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‘Three lessons learned as a result of my experience’




I started back working in The Sports centre this week and it was nice to be back teaching for the new term. It didn’t feel like much of a transition, probably helped by the fact that I have been training 3-4 times per week in there this month.


The levels I teach range from deep end swimmers right down to the small pool where children take their first tentative steps into learning how to swim. Some of the apprehensive young swimmers had their fears confirmed when they seen a fella going to teach them in the baby pool, dirty looks and some waterworks were triggered from the children clinging tightly to Mammy’s leg. Some more coaxing ensued that everyone participated in the lesson. I’d like to think that it was my warm and welcoming persona that had changed their minds but the promise of playing with toys for the entire class seems the more likely answer.

Lesson 1: People care more than you think.

This part is going to sound like bragging, but it really isn’t. I had so much support throughout every step of my recovery. My phone was overflowing with messages of well wishes once I was back on social media, tons of people came to visit me when I arrived home, enough get well soon and mass cards to double the share price of Hallmark and there was even a mass said for me. Friends were brilliant for bringing me for spins to football games, to the cinema or even just for keeping me company while I recovered at home. The thing is, sometimes we can’t see how much our absence would affect the people in our lives. Although I realise that we can’t all have that outpouring of support and love shown to us on a daily basis, we can live with the knowledge that the love is there for us.


Lesson 2: Don’t sweat the small stuff

Although I’m aware that it’s an overused cliché, this doesn’t make it any less true. When I was in hospital me and my family agreed that we wouldn’t argue over silly things anymore, we’d be living saints to everyone. I’d say it lasted a week before I was berating my brother for eating the last bag of Tayto left in the house which I had hidden in the kitchen. It’s very easy to slip into old habits. One thing I’ve done to try and keep things in perspective is set the unlock code on my phone to the date I had a brain haemorrhage. Will I remember what was annoying me today in a week? Tomorrow? An hour?  The majority of these ‘problems’ don’t require you to stress over them, get thick about or waste energy thinking about them.


Lesson 3: Nothing really changes (unless you change it)

What changed once I recovered? I didn’t wake up a millionaire, Ireland wasn’t suddenly experiencing tropical weather and the visits from friends became more infrequent. The world keeps turning, you’re just 1/7,700,000,000 of the planet’s population. You’re pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. However, my attitude to things has changed drastically in the past couple of months. I wouldn’t recommend having a brain haemorrhage to appreciate what’s going on in your life, and really is it even necessary? Luckily, I have came out the other side of my encounter the exact same as I was before physically. However, my mindset is far different to before. This isn’t because I could have bit the dust, it’s because I chose to change it.

Don’t forget that it’s still not too late to register for the Swim to Recovery Challenge, you can pick any distance you like which would represent a challenge for you whether that is your first 1km swim or the 10km swim there’s something to suit everyone. There is a training program sent out weekly to keep you on track for your goal.





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