Dublin girl Orla Walsh (Scott-Orwell Wheelers CC) amazing story to success was highlighted in an article lately on Bicycling Magazine and while reading the story I felt this should be a feature on this site to, as it is a “feel good story” not only promoting women’s cycling but also the commute cycling and his benefits. Met Orla about 2 years ago now and was intrigued about her classy tattoo’s but to shy to ask her about it (lol) The article reveals it for me now, as Orla had a great student life and was not at all interested in fitness at the time. A smoker and loving a drink or two  was her life at that time, loving a good party and just enjoying life that way..nothing unusual as such as many of us have done it in our younger days including yours truly..the difference is that some people need a sign for change of life style and in Orla’s own words this was her sign when Orla needed a convenient, reliable, and budget-friendly way to get to and from class >> Driving was expensive, and public transportation in the Irish capital, she said, “left much to be desired.” She turned instead to cycling. But as soon as she gave it a go, she was hooked. Suddenly the six miles she had to cover on her commute each way didn’t seem like so much. “My initial reaction to it was, ‘Wow, I can’t believe how quick and easy that was “The more I cycled, the easier it got, and I started getting faster. I think what I enjoyed the most was the freedom the bike gave me.”In early 2016, she took the next step and joined a local cycling club, where she participated in long group spins. But something deeper was happening at the same time. As her weekly mileage increased, her unhealthy habits fell by the wayside. She stopped smoking—“I gradually lost interest in that bad habit when I started gaining more interest in training”—cleaned up her diet, and cut back on nights out at the bar. Then, thanks to the encouragement of fellow club members, she tried open road racing. At first, she was crushed by the competition, getting “dropped by the bunch on every climb, and in one case I finished solo 20 minutes behind everyone.” Yet she kept pushing, taking the failures in stride and viewing them as learning experiences. “I was enjoying the challenge and was confident that if I kept persisting, I would get better,” she said. She was right. Six months ago, Walsh left her job as a designer to train full time as a track and road cyclist with the women’s elite national squad in Ireland. She splits her time living and training between Dublin and Mallorca, Spain, and her six-days-a-week training regimen means nutrition is now a top priority. (full report find on https://www.bicycling.com/) Photos Belgian Project Media Team. My sincere admiration Orla, as it shows that life can be turned around for the better, but also find it refreshing that you not regretting your days as a student and the way you lived that time..that’s honesty you not find very often anymore..you got my support and good luck in the future. xxx