Crossfit – Michael O'Riordan

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Michael prior to the accident

Most of the CFD members would know Michael O’Riordan, below is an a little peace from his current trainer  Ger at CF Mallow.

Date: Early July 2011. Location: CrossFit Mallow

In walks a confident, well turned out young man through the doors of CrossFit Mallow. He neither looked, spoke nor behaved like a local as he had a touch of a Dublin swagger about him. (I mean that in the nicest possible sense as a Corkman!) After chatting to Michael for a few minutes I learned that he was from nearby Mourne Abbey and a member of CrossFit Dublin. He was full of the joys of life as he filled me in on his plans for the ‘round the World adventure’ he was about to embark on.  The talking soon stopped as the workout of the day was Filty 50, Michael tore into the workout at a ferocious rate. I remember thinking to myself ‘a novice mistake to make, he’ll soon blow up’ If anything it’s faster he got as the workout progressed and he finished well ahead of everyone else in the class whilst displaying perfect technique on all movements. I was well impressed to say the least. Having seen recently at the Optimum Performance Training Seminar in CF Dublin the intensity and approach the guys there take to their training under the tutelage of Michael Price I’m not surprised at how excellent an athlete Michael was.

Date Late July 2011. Location: Cambodia & Bangkok.

So Michael went on his way and I wished him well on his travels. I thought no more of Michael until a few weeks later when Niamh Sweeney informed me he had been in an extremely serious accident in Cambodia and was receiving treatment in hospital in Bangkok.  Michael speaks highly of the treatment he received in Bangkok which effectively saved his life. The insurance company on the other hand he does not speak so highly of. Having worked in that industry for a year prior to becoming a fitness instructor I am not surprised by anything they do. They make bankers and politicians seem like saints.

Fast forward to late Autumn/early Winter last year and in walks Michael again through the doors of CrossFit Mallow. This time he was aided by two crutches and moving quite slowly. He suffered severe injuries in the crash that include but isn’t limited to, a broken pelvis, broken ribs and muscle damage to his left leg. Michael had spent a long time in a hospital bed in Bangkok and CUH and consequently had lost most, if not all, the hard earned muscle tissue he had gained in his year of CrossFit prior to the accident. I spent a while listening to Michael tell me of his ordeal and I remember being full of admiration for the strength of character he had shown. Trapped in the bus for hours before being cut out he described how he kept telling himself that this was just like a tough CrossFit workout that he simply had to finish and get through. Nobody can possibly imagine what it must have been like to be there, words can not do a situation like that justice. The fact that Michael was physically fit and strong, mentally tough and determined, undoubtedly saved his life. Michael Price in Dublin should take a lot of pride in knowing his work helped create an individual like Michael O’Riordan that is made of such stern material.

Over the last six months or so Michael has worked diligently during the lunchtime class at CrossFit Mallow 2/3 days per week. He started with what he could do and he worked from there. Most of the lunchtime crew were unaware of how serious Michaels accident and injuries were. I let it to Michael to inform them if he so wished. Michael isn’t the kind of man that looks for sympathy or pity from anyone. Day by day he has improved and slowly regained his athleticism. He is first in the doors at 12pm and immediately puts on a weight vest and gets to work. He is last to leave at 2pm after pushing himself through the pain barrier every time. There have been milestones along the way such as his first (since last July) handstand and muscle up. The smile on his face after the muscle up was a beautiful thing to witness. I genuinely had a lump in my throat. (Don’t tell anyone!) It was symbolic of how he had finally overcome the accident, the past 10 months and all the emotions and turmoil that went with it. He wiped the slate clean if you will and has now started to get with on the rest of his life. Michael has slotted in well with the lunch time crew and will be missed when he moves back toDublin.

Date: Today. Location: Mallow

I am fortunate to have gotten to know Michael quite well over the past few months and I think there is a mutual respect between us. I have nothing but admiration for the man and his approach to not just the accident but everything in life. He has tremendous self belief and self confidence. Michael will be coaching the lunchtime classes while I am away in Copenhagen  (May 24th-29th) I am always on the lookout from within CrossFit Mallow for individuals with the eye for movement, attention to detail and ability to pass on that information in an unobtrusive and skillful way. Michael has those qualities and I’m looking forward to hearing how he gets on with coaching the classes. Information Technology is his profession but I’m sure there is room for him in the CrossFit World with the type of drive, determination and never say die attitude he demonstrates so perfectly well. In order to get anywhere in life we need to demonstrate the qualities just mentioned but in my opinion the most important quality of all is the ability to persevere. Perseverance for the long haul when nobody is watching and the going is tough. That quality is what separates the good from the great.

Does Michael have it? I think those that have seen him since last July know the answer to that one. It’s been a pleasure working and getting to know Michael. Best of luck with your future Mick!

7.30pm 201 cancelled for tonight in city centre

Workout of the day:

A. HSPU: 4 x 3-5 @21×2

rest 2:30 b/t set

B. Power Clean: 2 reps every 30 sec for 6 min. @ 80%1RM

C. Split Jerk: work to a moderate single rep

D. Split Jerk: 5 x 1 @85% of today’s single,

rest 60 sec’s b/t set

Fish Oil for a Healthier Gut
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