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The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf and I

20 Jan

The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf, and I

Where I’m coming from:

Two years ago I was introduced to a man that I would grow to both love and despise, for the same reasons and in equal measures. He would eventually transform me into the woman I always wanted to be, all the while ordering me to get on my knees, lie down, jump up, push harder and generally, be different.

He is my Personal Trainer.

This time last year I was knee deep in table plans, RSVP’s and ribbon. It was the build up to my wedding in May and the best gift I could possibly receive (apart from my husband’s hand, of course!) was from the superstar Personal Trainers at The Edge Clontarf who awarded me an incredible prize of 12 weeks personal training.

I literally worked my ass off weight training 3 days a week with Matt, my trainer, plus a couple of extra days in the gym, coupled with a healthy and very balanced eating plan the weight fell off and the muscle built up. I lost 21lbs/9.5kilos and felt 18 again. It was extremely hard work but it was also the single most rewarding challenge I have ever taken on.

Alas, my honeymoon in Sicily included lots of pizza and pasta and the following months passed with a guilty conscience and an expanding waistline. I didn’t let myself go completely, but there was a marked difference between the Fiona Bride and the Christmas Fiona.

Now I am back, and through my collaboration with the Herald and The Edge Clontarf, I plan to show people the incredible results that can be achieved in only 6 weeks. It’s hard work, it includes sacrifice and dedication but I have learned my lesson this year. I will never feel bad about my body again!

The Herald is following 3 victims/volunteers over a 6 week period and will publish our results at the end. Watch this space!


Friday 13th Jan – 10 stone 7lbs or 67 kilos

Friday 20th Jan – 10 stone 5lbs or 66 kilos

Body fat from 21% to 20%

Week One

Training Day one:

Friday the 13th Jan. What a great day to start. What else happened on Friday the 13th? All I can think about is those poor souls who’s plane crashed in the Andes and they were forced to feed on their dead friends to stay alive, they flew on Friday 13th. And then there’s Jason, he butchered lots of buxom blonde’s and beefy jocks, albeit fictional, but there’s a reason the film uses that date.

My first training session in The Edge: Clontarf felt like Jason had drained all the blood from my body while beating me with an iron bar and chasing me at high speed in an oxygen deprived chamber. I was pathetic! David, my personal trainer, was impatient and pushed me to my limit but his expertise recognized when I was on the brink and allowed me to breathe. These little triumphs, i.e. permission to breathe, become as significant as curing cancer when in training in The Edge.

I did my best, which was weak and feeble, but began eating well immediately. I wasn’t going to feel nauseous, light headed, muscle cramp and sheer exhaustion just to negate the benefits with a mere baguette.

Training Day two:

Saturday 14th Jan. Alex, the baby faced assassin of The Edge! He is young, cute, fit and a genuine, lovely guy, but he will annihilate you. Boxing was the punishment of the hour and I was actually looking forward to it.

Be careful what you wish for.

Punching the pads, while bouncing around the gym trying to hit hard and focus on the combinations is great method in keeping your mind off the jelly forming in the legs, the vacuum being created within the lungs and the sudden inability to move your arms faster than the speed of Nana, at least for about 30 seconds.

Boxing is about strength and cardio, which, for an ex long term smoker, is the stuff of torture. We used the bag; we squatted, lunged, crunched and rowed. All agonising but the time flies by and after one hour, it’s done! It took my face around an hour to return to its former pale complexion and dinner would most definitely be fish and greens. I worked too bloody hard to ruin it in the seconds it takes to munch some fatty rubbish.

Training Day three:

Monday 16th Jan. Ciaran, The Edge trainer of the year 2011. They are pimping me about The Edge but it is all the same program that David has set. It gives me an opportunity to report on all their skills and to give a broad overview of the facility. Oh and to prove my theory that personal trainers are obviously of a certain sadistic, evil ilk!

Already I feel a little stronger, we did some more dreaded squats and lunges and I was very ungracefully arched over a monstrosity of a machine that works (and punishes) the “love handle” area while pounding the pelvic bone, and not in a good way. Ouch!

The laughs were loud as it always is in The Edge, they really are good guys, but nothing can drown out the shrieks of frustration when the two 6 kilo weights refuse to go higher than the top of my head. It’s not even just pain, it’s utter resistance and muscles just shut down refusing point blank to answer. This is the beginning of the inner challenge to get stronger and nail those presses.

Training Day four:

Wednesday 18th Jan. James, co-director of The Edge (with David) and a very buff and very bendy champion kick-boxer. He murdered me. I actually think a part of me died in the gym that day. I have decided it was a fat part of me that died.

The previous day I had a leisurely swim and sauna to sweat out any toxins I may be holding on to and felt refreshed and ready to tackle the weights, little did I know what awaited me in Clontarf that day. Not only was I subjected to squats and lunges with weights, but James thought it beneficial to give my abs several open handed slaps while I held my knees up and hung from bars. With a brain void of oxygen and focused only on staying alive, the only retaliation I was capable of in my exhausted state was name calling. They are tough guys though and don’t seem to take any offence.

Eating MUST remain uber healthy. I am not suffering this for nothing!