How Saoirse Turned Failure Into Success - StrongLife

How Saoirse Turned Failure Into Success


Today, I’m delighted to be writing about how Saoirse turned failure into success.

Like many in Ireland, Saoirse is pursuing a career in An Garda Síochána.

Now one of the main obstacles in the path of new recruits is the Garda fitness exam

Back in March this year, Saoirse took her first run at the fitness exam.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan.

I’ll let Saoirse tell you a bit about it herself.

Dealing With Frustration

“Devastated, angry and frustrated is how failing a fitness test feels like.

I had always been a gym goer and thought of myself as ‘fit’.

But after failing my first attempt at the Garda fitness test, I quickly realised being ‘strong’ doesn’t necessarily mean you are fit.

For my age category, the test is composed of a Beep test where I had to hit level 7.6.

30 sit ups in a Minute and 20 Push ups.

Then there is an obstacle course and a Push-Pull machine test for strength and force”.


When Saoirse messaged me back in March, she was very disheartened.

She had been doing her runs and gym work, so was deflated to have failed.

Like many people, Saoirse went it alone in her pursuit of passing.

However, when she fell short she didn’t just quit.

Instead, she chose the best way to deal with failure.

And that’s to get help to ensure success.

So I was only delighted to help her out and got to work right away.

Putting In The Work

“On my first visit with Colm in StrongLife Gym, we ran the beep test and I was just about hitting 5.2,

My pushups were Ok but needed work too.

I visited Colm twice a week for 9 weeks.

We focused on lots of fitness work and strength training.

I was running the beep test and lots of upper body workouts in our Personal Training sessions.

Then the 2 other days I followed a plan Colm had done for me in my local gym.

And I done a 5km run in the park once a week.

Every week I was getting a higher score in the beep test with help from Colm.

I definitely needed his encouragement to push through the levels and eventually I hit my goal.”


To be fair, Saoirse made my job a little easier than normal.

She followed everything I told her to do, not just in the gym but outside of it too.

And most importantly, she trusted the process.

She understood there would be the odd bad day, but as the weeks went by she seen great progress.

And we didn’t even fall out once, even if I tested her patience with jokes too early in the morning.

Turning Failure Into Success

“A few people had told me ‘If you have any basic fitness you will be grand’ .

This was not the case for me.

It took 2 months of hard work and commitment to reach required  level of fitness.

But it was worth it, as on the day of my repeat I flew through the exam and felt so happy afterwards.

I now enjoy running a lot more than I used to and have greatly improved my fitness levels and overall health.

I cannot thank Colm enough for all his help and encouragement and keeping moral high with his silliness.”


For me, there’s always nerves on the day anyone has a competition or fitness test.

Because I love seeing people succeed after putting in the work.

So I was delighted when my phone beeped with the following message:

“Smashed it! Thanks a mill for all the help, couldn’t have done it without you shouting at me every week!”

The shouting part may not be true because it was generally nonsense or lyrics from that song Old Town Road which I only know 6 words of.

Saoirse has since been back in the gym with a happy head on her, and that’s what makes this job worth it.

Seeing the happiness on people who achieve their goals.

And best yet, she’s still training away and looking at some new goals in the future.

Because there’s no point putting the feet up now.

Set goals, achieve them, then challenge yourself again.

What Makes StrongLife Different And Would You Recommend It?

“I would highly recommend Stronglife gym as it has a very positive atmosphere.

Everyone has the craic and you can be sure to leave smiling.

Colm keeps a close eye on everyone making sure their techniques are right while informing you of “interesting” facts.

I definitely will be continuing to train at StrongLife Gym”.


Saoirseen has been a fantastic client and I’m genuinely delighted to see her succeed.

And she’s always welcome here as she brings a fun, positive attitude into the gym.

Although we have similar (strange) senses of humour which is dangerous.

So well done Saoirse!

Keep up the good work!

Up Sligo!




P.s. If you want an extra dose of overcoming failure/adversity, I highly recommend you pick up Ryan Holiday’s book called “The Obstacle Is The Way”.

Colm Duignan