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Sile goes bike to the future to fight fears; IRSIH DAILY Mirror GET IRELAND FIT FOR 2015; TV beauty back in saddle after childhood fall put her off cycling.

Byline: MAEVE QUIGLEY

THERE are plenty of ways to get fit - but none are more rewarding than doing it for a good cause.

TV star Sile Seoige knows this well as last year she combatted her childhood fears and got on her bike in an effort to get much-needed funds for charity.

Now the 36-year-old is urging others to do the same by taking part in the Big Blue Box event on the Wild Atlantic Way to raise money for St Vincent De Paul.

Sile said: "I had a bad fall when I was a child on the Aran Islands. I was about nine and I had a real fear about getting on a bike again.

"But last year I looked at some things I wanted to achieve and I felt I wanted to learn how to swim and ride a bike again.

"I haven't really done the first one as I still wouldn't go out of my depth in water but I did get on my bike again."

Connemara girl Sile isn't afraid of a challenge either as she cycled more than 600k on one trip last year.

She revealed: "I wouldn't say I am an expert cyclist by any stretch of the imagination and I am planning on on doing the Tour De Force this year again.

"I did it last year and we cycled more than 600K in San Francisco for charity.

"It was one of the best things I ever did - it was so much craic.

"I was apprehensive and I didn't think I would be able for it but it was a brilliant experience. The challenge was great and I am planning on doing the next one which is coming up in September.

"This year we will be cycling through Spain and Portugal. Now and again I do have to have a little talk to myself and tell myself that everything will be fine and I won't fall off. But I love cycling."

Meanwhile, the Big Blue Box Volunteer Challenge runs from June 5 to 19 and involves 35 communities along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Big Blue Box will travel from town to town by bike with the aim of raising money for the local St Vincent de Paul, with Bank of Ireland promising to match each euro raised in the local community.

Bank staff and members of the local community will travel more than 1,237km and local fundraising events will be held in each town along the route.

And Sile is no stranger to cycling on the Wild Atlantic Way herself, she prefers to be fit and healthy rather than super skinny.

After her recent battle with cancer it is very important for her to be well both physically and mentally.

Sile said: "I am a Connemara girl and I am from an area which the Wild Atlantic Way is part of and I also love cycling.

"I know myself if I haven't done it for a while it affects my mental state more than my physical.

"I don't weigh myself and I am not concerned with what size I am as long as I feel well in myself.

"That is a lot to do with your mindset and I find when I do exercise that's the biggest benefit for me is how I am feeling.

"For health and well-being exercise is important - you have to respect the body you are in."

As yet there area few areas of cycling Sile has still to master.

She said: "At times I find it massively challenging and very difficult.

"I wouldn't be a huge fan of hills - a lot of people love the challenge going up for the payoff of going down but I still find them quite a struggle.

"Hopefully the time will come when I enjoy them but for now I am not really that strong a cyclist and I am still finding my feet.

"I do love the sense of freedom it gives you when you are out and about.

"When you are on a bike you can head off for the day, pack a lunch and take it at your own pace."

For information on how to ?? get involved with the Big Blue Box challenge please visit: www.bankofireland.com/ BigBlueBox

You can also donate through Pay to Mobile sending a donation directly to 087 373 7282.

news@irishmirror.ie

6-WEEK PLAN: WEEK 4 Monday Tuesday Wednesday DAY 10 24mins 6min jog/ 2min walk y Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday DAY 11 20mins 5min jog/ 90sec walk DAY 12 21mins 7min jog/ 90sec walk Anatomic Fitness gym session Do this 4 times Do this 4 times Do this 3 times

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PATH TO SUCCESS Sile cycling in Connemara

ROCKY ROAD Sile Seioge on Wild Atlantic Way
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2015
Words:796
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