Maintaining fitness is difficult for both mums and dads! Today, I wanted to acknowledge that Dads also have many challenges to overcome when it comes to maintaining their health and fitness too. Kieran works in the Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) industry, working 40 days on, 16 off. His work days start at 3:30am and including transport finish at about 5:30 pm. Kieran then finds the energy to fit in a training session! On his days off, Kieran is up early to train so that his evenings are kept free, ensuring he can participate in the evening bath and story time routine with his children. Although, if he misses his am session, Kieran will head out after his children are in bed asleep. Kieran has not always been this fit and active though. Read on to learn about his journey.
Can you tell us a bit about your family?
My wife and I have met at high school in the 90’s and have been inseparable ever since. We are both 34, and have two children, our daughter who is nearly 7, and our little man who is 3. I work in the FIFO construction industry and have done so for the majority of my working life. My wife has been a full time mum for nearly 8 years now, but will probably look to re-enter the workforce part time in the coming year as our son heads off to kindergarten.
Is your family active?
My family is very active. My wife is a ‘gym class junkie’. I enjoy swimming, riding and running. We both love our stand up paddle boarding and have a couple of our own boards. My daughter has just started playing netball and she loves it. She is also a great little Jazz dancer. We take her on bike rides, although her coordination and confidence on the bike are still developing. We are starting to encourage her to practice running too. She has a tall, lean physique (unlike her father), so she will make a great runner. My son, being only three, does activities like ‘Ready, Steady, Go! Kids’ which is great as it gives him opportunities to try different sports each week. ‘Sporty Kids’ is another program we have him in, and on Saturdays he does ‘Rugby Tots’ which is a newish program to Townsville, where children learn all things footy; catching, passing, kicking and most importantly shaking hands with their teammates when coach blows the whistle. (How Cute!)
Have you always been fit and active?
Sadly, no. I played team sport as a teenager, but I never really felt I ‘fitted in’ that much and when I started work after high school I stopped playing sport altogether. That absence of being active lasted about 16 years, although there were a few attempts to go for a run etc, I never committed to it, it was just a fad for me. Until I realized I had to change.
You have a public Facebook page sharing your weight loss and fitness journey. What inspired you to do this?
I used to come across as a happy, jovial guy but the reality was I wasn’t. In early August 2015 I was overweight, unhappy, a lazy father, and a lazy husband. My home life was starting to be affected. My 6 days off work with my family was never that enjoyable, purely because my attitude to everything sucked. My wife and I had an honest with each other one night. We openly discussed what I needed to change, although I knew what I needed to do, I just wasn’t committed to change then….After our conversation I knew I HAD to change. I had to lose weight, adjust my attitude, genuinely put the time and effort into my kids, and just generally be a nicer person. My wife will always be by my side, shes my best friend. I knew she would support me, and she has.
First things first I needed to start to lose weight. To put it bluntly, it’s no fun being fat! Clothes are tight, or way too baggy and look horrible, exercising sucks etc. I asked a friend of mine who has a Facebook page for FIFO people to post a question online asking if I could reach out to someone to point me in the right direction about food habits. A lady from the blue mountains reached out to me, offering to help guide me and answer any questions I had. Since then my eating habits changed, I’ve got into exercise, I’m happy, I’m a better dad, and a better husband.
I wanted to share my journey with others because having worked FIFO for so long, I noticed a lot of colleagues are inactive, drink a lot, smoke, their guts overhang their work pants… It’s just not a healthy lifestyle to live. I wanted to prove that although living in a FIFO environment and not having all the choices that other people do in regards to food etc that it is still possible to have a healthy lifestyle.
What events you have competed in?
It seems like all I ever do is train train train! Due to my work roster I miss out on a lot of events. This year I have done the ANZAC 100 (1km Swim, 90km bike ride, 9km run) held by the Free Radicals Triathlon Club. I have also done two Outer Limits Trail Runs, I’ve fallen in love with trail running.
What do you see as your biggest success in your journey so far?
A few things really – My home life is great, my relationship with my kids is brilliant, and my wife and I are just superb – my family are #1 for me so I had to sort that out. I’ve also lost about 15kg, which I’m super proud of. I have remained committed to my goals, and stayed true to my training plan. Training solo at work for six weeks at a time is challenging. I run and ride along lonely Pilbara roads sharing them with road trains, busses and stray cattle, I’ve swum thousands of laps of the 25m pool at work, dodging bomb diving larrikins who have been on the drink all day….
What is your next goal?
My next goal is to finish Cairns 70.3 (half ironman) on the 12th June, which is my first Ironman event, and not get caught crying on camera as I cross the finish line! I think all the emotions of what I’ve done to get to this point will come flooding out… I’m a shocker, I’ve been welling up watching youtube videos of inspirational Ironman finishers. After that is ‘The Townsman’ in August which is a full iron distance triathlon over three days – the marathon is a bit daunting but I’ll just keep the legs ticking over until I finish. I am nervous, but confident that I can finish. My swim is the weakest leg, but my coach assures me I will be fine. I just need to find my rhythm and off I go. Let’s just hope I don’t swim like I skip (round and round in circles).
What tips do you have for other Mums and Dads also wanting to start or continue a fitness journey?
Make a commitment to yourself to be better than you were. Get a good support network, but to do that you need to be 100% committed to making a change. The only thing they will say if you don’t go at it 100% is “see I knew he / she wouldn’t do it”…that there should be motivation to prove people wrong. Just get out the door and be active. Eventually you will find something you love, keep doing it, keep getting up and turning up, things will change,..trust me.
Don’t stress on the down days if you miss a session, just let it go and move forward tomorrow. I used to hate running and swimming, it hurt, but I kept showing up and putting in the effort. Now I love throwing on my running shoes and running for an hour or more.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Becoming active is the best thing! Although, your bank account will cop a bit of a hiding with event entries, new shoes, bikes etc…If you get healthy, your outlook on everything changes. Fit/active people are generally positive, happy people, and they are the best people to be around.
What a fantastic story! Kieran has completely transformed his life, and is now inspiring others to do the same. We love to celebrate all fit mums and dads here at SRM. If your one, or know of one, head over to our Facebook Page and nominate them now simply by sending a pm!
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