I’ve been surrounded by sports and therapies for as long as I can remember. My dad was a Gaelic Football player/coach; he was also a reflexologist and interested in alternative medicine – he had an open mindset.
I was born in Sligo, west of Ireland, the youngest of eight. When I was 15, I wanted to be a professional footballer, but I got a lot of overuse injuries. I saw lots of physios who all told me to stop training. That’s when my life changed.
I’ve always been hands-on; my alternative therapy upbringing influenced me big time. I had a go at my first massage when I was nine – but I was always fascinated by how the human body moved...and why I couldn’t play football for a living.
So I studied hard, specialising in coaching and overuse injuries wherever possible. Overuse injuries are those recurring, niggling pains like a toothache...they don’t stop you training but they affect your performance...it was a torture I knew well.
This is where I started to understand pain and when I learned that the brain is the most powerful part of the human body. I soon realised that physiotherapists are not trained exercise specialists, just as GPs know little about athletic performance, so I studied some more, learning about ‘sports medicine’ and strength and conditioning.
And then it all fell into place. I set up ProCare in September 2014 with the absolute belief that I can make anyone better.
Getting people excited about getting better even though they’re injured is the best buzz I’ve ever felt. That, and educating people about their bodies, making them realise that they don’t have to be satisfied with what’s out there already. If medication and surgery isn’t working, there’s nothing else for you, that’s just so wrong. There’s so much more you can do, and the research shows it too.
I believe in what I do, I know it works and everyday I get to change someone’s life – to get them back to doing what they enjoy, which is what I love: sport, fitness, movement.