Donegal farmer to ‘inspire’ at motivational conference

Ramelton dairy farmer Billy McMahon will address the motivational ‘Inspire ’18’ conference at Solis Lough Eske Castle, Donegal town, on Saturday, April 14.

A trailblazer with the ‘Men on the Move’ initiative in Ray Community Centre, Co. Donegal, Billy lost 3st (19kg) after signing up for the exercise programme in September 2015.

After getting recommendations from other dairy farmers about the sessions, he decided the time was right for organised exercise. “I turned 50 that year and i had decided that I wanted to do something to become more active.”

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So strong was the interest in the HSE programme that was designed to be self-sustaining, that he had to wait until that December to sign up – and he continues to be involved.

The sessions include circuit training indoors as well as outdoor training. After shedding so much weight and enjoying the ‘feelgood factor’ of the group setting, Billy started to take part in adventure races.

Running, cycling and kayaking are now part of his routine. He is training for: the Omagh half-marathon on Saturday, April 7; the Donegal Ultra 555km cycle around the Wild Atlantic Way with three others from Men on the Move on June 22 and 23; and numerous other adventure races during the summer – including Gaelforce.

He laughingly agrees that he is addicted to exercise. “I’m loving it. I’m out three mornings a week at 6:00am training for the Omagh half-marathon.”

Billy farms 120ac and keeps 85 cows.

I spring calve so I dry off my cows for two months – two months of bliss. I would be very organised but I have become more organised since I started training. I’m getting more work done because I’m more focused.

“I am also a board member of Aurivo, representing Donegal farmers,” Billy said.

Having suffered from depression in the past, he urges anyone in a similar situation at present to listen to the advice they get about exercise.

“You don’t have to go mad like me. You could just join a walking group. If nothing else, you are in conversation with people.”

“One of the things I discovered while out and about is just how beautiful this country is, even down to the smells. You don’t appreciate the beauty from a car and that’s me from the country,” said Billy.

He is one of a large panel of speakers scheduled to address the conference.

Organiser Joe Coyle, of Joe Coyle Coaching, who works in financial services and is a part-time farmer and business coach, said he had attended other motivational events around the country and wanted to showcase ordinary people doing extraordinary things in Donegal.

Last year’s event was highly successful, and he decided to run the event again this year, he said.

Further information is available from Joe at: 087-2579931.