In September 2016 I was taking part in The Great Dublin 60k bike ride. I was about 10k into the route when I partnered up with another woman who was doing the cycle for the first time. And that is how Laura and I met.
I don't think I'd have finished the full 60k without her support. We chatted and talked from one station to the next, giving each other encouragement when we were beginning to flag. We were so proud of ourselves when we eventually crossed the finish line.
When she asked me to talk at their Operation Transformation launch in Jan 2017, I was honoured to do so. It was then that I realised that the real leaders of this programme are not the ones who go onto National TV (in their lycra!) but rather the people like Laura who bring it to life in their communities. I was totally blown away by the lengths that these organisers go to. Yes there are weigh ins and 5k walks. But on top of that they measure BMI, blood pressure as well as coordinating aerobic, spinning and running classes. And all on a totally VOLUNTARY basis.
This year I was equally as happy to be back at their launch. And Laura was still there putting us through our paces.
It hasn't been all health and fitness! There was a very memorable night at the Sheep Shearing festival in Roscommon to see Nathan Carter!
Laura really is a fantastic woman and I am very proud to call her my friend. Here's to many more events!
Congratulations Laura x