Page 21 - The Kerry News 2019
P. 21

 CAHERCIVEEN FITNESS FANATIC ERIC MURPHY 82
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IS A MAN ON A MISSION
Con Dennehy
reland’s oldest fitness instructor, Eric A keen runner, Eric has completed 12 Murphy from Caherciveen, is a man marathons including Dublin (3), London
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on a mission...he is aiming to ensure happiness and health in old age.
The 82 year old holds twice weekly Fitness Classes which focus on crucial aspects of non-weight bearing exercises in the Bay View Hotel, Waterville. Originally from Waterville, fitness played a key role in his healthy life style for the past eight decades. He has had the unique distinction of playing gaelic football with Waterville, Dromid, St. Marys and Foilmore in a glittering sports career that culminated with his appointment as a selector on the All Ireland winning Kerry minor team of 1980. Kerry GAA legend Mick O’Dwyer started the exercises classes in 1978 with the help of the Kerry VEC and asked his lifelong friend Eric to assist him.
“I have been involved in the Bay View Fitness Classes for the past 42 years and will keep going until we hit the 50 year mark. When Mick took on the training role with the Kildare team in 1980 I took over the class. It caters for people aged between 40 and 60 on Monday and Thursday nights. I believe that keeping fit is the key to tackling issues such as isolation and weight gain among older people.”
(6), New York (2) and Cork (1). In 1986 while training for the Boston Marathon he injured his knee and was forced to hang up his running shoes.
“I took up swimming and over the next 14 years I swam a few miles each day in Cuas Crom, winter and summer. However I broke my elbow in 2009 and this finished my swimming career.
With fitness the main goal for me is good fun and enjoyment. This is a key element in the Fitness Classes. When you hit the 50 years of age milestone its time to look after yourself. You are not as flexible and it’s important to keep the muscles and joints toned. It’s also important not to feel old. The older you get the more important it is to exercise, not the gym but outdoors as much as possible.”
The Waterville Fitness Class is now regarded as the longest running keep fit class in Ireland and has come to the attention of Cork University Hospital. They have encouraged patients to talk to Eric and discuss fitness programmes with him. Along with Irish rugby International Peter Stringer and broadcaster Micheal
O’Muircheartaigh, Eric has been invited to discuss fitness with the Limerick hurling team that won the 2018 All Ireland final. He has also appeared on a number of TV shows including ‘Today with Daithi and Maura’.
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KERRY NEWS CHRISTMAS 2019
21
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County Kerry
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“I had renal failure seven years ago and I went through a very bad patch. My kidneys reacted badly to medicine. I had to re-learn to walk and I got back into my fitness again. I have had both knees and hips replaced.
Christmas Greetings & A Happy New Year
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