This is going to be a pretty short article, so it takes up very little of your time.


Recently I have started to keep a ‘Gratitude Journal’ to see what all the hype is about. I read about the 5 Minute Journal and the positive benefits that come with expressing daily gratitude, and noticing the positive things that happen on a day to day basis. So far, I have kept it for about 2 weeks, with 5 minutes in the morning, and 5 minutes before bed. It has really helped me maintain a positive perspective, even when things may initially seem like they are more negative than positive. It has also led me to spend a bit more time reaching out to friends and family that I may not have spoken with in a while. I actually have a bet on with myself to fill it in every day for 30 days. If I skip a day, I’m going to give €50 to charity, if I don’t skip a day it….I might give myself €50!


I think that whatever made me start keeping a gratitude journal, is also the thing that makes me want to build a company in ACLAÍ that serves our members, but also that gets involved in worthy charitable initiatives wherever possible. That’s why last year, we hooked up with Andrew Rea of Simply Suits, and Darren Prince, or the Prince Clinic to form Croí Cróga (translation: Brave Heart). With Croí Cróga, we have a team that takes part in events to raise funds for worthy causes. Last year we raised around €3500 for Arc House Cancer Support in Cork, by competing, winning, and setting a new course record in the Ocean to City Dragon Boat race. Not bad for the first day out for Croí Cróga.


This year, we are sending a team of walkers to the Isle of Mann to compete in the Parish walk. 85 grueling miles with a 24 hour cut off time, in aid of  Straight Ahead Ireland ( We want to raise €50000 for a replacement CT scanner at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin, that reduces the amount of radiation children are exposed to during scans. Check out this link to see the scanner in action ( The new scanner costs €420,000 and we are hoping that the €50 we raise will be enough to top up the kitty to the right amount. CLICK HERE TO GET INVOLVED OR DONATE


Being involved in initiatives like this shows the REAL challenges that people go through in life. Of course its hard to get stronger, more flexible, more active, and fitter in the gym. But that’s nothing compared to the hardship that people must endure when faced with serious illness. There are so many children and adults out there that go through tough times with illnesses with no complaining or self-pity. Funds are increasingly low for many charitable organizations, and seeing the difference that fund raising can make, really makes you appreciate what you have. Things may not be so bad after all. On top of this, being a part of Croí Cróga has been a welcome distraction from the hustle of setting up a new business; something than can easily carry you away on a wave of busyness, and a never-ending to-do’s. We train together for Croí Cróga events, we have fun while organizing our events, and best of all, we get to meet new people who join the Croí Cróga team all the time. It’s a win-win situation all round!


Here’s to giving. Ainle



This article is by Coach Ainle Ó Cairealláin. Sport and Exercise Scientist, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Managing director of ACLAÍ.