Ma, you’ll need to turn them away

It’s just over 11 years since I started my first proper job as a fitness professional.

It wasn’t anywhere near the level I’m at now with owning 2 gyms but it was a start and we all have to start somewhere.

it’s a funny story…

As I had been wrecking the managers head in the Hillgrove Leisure centre in Monaghan for months and even though she didn’t have any openings she eventually took me on as a fitness instructor via a government scheme.

That was February 2009…

But if I’m honest that wasn’t my true first attempt in fitness.

I had actually started “Dutchy’s Circuits” in Clones in September 2008 in the Canal stores hall.

It got right chat about the town and some even thought it was “Dutchy’s Circus” and got a bit confused.

Insert “You’re the right clown for it anyway” joke here of course

^^^^ Received plenty of those….

My marketing was the good aul fashioned leaflets being left everywhere as this was before social media and I didn’t have a baldy what an email list was.

But even with just these leaflets the chat was good.

Everyone I spoke to was asking me about it and going to be there.

All my mothers friends we’re going to attend.

People we’re texting me about it.

To the point I realised I could only hold about 20 people in this small hall.

There simply wouldn’t be enough space to hold these numbers.

So I had all these thought’s going through my head:

What will I do and how will I manage?

Will I have to turn people away?

Would the hall be so rammed that it would just be stupid and no one would enjoy it?

All of a sudden I had a brain wave.

Ma was going to attend, she’s always knocked about these classes and of course she was going to support me

So the plan was that Ma was to stand at the door and tell them that’s there’s no room at the Inn

We’re full up!!

And I think I had 2 sessions, one 7 till 7:45 and the other was 8 until 8:45 so if the first class was full…

Ma could could tell them to come back for the 8:00 session.

And of course what happened?

Only 5 people turned up…

and my heart sank!

It’s maybe a minute after 7 and I’m looking over at the door to Ma as if to say

“You can let the rest in now Ma what are ya at???”

and she’s looking at me to say

“Sorry, but there’s no one there!”

And so was my first bubble-bursting, humbling story of self employment,

Unfortunately the first of many.

However, eventually the classes built up very well to where I had to move to a bigger hall.

I learnt loads from doing it so I’ll always appreciate all the folks who helped me out back then.

I also got into the Hillgrove full time so I was full time there, my classes 2 evenings a week, playing the footie, doing every fitness cert imaginable and out on the lash most Saturday nights.

Busy as these times where they we’re also tough and I actually didn’t think I would see as busy a time again

But opening 3 gyms in the past 9 years (closing 1) has seen many a busy time,

and the past 8 weeks has been as stressful as any of those and let’s face it, the next 3-4 months are going to be the same,

if not even tougher.

But there’s a lot of other business owners in a similar situation and lots of people losing jobs etc

and some people have it much worse of course so that’s just the times we are in.

So we have 2 options:

  1. Wallow in our self pity and feel sorry for ourselves
  2. roll the sleeves up and get after it.

For me I’m defiantly in the option 2 camp

So while “Dutchy’s Circus” might be a ran by a clown

I’m not the type of clown to give up that easily.

For example,

Our online program has never been going as well as it is now.

Everyone is loving the quality and the quantity of the classes we’re running.

But their also loving all the Nutritional support and saying they’ve never done any online program like it.

If I’m honest,

Before all this I was a bit hesitant to do much online as online can get a bad wrap for having so many poor trainers on there.

But the feedback we’ve been getting from people has shown me that if anything,

We should of done this even sooner.

The best bit is that some people are making even better progress in the lockdown than before as they are showing up so committed and ready to get involved.

So, if you want to start making progress in lockdown reply with “I’m In” and I’ll help you get started.

Think Big And Kick Ass



I’m working on ideas to get us going in some capacity ASAP and have been doing a lot of phone calls and emailing back and forth.

I can’t say for certain when we will get opening again but here’s my question to you

Why do your health & fitness goals NEED to wait until we are open?

Yes, when we open it’s going to be great to have the community coming together again and getting the in person workouts done.

So if you want to get some help, support and accountability then reply to this email with “I’m In” and we will get you started.