Staring into the abyss 


This past Sunday I decided to tackle something I hadn’t done in a while. 

Something that held a little fear, something that got me out of my comfort zone. As you know be by now, something I do on purpose on a weekly basis to keep moving forward, to keep growing and to keep me on my toes. 

For me, staying still and stagnant is not something that interests me. I like to challenge myself, to put pressure on myself (quite often too much) to succeed and get “better”. 

The quarry steps in Dalkey/ Killiney hill is something that was a staple of my rugby training for my 20 year career, running up and down them (117 steps each way, 18 times was my record.) 

I hadn’t done them in just over 5 years, so I went up with a friend and just went with a goal of 8 times in my head to achieve. When we jogged from the car park to the bottom of the steps, looking up at the challenge ahead, it dawned on me, 


This is going to be TOUGH, I’m gonna have burning calves, my lungs will be screaming for help, my legs would give up and I’d be walking like mr blobby back to the car at the end. People I have done these before with have got stuck up the top

So the message I want to help you with today was this

Trying to motivate myself to do it

Staring into the abyss


When you are facing a long hard slog ahead, whatever it may be, health and fitness related, work, relationships, it can often feel like a mountain to climb. 

And maybe you’re right, 


It’s how you pre-frame it, view, approach it and then tackle it, that will determine how you overcome it. 

Quite often from the outside looking in, a challenge or obstacle can seem terrifying, but when you break it down into smaller, simpler mini tasks, it immediately turns it into an “I can do that” instead of an “Oh shit that’s too big a mountain to climb.” 

Take your health and fitness journey for example. 

Humour me… 

You have two stone you want / need to lose. You are lost with your nutrition, you are not getting results from walking or yourself made or magazine gym workouts, you are confused with what “diet” you should choose. 

The vicious circle continues, as your motivation wanes, because you are not seeing results quick enough and you are wondering why you are making all these sacrifices. 

Pretty quickly, you are back to square one. 


Because you didn’t use the latest knowledge in how to do it, you used techniques you thought might work and implemented them (roughly). 

  1. You didn’t figure out:
    • What you wanted to achieve
    • What you needed to do to achieve it
    • Who you needed to be, to do what needed doing, to achieve it
  2.  You had a far-fetched expectation of what you could achieve in too short a time
  3.  You didn’t have someone there to push you when the workouts got tough
  4.  You didn’t have someone to support you and pick you up when you felt a bit useless because you gave up…again
  5.  You didn’t have someone looking over your shoulder, when you thought no one was looking, when you ate that food that didn’t serve you well…again 

Instead try this. 

Find out exactly what you need to do, that will get you where you need to go, in the most efficient way possible, in the shortest amount of time and make sure you can keep it up. 


Ask someone who knows instead of struggling alone. It makes sense:

  • Business – Mentor 
  • Relationship – Counsellor  
  • Fatloss – Me and my team 
  • Pensions – Pension Advisor 


You wouldn’t try and pull your own tooth out instead of hiring a dentist, you wouldn’t go and pull your appendix out by yourself, you’d go to a surgeon. 

It makes sense that you would find the best and most efficient way to overcome your struggle, rather than waste years doing the same thing expecting different results or trying to overcome a massive hurdle in your life by yourself with no support or help. 

Staring into the abyss, can suddenly and very easily become an exciting task that you can’t wait to get stuck into because you can see the benefits. 

It really can transform from that fear, that feeling of loneliness into something you embrace, provided you are given the tools and help to achieve what it is you are looking to overcome. 

Something I have learnt over the years, if I don’t know something and I really want to know about it, I either pay someone to teach me, or I spend time educating myself on the topic through reading, listening, seminars etc. 

By doing this, I save myself time, effort and money in the long run, because I can progress more quickly and implement the strategies I’ve learnt. 

Having said that, I’ve also wasted A LOT of money on choosing the wrong person to help show me the way.  So, when you do feel the need for help with whatever hurdle you need to overcome, choose wisely. 


Yours in fitness 


Damian Hall 


Dalkey Fitpro 

South Dublin 


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