Pat Coakley is widely recognised as one of Ireland's finest business people, family men and Liverpool supporter par extraordinaire.
It wasn't always that way.
As a young man, his first marriage broke up, he lost his job and worse again, as he said himself, he lost his 'self esteem'.
One evening, in a dingy pub in Dublin, he sat bemoaning his lot to a disinterested listener.
'Buy a track suit Coakley' came the reply of his less than sympathetic companion.
'You mustn't have listened to one word I said' explained Pat, quickly repeating his tale of woe.
Once again, the retort was direct and unambiguous.
'Buy a track suit Coakley'.
Overtaken by granniesStill frantically searching for sympathy, Pat shuffled out next morning in an old track suit and a pair of shoes to prove to his companion that walking wouldn't solve anything. Grannies, pushing buggies overtook him.
The interesting thing was, by the end of the walk, he did feel marginally better. And that was all Pat did. Each day, he donned his track suit, and gradually increased the pace and distance of his walk.
Some weeks later, a job interview presented itself, and Pat had recovered sufficient self esteem to go for it, get it and the rest is history.
Pat will tell you unequivocally that his decision to take up walking was the single most critical decision in his life. Vigorous exercise makes you:
- Feel better.
- Look better.
- Perform better.
- Sell better.
- Relate better.
- Cope better.
For the price of a tracksuitNow, in his seventies, Pat jogs, swims all year round in the sea, and plays in a veterans rugby match twice a year. Married to Deirdre, he has an idyllic family life. His business acumen is legendary and he has raised millions of euros for charity.
The message is a simple one. What would you pay to acquire a fraction of the benefits outlined above!
Contrary to what the cosmetic and psychological industries would have you believe, you can acquire it all - for the price of a track suit.