What a SUMMER….I have never laughed so much and saw so much of Donegal in 8 weeks.  Thank you Emmet Rushe for your FAB #SummerShapeUp.

And so it began……

Week 1 – The Plank

Now where could I do a plank where nobody else would do one. I went up to my hubby to see if he could think of any ideas.  No sooner had I said it to, himself and the boys pulled out two tractor lawnmowers and the first challenge was complete. 

Week 2 – The Handstand Challenge. 

I awaited eagerly to hear on this weeks challenge and once I knew it was a handstand, there was only one door way I wanted to do my handstand in. Off we went on a Sunday morning to  Dunlewy to the Poison Glen. I hadn’t done a handstand since my “Hail Stone Thunder & Lightening Days” but hey I still got it 25 years later give it 10 or 20 takes lol.

The Poison Glen

Week 3 – Hang Tough Challenge

We were blessed with the weather EVERY Sunday during the Summer Shapeup. This just made me want to visit a different part of Donegal for the challenges. This week Inishowen was on our hit list. 

Banba’s Crown

Week 4 – Shoulder Press Challenge

Poor Noah was the subject for my shoulder press challenge. Wee dote giggled away, he knew how much mammy wanted to go to New York so he did whatever mammy asked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He even let mammy shoulder press him twice that day. 



Slieve League

The Aug Bank Holiday was all about  Summer Shapeup extra activities with my husband Kevin, friends and with my Rushe Fitness family.  Saturday August 5th Kevin and I completed The Gibbons Loop, up Sliabh Sneacht. This took us 4.5 hours, the views were out of this world from the top. The Gibbons family organise this hike every year in memory of their late father John who farmed on  these hills. EVERYONE should do this, views are AMAZING and the BBQ when you reach the bottom is FAB.

Sliabh Sneacht


Cuilcagh Steps has been on my to do list for a while now, so was delighted when Emmet organised a Rushe Fitness  trip there on Aug 6th. Again the weather conditions were perfect and the craic was 90 with this crew.  Lovely wee stop in Biddys on the way home (sure its bad luck to pass)

Cuilcagh  Steps


Week 5- The Fan Challenge

My alarm went off at 5.15am……up I jumped and headed down to the Polestar roundabout to do our fan challenge with some of my Rushe Fitness buddies, Gary, Martina, Carmel, Angela & Michelle and our wonderful photographer Anna.  Poor Gary and Michelle pulled the short straws on this one. 

Polestar Roundabout

Week 6 – The Bike Challenge

This was my FAV challenge of them all.  So we decided we would do our bike challenge after our 6am class. The teacher mode soon came back to me and we had a 1….2….3 rhythm going and had it sorted “on paper”. THEN….when we went to do it the giggles took over and it took us a while to get going but we got there, I’m crying laughing watching this back…..POOR GARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Week 7 – The Final Challenge – ” Sum Up What Summer Shapeup meant to you”

For me the first word that came into my head was LOVEI LOVED the challenges every week.

I LOVED the buzz in the gym and the online group, everyone kept everyone so motivated.

I LOVED on a Sunday visiting all the different parts of Donegal for the challenges while getting to spend time with Kevin & Noah.

I LOVED how confident I was becoming inside and out.

So it came down to posting our before and after pics in the private group page. I weighed myself before and after and not one pound had shifted off the scales and for the first in a LONG time, this was ok.  Summer Shapeup wasn’t about loosing weight for me. When Emmet told us about the challenge in my head I thought, great, this will motivate me now during the summer, were its easy to go off track and if I win GREAT and if not at least I knew I was going on our first family holiday in the best shape I could be in. Posting my food everyday was a great way for making myself accountable for keeping on track. This photo below is me happy and confident in myself inside and out.  I love training at Rushe Fitness, my alarm goes off 3 mornings a week at 5.40am, I wouldnt miss it for the world.  For me its the BEST way to start the day off and is the BEST lifestyle change I ever made.

I will never forget that evening, we just got home from our holiday at 8pm, I jumped into the shower, threw on an outfit and my lovely sister Mari-Claire did my makeup. I ran across the carpark at Backstage with one shoe on and one half on and bust in the doors with ” Did I Miss It?” I was so glad I hadn’t missed the announcement as I really wanted to see the winners face………………..


I WON!!!!!

I will NEVER forget it, the butterflies in my tummy when Emmet said I was the winner.  The first thing I thought was I’M GOING TO NEW YORK to see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller.   I was, and still am on cloud 9. New York at Christmas is my dream and on the 8th December myself  and Kevin are flying out for 5 days to the most magical city in the world. 



Thank you Emmet, Maria and every single one of the Rushe Fitness members especially my 6am buddies, you all made this Summer one to remember. 

Joanne x































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