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.