A Day in the Life: Andy Moran


DOWN TO BUSINESS Andy Moran is pictured at the re-opening of The Movement gym in Castlebar at the end of June this year. Pic: Alison Laredo


Name: Andy Moran
Age: 38
From: Ballaghaderreen
Lives in: Ballaghaderreen
Job Title/Occupation: Owner of The Movement gyms

SINCE my book was released last month, most days now start at 7am as I’m busy with interviews, book signings and promotional work in the run-up to Christmas.
That can mean late nights so my usual routine of 5am starts is on hold at the moment.
So I’m up at 7am with my wife, Jenny, we get the kids ready, and then I have a breakfast of three scrambled eggs with a bagel. I head for work in Castlebar at 8.10am.
I’m based at the Leisure Centre in Lough Lannagh most of the time and I’d spend two or three hours most mornings in meetings, replying to e-mails, and making sure that everything is running smoothly.
The first thing that I’ll do when I arrive though is make myself a black coffee. I’m a big coffee man. I drink far too much of it, if I’m being honest.
Making sure that the work rotas and timetables are all in order for the week are a big part of the job, especially since Covid became part of all our lives. The virus can impact on staff and also in terms of members having to cancel so we need to be on top of that.
My days are busy and varied but I’d be the first to admit that I’m very lucky to have people like Jenny, Elaine Flannery, the manager of the centre, and Seán Kelly who make sure that everything works like clockwork.
I make a lot of decisions but the guys run a lot of the day-to-day aspects of the business.
There’s always something to be done when you have 24 staff to be managed.
Last week we had swimming lessons starting for our new enrolment gang on the same day as the Covid passes were introduced for people using the Leisure Centre. That make things very very hectic.
But Covid-19 has brought a whole range of extra issues for us to deal with over the last two years, from the restrictions to the introduction of masks to, now, Covid certificates.
Myself, Jenny and Elaine would usually go for lunch together in Café Rua or The Brewery Cup in Castlebar. I’ll nearly always have hot chicken wings, I think they are sick of me ordering them every day at this stage!
I’m home for 5pm. Since I started managing Leitrim, we train on Tuesdays and Fridays, so on those evenings I like to get a few hours with the kids before I leave for training. That time with Charlotte and Ollie is the most important part of the day for me.
When I’m not off promoting the book, I try to make sure that I’m at home on Monday and Thursday evenings to get to spend time with Jenny and the kids.
I love food and I’ll eat anything from beef stroganoff to bacon and cabbage, but my favourite dinner is roast pork with apple sauce. I’m very fortunate that Jenny and all of her family are great cooks, especially my mother-in-law Marguerite and my brother-in-law Stephen.
So there’s always something nice to eat when one of them is on duty in the kitchen.
I’m addicted to crisps and chocolate too. When I played with Mayo I didn’t eat a crisp for eight years  and I was a mighty man for eating 90 percent dark chocolate. But since I retired, chocolate and crisps are my big vices!
I’d be a big walker, I absolutely love walking and I find it very relaxing. So I’m happy to hit off when I can and listen to a podcast about finance or economics or business.
The kids go to bed around 8pm, we’ll watch some TV, and I’m in bed around 11.15pm.
The last year has been hugely difficult for the business. We were making good progress early in 2020 but our growth pattern has stalled completely.
Gyms are never talked about by Government, but the fact that people buy gym memberships in advance means that the industry has been hit hard by Covid restrictions and the uncertainty about the future.
We can only put 23 people in a class now where we used to have 50, so we’ve had to change our whole business model. The threat of future restrictions means that people are hesitant.
So it’s all about consolidation for us in the months ahead.

In conversation with Mike Finnerty

Quickfire questions

If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Coach football teams. Absolutely. No question.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I love watching rom-coms. I love Notting Hill and Love Actually.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
We went on a great cruise in 2007 with Mayo and I ended up eating lobster soup. It was absolutely horrible.

Favourite place in the world?
My sitting room. I love being at home, chilling out. Either on my own or with Jenny and the kids, just having fun.

What makes you angry?
People being late. I’m a very punctual person.

What three things are always in your fridge?
Milk for the kids, cheese for myself, and a bottle of white wine for my good wife.

What makes you nervous?
Not being in control.

What’s your favourite TV show?
The Afterlife on Netflix. It’s a great show.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
The reckless freedom and being able to go into the backdoor of anyone’s house in the council estate we grew up in.

What’s your most prized possession?
Jenny and the two kids. As long as they are happy and healthy, everything is good.

What’s the best advice you ever got?
Don’t settle for mediocrity. Push yourself to be the best you can be.

Describe yourself in three words?
Optimistic, insecure and determined.