Well so far it has been an amazing  journey and the future looks bright for me. It all started back in 1985. My modest football career ended and I was at a crossroads. There had always been a huge physical release and enjoyment for me growing up playing team sports. I started playing hockey at age six and there had not been a year when I was not involved in a sport. I was really unsure what I was going to do now.

My Cousin had taken up running and encouraged me to join him so it was off to the races, literally. I had never run any kind of distance in my youth, everything was a sprint. So this was a real change of pace for me and as I got into it I loved it. Soon we were competing in local races anywhere from 5kms to 15kms. How cool I thought to run in a race and get a T-Shirt. I love T-Shirts, score. Soon there was the challenge of the Half Marathon and we dared to run a Marathon! Yup, we were hooked and a journey of what now is 31 years of running was under way. I still continue to run today and have been blessed with the health to continue.

One day in 1987 my cousin and I saw a poster for a Triathlon. Hmm, that’s really cool we thought. Always up for an adventure we signed up and then thought about what would be required to train for this type of event. Now the adventure was about to begin. In 1987 the Internet didn’t exist! (Crazy world eh!) There was not a lot of information available about how to train for a Triathlon. I was confident in my abilities in the bike and run, the swim not so much. So I bought a book about swimming and dove in to learn. I’m happy to say I didn’t drown and as the calendar roles into 2017 it will mark thirty years of participating in the sport of triathlon.

In 2004 I was blessed to compete at Ironman Canada and it was a transformational journey for me. As a boy I was sexually abused by a Priest who was also my Uncle. The abuse remained a secret until I was thirty two years old.  My life had been an up and down rollercoaster of mental issues relating to the abuse. For a ten year period I suffered from at times debilitating depression that harmed relationships and my ability to function daily with simple life functions. Through all of the emotional, physical, and mental turmoil one constant remained, exercise. For me the Spiritual connection that being physical created was not only a release, it saved my life. I wrote my book “Nobody Can Take It Away From You” about my journey to Ironman Canada in 2004 and how that journey was one of healing. I have been blessed to go on to Coach Triathletes. One of my greatest joys is helping Athlete’s achieve their fitness goals.

I have taken my life experiences, education, and the amazing relationships I have been fortunate enough to have due to sports and created my UNlife philosophy that I coach. There are no limits to what we can accomplish at any age or fitness level if we can get past the gatekeeper in our minds.UN helps us to move into patterns of deliberate practice and strip away societal conditioning and we can regain our true nature.

“Live remarkable and follow the Spirit in your heart.”

Daniel O’Neill

 

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