Wednesday 21 February 2018

From corporate banking to CrossFit – how this former banker found his passion and went for it

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

From corporate banking to CrossFit – not the most obvious career change by any stretch of the imagination, but after nine years of working in the banking industry, that is exactly the move David Kelly, founder and coach at CrossFit Green made.

As a child Kelly had an active upbringing that included football, rugby, tennis, and swimming, yet Kelly says that he “fell into banking.”

“I got a job in a bank when I was 18, worked my way up but I always knew it was something I didn’t want to do long-term.

I got overweight in banking and found fitness and understood how important it was. In today’s world everyone is avoiding looking after themselves,” Kelly says.

Perhaps unsurprisingly he says that he doesn’t miss working in the banking sector.

In his banking role Kelly worked a Relationship Manager and now as a coach, Kelly says he focuses on building and sustaining relationships with the gym members. “Listening, having empathy, and finding common ground are necessarily,” he says.

Surprisingly for someone who is now a CrossFit gym owner and coach, he started cross fit as a hobby but soon he says it became an interest that he realised he could make a difference with in the world and help people through health and fitness.

“Helping people achieve their goals and transform their lives is an incredible privilege” Kelly says.

The gym in Stillorgan is open 3 years, and Kelly describes it as being a “very eventful three years.”

Talking to Kelly his passion is almost contagious, however his modestly also stands out as he quickly credits his wife, his staff and the gym community for the success that has been achieved.

“We all want to make a difference, having the same goals and standards for all of the coaches allows us to really connect with people when they come in,” Kelly says.

“The biggest reward [with the gym] is the community, everyday they walk out of here feeling brilliant. If we can make a small change in anyone’s life that just beyond priceless for us,” he continues.

Funnily Kelly says that his biggest challenge is himself and trying to reign in his passion, “sometimes I have to find someone to dial me back” he says.

However he also cites the things that all small businesses find hard and says that not getting bogged down in these things can be difficult.

Before I leave I ask Kelly for some advice that he would give to someone thinking of setting up a business, and Kelly responds with three valuable suggestions; “understand why you want to do it and get people behind you who can give you a hand in it,” he says, “focus on what you are doing...and really get passionate about it.”

One thing is clear from out meeting, if passion is a key to success the future looks very bright for Kelly and Crossfit Green.

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