As today is International Women’s Day 2013 I thought it appropriate to celebrate the life of one of our very own amazing women – Maria McColgan.

At 31 years of age, Maria,  aka Mia FunFitness, has covered a lot in her short life. A true native of Muff, the village is clearly still home from home for her. Unable to pinpoint her ‘actual’ habitual residence she tells me she lives between Muff/Derry and Buncrana!! This lady never stops.

With an excellent education behind her in IT since the early noughties, Maria decided she needed more. It was in 2007 that she returned to education to complete her ICT which enables her to teach IT (we could all use a little help from her in this area). Having completed this she decided to further her education in fitness as she has always been very passionate about exercise. She has since completed numerous certificates in Fitness Instruction and Body Massage. She tells me she now hopes to ‘develop this further and take it into the field of Sports Massage’. She has recently completed her PRINCE2 exam. Maria has also completed random courses in fields such as Radio Broadcasting and Level 1 FAI Coaching Badge. Phew!

This young lady has been with her partner Sean for almost 5 years. The couple are very proud of their two beautiful Kerry Blue dogs.

Maria has worked in many of the local businesses and to which she adds ‘they are all still standing!!’ One of her fond memories of an early job was working with her uncle Thomas in the local butchers making sausages. She readily admits to being ‘useless at it’. Having worked locally, Maria also spent time inDublinandPhiladelphia. She got her first career opportunity working as a Software Developer for CSC. She now works for Allstate NorthernIreland(a large American Insurance Company) where she is a Team Manager. In addition to this, she also teaches fitness classes (Aerobics and Circuits) and fits in the odd body massage when time allows.

In her free time or as she calls it, my ‘downtime’ Maria continues with her body massage (mainly on her family). She confesses that they find it hard to get her though with her hectic schedule of partaking in Yoga, Training for the Walled City Marathon, her ‘part time’ position of Secretary in Quigley’s Point Swifts FC and playing for the QPS ladies team. Although she no longer teaches it, Mia likes to get a go at her Pole Dancing whenever possible as she says ‘it’s still the number one exercise in my book’.

Having been fortunate to know Maria for a number of years now, it is clear that she loves her work, her ‘down time’ and life in general. But on meeting her one also learns that the core of her life is family. She worships her parents and siblings, her nieces and nephew and wider family circle. She is clearly very much in love with Sean. Family are always at the fore of this young ladies life. If ever there was an inspirational local woman to celebrate International Women’s Day with, this must definitely be HER…