown?

Can decision makers be more readily convinced to support the change we want to achieve if they see that we understand how we will achieve this change?

I don’t know. I have the impression that many have little time and interest.

Why are you so afraid?

The past week was a good week overall. Pádraig had a garden visit from some friends, the first time in some time by them. A glimpse of what normality could look like.

He went to see a kinesiologist and ‘natural health practitioner’; a visit I found very interesting and a bit challenging/strange.

And he stood up in the standing frame again with the help of the great people at An Saol.

Great to watch videos standing up. Not quite like a concert but ok in these no-concert times.

The weather has been pretty good the past week. Changeable as it is but good overall.

Yesterday, there was another first: Pádraig broke the 5k on the MotoMed in the back garden.

A friend of Pádraig’s has decided to come to An Saol once a week to try relaxation exercises, breathing, and meditation. We’re thinking of working with animals, outside in the green area. Because Life and Living is not all about ‘hard core’ clinical therapies but activities that make for a happier, more fulfilled life.

Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!

The choices are, of course, not mutually exclusive. But if I had to choose between rehab therapy and Alaska, I’d go for Alaska. Fly over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Bring change to the life of the boys. The journey certainly would be fun. Whatever happens.

We will not go down.

I’ll have another look at that Theory of Change. And guidebooks to Alaska focussing on accessability.

Annette

“If anyone is feeling anxious, worried or maybe you just want a chat, please, please do not come crying to me.”

Sister Michael

If you haven’t watched the Derry Girls on Channel Four or your Netflix or wherever else you might find it, consider giving it a go. It’s vintage. You might need to brush up a little on the Troubles and (Northern) Irish History to really appreciate the nuances and at times very direct references, but just go with the flow and accept that you won’t get it all the very first time you’re watching it.

It’s terribly funny and full of brilliant one-liners. The one above is by Sister Michael, the catholic head nun in charge of the school the girls attend.

Here are a few more of them.

Orla: “Why’s he making that funny noise?”
Michelle: “He’s English Orla, that’s the way they talk.”

Erin: “You can’t marry an Orangeman Michelle!”
Michelle: “It’s a pity, cos I think there’s something really sexy about the fact that they hate us so much.”

“You can’t ring Childline every time your mother threatens to kill you.” – Michelle

“Sadly, I am unable to come on this one as I despise the French.”Sister Michael declines the chance to join the trip to Paris

The reality of the troubles in the North was, of course, anything but funny.

Take 14-year old Annette.

At first sight, she looks like a Derry Girl. Until you look a bit closer at this Derry mural.

And check out the plaque.

She was shot by a British soldier in 1971, the 100th victim of the troubles and one of the first children to be killed.

Make it a plea for peace and sanity, reads the plaque at the end.

Yesterday, on our way to Hyperbaric Therapy, we saw this billboard, Come on you boys in white, with a guy ripping off his shirt revealing St. George’s Cross painted on his chest, with Paddy Power’s betting firm promising to donate 10,000 euro to Irish Soccer for every goal scored by England in the European Soccer Championships just started.

My guess? Someone would have burnt this billboard off the wall it’s mounted on just a few decades ago.

The point?

You can find laughter and humour in even the most difficult situations. And get people to listen to you. People who would have turned away and continued with their business had you approached them with another piece of dreadful, horrible, hurting news or piece of history.

Last week, Pádraig tried out a new position for switch access to all sorts of potential devices. A great OT we found helped us to identify a position that Pádraig has no problem to control.

The top of his knee. And, of course, there is no problem to put that switch there. Hard to believe that it took so long to identify it though.

Martin Seligman, a professor a the University of Pennsylvania and formerly Cornell, is known for his theories of positive psychology and learned helplessness. His latest book is on The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism (2018). Brendan O’Connor (remember him?) had him on his Sunday radio show recently. Here is a link to the interview.

Amazingly, Seligman cites research showing that happy people live at least 6 years longer and the effect of not being happy, worrying all the time, has the same effect on your health as smoking three packets of cigarettes a day.

The Centre for Positive Psychology and Health at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI, have a free online public course on ‘The Science of Health and Happiness’.

So –

Focus on the good stuff. Try to be happy. Do good and help others. – I’ll try that myself.

And then let’s compare notes in a few weeks to see how we’re getting on.

Maybe we can change the world. Or, at least, our lives and that of those around us.

It’s not just healthier, it is our responsibility.

The Life

It’s a funny world if you keep your eyes and ears open. Ok, you also need a certain approach to see the funny side of things.

How would you have reacted had you tried to back up into this garage only to find out that the last bit of your ladder on the roof of your car didn’t quite fit?

The driver of this car just went back as far as he could and left, to do whatever business he had to attend to.

Or if you had just walked around a beautiful lake in the middle of nowhere to find a bridge that you could only cross having gone up a couple of steps, in your wheelchair?

(We waited until a very friendly, and strong, young woman gave us a hand.)

Would a High Protein Low Sugar Smart PhD Bar have helped the people who came up with the idea of the steps at the end of the walk to improve their planning? – My guess: it takes more than a PhD Smart Bar:)

It’s a Bank Holiday in Ireland today – a long weekend, basically. We decided to spend Saturday night in wild, lovely Leitrim. Where we were reminded that there are places in the country that are widely mobile signal and Wifi free. Nearly untouched by our otherwise and somewhere else, hectic pressurised always-present and immediately responsive life. The sun was shining and the birds only stopped singing late in the evening. Buttercups filled the fields. The few people around had time to stop, chat, and help.


Pádraig had a brilliant week. Starting in An Saol. For the first time, he used the new standing frame there. And it worked a dream, with great people helping him to make the best out of his standing exercise.

The highlight of the exercise week, for me, however, was him taking over his leg stretching exercise.

It is truly phenomenal.

Think back a year when he could not sleep for months because his right hip and leg were causing him terrible problems.

It’s important to note that this progress didn’t happen by accident, but access to expertise and perseverence.


And it was not all work during the week.

For the first time in a long time we went back to wild, lovely Leitrim. We went for a nice walk and discovered lakes, bridges and a hidden Crannóg. A lone fisherman shared the secrets of his 12 hour day looking at the water, as well as a few pictures of the quite sizeable fish he had fished.

The bag of Tayto’s in a field of buttercups was the starter to a more substantial meal beside a warming chimney fire.

We had totally forgotten about the Peet’s Dark Roast French Coffee who a friend living in the US had brought along. Years ago. It’s surprising how long even ground coffee lasts. Though to be fair, it might have had lost some of its wood smoke, caramel flavour over the years.

Integration. Equality. Participation. Justice. Are for all of us.

Is that the life?

Absolutely.

Adventurous. Funny. Hard (at times). Joyful. Sad (at times). Hopeful. Angry (at times). Full of flavour (except for the Peet’s Coffee), sunshine (even in the west of Ireland:), friendship and love.

31

Before I became an orphan, my parents told me, once a year, how it had been for them the day I was born.

Now I am doing the same. I told Pádraig what it had been like for me, the day he was born.

It was one of the happiest days in my life.

31 years ago.

The weekend of celebrations started on Friday in An Saol.

There was the most beautiful chocolate cake.

There was great song.

And there were some fine birthday gadgets. No birthday should be without them.

It was a great occasion not just for Pádraig, but for all in the Centre.

There are days that are just nice. They are different and they stick out of the ordinary. And Friday was one of these days.

It was so special because there was a bond between the people who were distanced together. A special kind of love and understanding.

It was made possible because people went out of their way to make it special. They got decorations, the hats and the “Tröten”, the cake and some very nice presents.

Pádraig was so happy. And with him all around him.

There were presents this morning when he woke up. A few hours later a beautiful home made cake arrived. A brunch with the family in the garden, relaxed, chilled, and easy going went on into the afternoon. Even in the evening it was warm enough to have dinner.

I am sure Pádraig can’t wait to see his friends again today, distanced together.

The life.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you

Luke

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues.

Acts 2,Luke 24:49 (9-11)

It’s Pentecost today, the 50th day from Easter Sunday. It is Luke who describes what happened that day, more than 2,000 years ago. Luke is one of the ‘four evangelists’, the authors of the canonical gospel. He is also the patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers, a somewhat strange mix of people. It is thought that he himself was a physician. So he must have known a lot about the difficulties of communication, even when people are speaking the same language. And then, one day, all of a sudden, people as different as the Medes and the strangers of Rome understood each other. Tongues of fire.

We went to mass again for the first time in a very long time. When I was listening to the Gospel I thought about the importance of understanding each other, of making sure to listen to each other, of rather than talking at each other of talking with each other. If the Elamites and the dwellers of Mesopotamia managed to understand each other, surely we can too.


Pádraig discovered another way to keep fit for the #Iron-Month and to use The Weight.

Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a bit of enthusiasm and imagination? In case you were wondering, The Weight is securely attached to his ankle using one of the attachments from the Lokomat. A brilliant idea. Pádraig is lifting The Weight up without any help, just a bit of secure guidance, so that the leg wouldn’t accidentally turn over to one side and be pulled into the wrong direction.

Nothing like a bit of fun and variation.


I am still re-discovering English-language songs I grew up with and never understood. One of these songs is The Weight. You might know it from the movie Easy Rider or The Last Waltz. Even when I finally begun to recognise the words, I didn’t really understood the lyrics. According to Robbie Robertson, the song was inspired by the movies of Luis Beñuel (“Thank God, I’m an atheist“) in which people were trying but failing to be good, like in Viridiana.

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)

Robbie said about The Weight, that it was a story very similar to those Buñel told in his movies. Someone saying to someone else who is on the way to Nazareth,

“Listen, would you do me this favour? When you get there will you say ‘hello’ to somebody or will you give somebody this or will you pick up one of these for me? Oh? You’re going to Nazareth, that’s where the Martin guitar factory is. Do me a favour when you’re there.” This is what it’s all about. So the guy goes and one thing leads to another and it’s like “Holy shit, what’s this turned into? I’ve only come here to say ‘hello’ for somebody and I’ve got myself in this incredible predicament.” It was very Buñuelish to me at the time.”


For many years, Pádraig went on a German pilgrim train to Lourdes over Pentecost week. The first time was in 2015, just after he had been discharged the previous January from hospital and, over Easter, a relatively minor follow-up operation. We arrived at the Diepholz train station by car which I had collected from friends in Dublin the previous day. At the time, Pádraig had a PEG. It was the very first time that he joined a large group of people. Travelling and socialising. It was magic. For all of us. Because we had been told by many that none of this would ever happen to him. We all kept trying.

Last night was the final of the Eurovision song contest. Ireland (Maps) didn’t make it, Germany (I dont feel hate) tried to be cheerful but you know how German cheerfulness can go down. I liked the classy French entry. In the end (“Rock’n Roll Will Never Die”), the Italian song took the night, France came second. Not the typical Eurovision entry, in Italian, and super cool. “Make some noise!”

Overall, the Eurovision won. It’s 65 years old and still rocking. They keep trying.


So do the #IronMonth participants whose last week is coming up.

Please keep supporting the participants.


Is it worth to keep trying? Trying to be good? Even when we speak (or sing) different languages? Or don’t understand what we are saying even when we do speak the same language?

Pentecost is about understanding each other, no matter what language we speak, or what background we come from, as long as we take a load off Fanny and put the load right on us.

Share the burden. Together celebrate our achievements. Have a bit of fun.

German cheerfulness (or jokes for that matter) will never travel that well, the Brits got “zéro point”, France were chique, and Italy won with a classic rock’n roll song in Italian.

Let’s keep trying to be good. We might fail many times.

One day we will succeed. Our Day Will Come.

Brendan

“As a society we look back now on how we treated children 20, 30, 40 years ago and we go, ‘God, that was an awful country we lived in’. We will look back on how we treat those children now and we will go, ‘that was an inhumane country we lived in’.”

Brendan O’Connor

That’s what I am thinking about how society treats those with a severe Acquired Brain Injury (sABI). One day we will look back.

The thing is, I don’t have to look back. Brendan does not have to look back. Society does not have to look back.

We just have to open our eyes.

And then take responsibility. Don’t blame anybody else. It’s up to us to change what is utterly wrong.

Brendan did that last week on his Sunday radio show on RTEOne when he interviewed Professor Richard Dawkins.

The former Oxford Professor for Public Understanding of Science had said that bringing a child with Down Syndrome into the world was “immoral.” A woman had asked him about the real ethical dilemma she would face if she found out her unborn child would have Down Syndrome. Dawkins replied to the woman, saying: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”

Brendan asked for evidence for this – to which Dawkins stepped back from his stance a little bit, stating he may have been “putting it a little too strongly.” – “Given that the amount of suffering in the world probably does not go down, probably does go up, compared to having another child who doesn’t have Down Syndrome, then that’s what I meant”, he continued.

Brendan again asked about Dawkins’ evidence that people with Down Syndrome increase suffering, but the scientist was unable to back up what he just had stated. He went on to admit that he did not know anyone with Down Syndrome “intimately,” to which Brendan said: “Everyone has their own experience of it, and possibly my experience would be that you’re not necessarily right, and I think a lot of people would say you’re not necessarily right.

One listener commented, “I can name thousands of people without Down’s syndrome who actively reduce the amount of happiness and increase the amount of suffering in the world“.

I was asked by Pádraig’s surgeon in Cape Cod whether I really wanted for someone as active and young and intelligent as Pádraig to have an “intolerable life“, at a time when hospital staff had proposed not once, but many times, that we should consent to organ donation. A nurse beside his bed in the NRH asked us whether it wouldn’t have been better had he died. Someone commenting on an article in The Journal asked whether it wasn’t selfish for us to prolong Pádraig’s “suffering”. The country’s best known neurologist told us on national radio that we needed to understand that a health system with limited resources had to invest those resources in patients with a reasonable chance of a meaningful recovery.

And the list goes on.

Many of them were trained clinical professionals. But to me they sounded a bit like Jim Carey in Bruce Almighty.

You would have thought that those clinicians were all about evidence-based research and treatments. They would have data to back up what they were saying and were recommending. But, like the professor from Oxford, surprisingly they didn’t. They were following some home-made thinking.

The thing is, research has shown, as Professor Andreas Bender explained at the launch of the An Saol Project, that people with a brain injury are as happy and as unhappy, as people without a brain injury. Adapting the earlier quote, you could say, “I can name thousands of people without a brain injury who are deeply unhappy.”

People with a severe Acquired Brain Injury (sABI) are as happy or unhappy as anybody else. And they have a right to life as anybody else.

As Prof. Niall Moyna of Dublin City University’s School of Health and Human Performance said in today’s radio show with Brendan, regular physical exercise is central for all of our physical and mental wellbeing. Just that those who cannot exercise themselves, need help and support to do so.

This is what Pádraig and so many others are doing in the An Saol Foundation’s NeuroRehab Centre.

People all over the world are currently doing this as part of the Iron-Month.

Join them. It’s not too late.

Tell all your friends about it. Make this a global movement.

We have to start somewhere.

You have to start somewhere.

Prince

I don’t really care so much what people say about me because it usually is a reflection of who they are.

Prince

Prince really did not care what people said or thought about him. Otherwise he clearly would not have put on that suit and moved the way he did in the video to one of his most famous songs. His voice was something else. How he got those high notes is unbelievable. If anybody ever was just himself it was him.

I was curious what kind of extremes people were most interested in. So I googled “most”. Here is what I found out.

Out of the top seven searches, five were about the “most beautiful woman in the world”. Did Prince know that when he called his song The Most Beautiful Girl in the World?

I was surprised that there weren’t more different “most” searches people had tried like most difficult, or successful, or cruel, or energetic, or loving, or expensive, or economic.

The reason why I was looking for extremes is that there have been so many extremes in my life recently that I wondered about other people’s experience. – That did not get me very far. Maybe they were not interested in finding out about extremes?

To me, routine is boring – who wants to have a boring life?

On the other hand, constant and extreme change can be completely draining and overwhelming – who wants, non-stop, to have the carpet pulled under their feet?

I am where having a boring life, at least from time to time, doesn’t sound that unattractive anymore.


Pádraig is making good progress with the IronMonth, slow and steady. He is doing his regular distance on the MOTOmed and the Lokomat every weekday. On Monday, he’ll try out the water, for the first time in a long time. We have found a place that has a hydro-pool and is open.

More than 70 people in many different European countries have signed up to do the IronMonth. Check out the Picture Gallery and the recent Press Release.

It’s not too late to join – you just have to focus and finish up with all of us on Sunday, 30 May.


Not in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that my life turned out the way it did. That I would be as beaten, as energised; as battered, as strong; as deeply sad, as wildly positive; as clueless, as convinced; as I find myself today. Full of extremes.

At times I feel so disconnected, I find what is going on in the world of brain injury so mad, that I feel as if I wasn’t from this world. That they are of the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them.

I don’t really care so much what they say about me because it is a reflection of who they are.


Frederick

You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

Ginger Rodgers

There is the Mayday distress call. That was invented by Frederick Stanley Mockford in 1923. He was the senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London and was given the task of finding a suitable call. The majority of air traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris. He heard French pilots using the term ‘M’aidez’, literally help me. It sounded like “Mayday” and because it had a stronger sound that both English and French pilots were familiar with Mockford suggested Mayday.

There is the May Day, Labour Day. The Day that celebrates labourers and encourages them to be aware of their rights. In many countries it is a day for street demonstrations, union speeches, and celebrations.

May is the month many catholics devote to the Virgin Mary. Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus made a vow at the end of the 18th century to devote the month of May to Mary to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students.

On the eve of May Day, Saint Walpurga has been hailed by the Christians of Germany for battling “pest, rabies and whooping cough, as well as against witchcraft.” Christians prayed to God through the intercession of Saint Walpurga in order to protect themselves from witchcraft. It was the night that the witches gathered on the Blocksberg.


This year, May Day is also the first day of the Iron-Month, the first inclusive, community-based event bringing people together around the globe to swim, cycle and run the classic Ironman distances over one month, at their own pace and according to their own abilities. It’s not too late to join.

Join the Iron-Month Challenge on
www.iron-month.com

There is a well-founded rumour that some of the Master Swimmers of Dublin’s Phoenix Swimming Club are planning to sea swim the total 220km+ of the Ironman distance – to make up for us whims who are too afraid of the cold water and thus opt for an Iron-Month biathlon this year.

Isn’t that absolutely and totally amazing? Fair play to them.

There is a catch though. They made me promise that I will swim at least 100m on the last day of the Iron-Month on Killiney beach. – I am shivering at the thought of it. These guys don’t do wetsuits.


Pádraig did not go up to the Blocksberg last night. He joined some friends to go to the cinema. For the first time in many many month, he went out in the evening. He watched E.T. — the one who desperately wanted to phone home (these were the days before WhatsApp, Teams, and Zoom). They went to a ‘drive in’ cinema and he had the best night in a long time. When we asked him this morning it was a definite “5 out of 5” for fun and entertainment.

Today, he didn’t join a Labour Day March, didn’t listen to labour rights speeches, didn’t start devotions to the Virgin Mary, but went on a long walk to the fabulous Botanic Gardens. The Gardens were packed. Everybody seemed to have decided to enjoy the good weather and the incredibly beautiful spring colours and smells. Pádraig met loads of old friends he hadn’t seen in a while. No plan. Just coincidence. And so nice.

A few days ago, we were all listening to a song on the radio. We couldn’t remember who was singing it.

We used to be giants
When did we stop?

So we asked Pádraig did he know. We went through the alphabet and Pádraig bleeped at the “K”.

“K” for Kennedy, Dermot Kennedy. The song was “Giants“. It was released in June 2020. Seven years after his accident.

Pádraig knows his music and who is performing it better than any of us.

Sure, we knew this all along.

You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

Steve

You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.
If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.

Steve Jobs

Whatever Steve said or did, he is right on this one.

You have to be passionate about bringing change because otherwise you’ll never stick it out.

And you can only be passionate about something if you are feeling it. If it touches you deeply. If you are as close as you can get.

Passion is “a strong and barely controllable emotion”.

There is the option of checking tickets on the train. Regulating traffic. Working in a hospital, a school, a company. Anywhere where things are clear cut, organised, well-structured, regulated, foolproof. Where you follow the rules and fit in. And be happy with that. Because it leaves you with the time to go on your annual leave. Buy a car. A TV set. Get married and maybe buy a house and have children. And be happy.


The #IronMonth is going international.

So far, 29 friends of the An Saol Foundation have registered to take on the #IronMonth Challenge. The majority in Ireland, but quite a number also on the Canary Islands. While a few of the Irish participants will no doubt opt for this year’s option of a bi-athlon, given that swimming on the Irish shores is not everybody’s cup of tea and certainly not for the faint-hearted – our friends on the Canaries have the good weather, fine beaches, and warmer waters on their side.

Is anybody out there from another country who would like to start a team or, at least, is prepared to take on the challenge themselves? Could we be so bold and aim to have five countries represented in the #IronMan Challenge?

What about our friends in Germany or the USA? Or in Norway, France, Belgium, India, Croatia, Norway or China?

If you register this week, we will send you out one of these collectors’ T-Shirts, one of a kind! If that is not an incentive!

Where else would you participate in a swim, a cycle or a run where the motto is “Leave no one behind”? Where else would you find a community-based, fully inclusive challenge like the IronMonth?

Some of our friends in the An Saol Foundation’s Centre have already started the Challenge. We decided they should get a bit of a head start and lead by example.


You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.
If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.

The Iron-Month gives the space and the time for everybody with the passion to complete quite a tough challenge.

The An Saol Foundation and its NeuroRehab Day Centre in Santry are advocating for those who have been left behind. We are providing a service for those who have been seen by the health system as a bad investment.

The An Saol Foundation works in a fully inclusive and transparent way, with clients, families, and staff learning from each other and supporting each other to make life and living with a severe Acquired Brain Injury not just possible, but – at least at times – enjoyable and fun.

I have learned that we are not just filling a gap in service provision but that we are also changing the prevailing culture in healthcare for those with a brain injury.

I am burning with this idea, this problem, this wrong of a culture of neglect, secrecy, distrust, and exclusion which I want to right, even in the small setting of An Saol’s Centre and with a small number of families. I have learned that I have to be passionate about this to stick it out. There are more obstacles in the way than I ever imagined. But I am passionate and fully consumed by the idea, the problem and the wrong.

I know that I am not alone.

I know that we will succeed.

Like all the participants in our first Iron-Month Challenge.

We will leave no one behind.

Jan

It’s not about how much we lost. It’s about how much we have left.
We’re the Avengers.
We gotta finish this. You trust me?

Tony Stark (Iron Man)

In 2015, Jan Frodeno from Cologne/Germany made history, becoming the first triathlete, male or female, to win both the Olympic Triathlon Gold and the Ironman World Championship title. He won the Ironman World Championship again in 2016 and in 2019.

In many of his winning races, he does not produce the race’s fastest split in any portion of the race but he is very solid throughout.

The world is mixed up. So it doesn’t really matter adding to it by mixing up a quote from Iron Man and Avenger Tony Stark with real-life super athlete Jan Frodeno.

What both of them have in common is that they’re always gonna finish what they started.

And this is what they also have in common with the participants of the —

2021 Iron-Month Challenge

While the “official” start date for the Iron-Month Challenge is Saturday, 01 May 2021, we have given some of the participants attending the An Saol Foundation’s NeuroRehab Day Centre a bit of a head start this week.

Pádraig decided to stick with the biathlon version of the Iron-Month this year.

As all athletes, he has his recovery time scheduled in. So yesterday, we went for a long walk. It is the first weekend in Ireland that people can travel beyond the 5k limit anywhere in the county. We decided to go to the reservoir in the Dublin mountains that supplies the city with water, the Bohernabreena Reservoir.

It was a great walk. Blue skies. A fresh, cool breeze. Nearly perfection.

Tomorrow it’ll be back to the Iron-Month Challenge. With a solid performance.

He’s gonna finish it. I trust him more than anyone else.

Because it’s not about how much we’ve lost. It’s about how much we’ve left.