Guest Blog: Dr Sinead Kane on the Power of Setting Goals for Yourself

Dr Sinead Kane’s remarkable achievements are particularly admirable given she has just 5% vision and is registered as legally blind. The international keynote speaker, double PhD doctorate, double Guinness World Record holder, visually impaired athlete and qualified lawyer has overcome much adversity in her life and is now keen to inspire others, proving that persistence in spite of a disability can develop determination, motivation, and creativity.

""I believe goal setting is key to achieving what I want out of life""

I have never let my disability hold me back and always live each day to the full. I am proud to have achieved a range of athletic, competitive, academic and professional feats, and in particular, two Guinness World Records!

I achieved my first Guinness World Record in January 2017 when I became the first blind person to complete a marathon on each of the seven Continents in less than seven days. Then in February 2018, I broke the Guinness World Record for furthest distance for a female on a treadmill in 12 hours. 

I am also the first Irish female to participate in the world marathon challenge. My guide runner [John] and I completed our first marathon of this challenge at Union Glacier, Antarctica followed by marathons in Punta Arenas (South America), Miami (North America), Madrid (Europe), Marrakech (Africa), Dubai (Asia, where she achieved joint first place) and finally, Sydney (Oceania). This was a remarkable achievement given I completed my first marathon in October 2014, and only took up running in April 2012! 

I am equally proud of my academic achievements. In 2017 I was awarded two PhD doctorates within the space of three months. In October 2017, I received an honorary PhD from the National University of Ireland, followed by an academic PhD from Dublin City University in December the same year.

I believe goal setting is key to achieving what I want out of life. In January 2020, I set myself a number of running goals including:

Participating in the European Championships for 24 hour Ultra running

Becoming internationally classified (a requirement if a person with a disability wants to compete in Paralympic events), and

Running a new personal best in a marathon.

""Even though I want to compete, the world is still very uncertain and for me""

I was disappointed Covid-19 restrictions prevented me from achieving those goals but I know if I continue to work hard and look after my nutrition then I will be able to compete in many more international ultra events.I have used lockdown as a time to stay positive, motivated, consistent and ready for opportunities when they arise. 

As part of this approach, I have set myself a number of goals for the future, including: 

Being selected on the Women’s 24 hour ultra-running team and represent Ireland at the World Championships

Winning an ultra-marathon (I keep finishing second female and the competitor within me wants to win and finish first female!), and 

Competing at an International Paralympic event.

 

My future goals require travel abroad. For example, to compete at a Paralympic event, I have to achieve international classification that proves I have a disability, my level of disability and the competitive category I should participate in. 

Even though I want to compete, the world is still very uncertain and for me, the risk is still too high to go abroad. I do not want to get Covid-19 and I do not want to quarantine in a hotel for weeks. 

My future goals will have to wait, but that does not mean I stop training; in fact, I train each day. I make sure I eat a balanced and varied diet and  I take my Revive Active super supplement and Mastermind daily. When the world is a bit more stable I plan to be in a position to come at my future goals fitter, faster and stronger.

I am very determined and ambitious and I train to win. I train so I can be eligible for selection to represent Ireland at international competitions. 

Representing your country with an international cap is a remarkable achievement and I want to achieve more caps in the future. 

Follow my journey and how I plan to achieve my goals on my social media!

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