Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Brand New Adventure…..

late late


Launches her new company


After 30 years of bringing news to Dublin, Radio Broadcaster, Author, TV Presenter and 98FM Head of News Teena Gates launches her new company: TEENA GATES – BROADCAST AND MEDIA TRAINER AND MOTIVATIONAL COACH.

Teena Gates has spent a quarter of a century broadcasting, training, and mentoring the best news teams in the country at 98FM and this new departure is a natural progression for her.  TEENA GATES Broadcast and Media Trainer and Motivational Coach offers targeted training in presentation skills, public speaking, journalism and social media.Women In Business

The popular journalist turned adventurer is also expanding her existing role as a motivational speaker – and is already much in demand to share stories of her success in losing 13 stone, battling serious health issues and climbing to base camp Mount Everest.  From 2014 she will also accompany walking holidays with Travel Department as a motivational guide.

Teena believes her experiences in training for and achieving her goals translate well to all walks of life: “We all have our mountains to climb, both at home and in business, and we are all capable of achieving more than we ever dream or imagine” she says.

98FM StudioAs a new generation of entrepreneurs embrace the opportunities of the future, Teena will encourage clients to discover within themselves the strengths and talents to succeed.

In the New Year Teena will be stepping out on her own as a trainer and motivator for both broadcast and corporate clients and she is delighted that Communicorp media group and Learning Waves Skillnet will be among her first clients.

The Head of News at Dublin’s PPI Award Winning Newsroom will begin her new training career on January 1st with the launch of TEENA GATES – BROADCAST AND MEDIA TRAINER AND MOTIVATIONAL COACH.

For details check out, or contact

A PB With Parkrun and Icy Toes in Malahide

IMG_0722It was REALLY cold swimming in Malahide today.  The Eastern Bay Swimmers were out in good force, but I was one of the last ones to edge my way down the ladder at High Rock.  Dipping my toe off the edge of the ledge, I tried to convince myself it was balmy, but myself told me I was balmy instead!

I tried today’s top tip of pushing off on my back, apparently it’s less shocking to your body.  I can reliably inform you that it’s rubbish, it was still flaming freezing.  Flaming catch your breath and try to force air into your lungs, freezing.   I put my head down and swam like the clappers, hoping to warm up.  Brain Freeze.  My whole head ached, like the pain behind your eyes, when you eat an ice-cream on a warm summer day.

Despite the icy cold, it was a beautiful day, blue skies, gorgeous flat calm blue sea, and bright sunshine.  I swam into a sunbeam and told myself I was in France, striking out below the cliffs at Eze.  Ahhhh.. dream on.  I’d promised myself that I’d stay in for 10 minutes, so after 5, I turned for home and swam back but the tide was with me and I arrived back in a flash, so I swam around in large, lazy circles by the ladder counting down the minutes, but strangely, when the ten minutes were up, I didn’t feel so cold – so off I went again.

The lads reckoned it was about 9 degrees today, and I stayed in for 20 minutes, which I was really happy with.   I’m really hoping that I can swim the whole year around without a wetsuit, and now it’s well into November, I’d be very upset to give in so close to the end of the year.  Fingers crossed and let’s see what it’s like next weekend.

It was a busy weekend otherwise as well.  I went ‘flying’ yesterday – yes, really, FLYING.  That’s nothing to do with exercise, but if you want to check out how I got on, you can have a look at my FB photo album here:  Limetree Airfield.

Eastern BaySaturday I was back at Griffeen Parkrun and thrilled to see my time for the 5k improve from 44 mins to 38:53 this week.  Absolutely delighted with that.  I’m definitely going to keep running through the winter – and I’ve got the ‘Run in the Dark’ to do for Mark Pollock this Wednesday.  Looking forward to that.  I’ll be running and trotting, but it’s finishing that matters for me.  My ‘Get Off The Couch’ buddies are coming too – still active, even after the cameras have stopped rolling – isn’t that great?

Incidentally, Parkrun reported record figures last weekend with a spike in the number of ‘first-timers’ coming out to run the weekly 5k that takes place in parks all over the world at 0930 every Saturday morning.  Isn’t it great if the ‘Get Off The Couch’ TV show is getting the message across, that sport isn’t just for ‘sporty’ – it’s for all of us!

Parkrun is a really great event and thanks to everyone at Griffeen Parkrun who kindly told me they were encouraged to join up because of reading about my efforts last week.  That’s really motivating me, to think I’m encouraging other first timers to come out and join me.  I was telling everyone that I really enjoyed bits of it this week… lol.   I’m still waiting for that magic moment when I wake up in the morning and think to myself ‘gosh I’d love to go for a run’. I’m sure it will happen.  Some day…..    😉




Naked Ambition On The Track…

IMG_0647 Back to my running club, Le Chéile AC tonight, for the first time in months.  Parking the car in the dark of the night was a sharp change from the lovely warm evenings when I was here last.  Heading down to the new running track to say hello to old friends and new,  I remembered coming here last Feb – again braving the dark cold night and spits of rain to get started on the club’s Couch-to-5k programme.

It felt a bit like deja-vu walking across the carpark tonight; out of the night and into the lights, and I briefly gave myself a mental kick for not keeping it up after reaching my 5k.  But then I realised I was smiling, I realised I wasn’t grumbling away to myself, as I had been back in February when I made this walk.  So something has clearly changed. I may have lost my running fitness a bit, but at least now I know that I’ve done this before and I feel more confident about doing it again.

Meeting running buddy Sharon Ashmore, and our coach – the talented Irish Ultra Runner John O’Regan – on the track, it’s grins all around as the warm-ups begin.

I’m 5 mins jumping up and down and I realise that the ‘girls are loose’.  Gentlemen, just tune out now, while girls, appreciate that good harnessing is vital for this kind of lark, especially when there are ample assets to contain! Enough of that.  John announces that we are going to have a bash at sprint-relays; there were a couple of groans and a couple of grins, while I remained neutral, unsure of what that entailed.

We split into teams and took up positions on the track, got our briefings and the whistle blew.  I was the 2nd runner in my group.  Sharon was my ‘number one’ and she was sprinting the first 100 metres to me, while I got ready to grab the baton and dash for the 2nd 100.

As I saw Sharon’s 100 metres disappearing, the cold of the night disappeared, and despite myself, I felt a burst of adrenaline.  I’d been telling myself I was going to slow down the team and be a disappointment, but then I suddenly realised, I hadn’t tried this sprinting stuff before and  for all I knew, I could be nursing a secret talent; there could be a burst of speed under the hood after all.

Sharon approaches, I start to run, we join hands over the baton, I’ve got it and I’m away.  Speed’s up, chest up, breathing deep and pushing towards the track.  I’m 50 metres gone and feeling good, when something odd happens.  I feel my running pants loosen around my hips, and as they continue to slip, my petrified mind freezes; ‘they can’t go any further’ I think to myself, they’re lycra!  There’s only 40 metres to go…. just keep running.  But as my hips roll, my pants slip further, and then to my horror, my belly pops out over the waistband – the point of no return.  I look ahead, 30 metres.  I grab my belly, still firmly hanging onto my baton, I grab onto my pants, and I keep running.  Catherine’s number 3, and blinded by the spotlights, clearly can’t see my predicament.   ‘C’mon – run Teena, run’ she shouts.  I’m running and shouting back and laughing and just about holding it altogether as I fall towards her and she grabs the baton and runs off into the night.  Collapsing in a giggling heap as I sort myself out.  Now that’s a belly laugh…

Standing stretching and checking my harness, modesty restored, I try and figure out what went wrong. I’ve run in these pants before, although not this sprinting business.  Before long the wave is returned back around the track and Sharon is running back down towards me, baton outstretched.   I start to run, we switch possession of the baton, and I’m off again.  Confident this time – having discovered what the string in my waistband is for!

Running down the track I concentrate on being fast, until the wave of other runners sweep past me and I’m back running into Catherine’s screams of ‘C’mon, run Teena, Run’.  Ah well, maybe not the Olympics then.

A friend of mine once told me I have the head of a racehorse and the body of a mule, because I always want to be fast, although I’m not really constructed that way.  But I think I’d prefer to think of myself as a Shetland pony, because in fairness, it’s not that I have a mule-like stubbornness against running, it’s just that I don’t do it very well, although that John O’Regan fella is determined that I develop a decent little trot.

The main thing about tonight is that I’m back.  Back at Le Chéile and back running, and even if I can’t run fast, I can always run faster!  So I’ll be turning up for my Parkrun 5k on Saturday morning, and I’ll be turning up for the Run in the Dark on November 13th, and I’ll be back for my next Le Cheile training session with John and Sharon and the gang.  But next time, this particular Shetland Pony will  have her harness and tackle checked and ready to go, and her girth tightened beforehand…



Run, Run, Run Away….

Parkrun1I’m back at the start line again.

Last year wailing in despair over ‘just being brutal at running’ – I accepted the advice of amazing Irish Ultra Runner John O’Regan and joined Le Chéile AC in Leixlip, to learn to run properly.  I’d already been told my knees were too weak to run, but to my regret, I just wasn’t content to leave it at that! Many times I wished I had, as I moaned and grumbled my way down to the track during the dark months of late winter and early spring, until finally the complaining eased up, and the pace picked up, and I finally realised I could kick a sprint at the end of a 5k with a grin on my face.   I was dangerously close to reaching that holy grail of ‘enjoying a run’.

In fairness, I didn’t slack off, but other challenges got in the way.  I needed to pick up my kayaking skills for the Liffey Descent challenge that I was doing with Kayak champ Kipper Magure for the LauraLynn childrens’ hospice, and I needed to learn how to use a roadbike, after signing up for the KAR13 Killarney Adventure Race.   I had a great year, but the running just got put on the back burner – until the dark evenings started creeping in again, and the urge to hit the road returned from some dark recess of my mind….

Enter ParkRun.  This is an absolute gem of an idea.  Parkrun is a non-profit organisation which sees volunteers running 5k’s in parks all over the world, including here in Dublin, at 0930 on a Saturday morning.   You register once and get a barcode, which you can then produce to run at any of the parkruns at any of the parks, at any of the venues in Europe or the US.  You get a time too…. it’s free and it’s all great fun, with mixed levels; experts and novices and a welcome for all.   I registered a while ago, but yesterday was the first day I had the courage to show my face.  I turned up at Grifeen Valley Parkrun and set off, crawling home a tragic 44 minutes later which is the slowest I’ve been all year – but the encouragement and enthusiasm was brilliant, and as one of my mates pointed out – I couldn’t have even finished it at a walk a couple of years ago.

The incredibly patient John O’Regan turned up on my last lap with some coaching tips.  The man’s patience is astounding.  I’m slightly embarrassed but enormously grateful that talented people like John can still make time to show me the ropes AGAIN.

Ok as everyone keeps telling me, you haven’t failed if you’re still trying.   You know, I said that to someone about 2 years ago, and the expression keeps following me around since then.

I suppose there’s no excuse now – I’ll simply have to go ahead with the Run In The Dark for Mark now on November 13th…  and I guess that means I’ll be showing my face at Le Chéile for training on Wednesday night  🙂

*Thanks for the wonderful welcome at Griffeen Valley Parkrun on Saturday – and thanks for the coffee!  Check them out on Facebook:



  • Communicorp
  • Danone
  • Irish Farmers’ Journal
  • Dublin Airport Authority
  • WeightWatchers, Ireland
  • Limerick City & County Enterprise Board
  • ‘Foot In The Door’ Media Trainer for Independent Commercial Radio, Ireland
  • Clare County Enterprise Board
  • Carlow County Enterprise Board
  • Great Outdoors
  • Adrian Hendroff ‘From High Places’
  • Chernobyl Children International
  • Concern Ireland
  • The Hope Foundation
  • LauraLynn Childrens’ Hospice
  • Travel Department
  • Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race
  • 98FM Dublin
  • Newstalk
  • TodayFM Radio
  • Learning Waves Skillnet
  • BCFE, Ballyfermot
  • Pat Falvey, 'The Summit Book'