At Gym+Coffee, community means everything to us.
From early days one of our biggest goals and motivations was to be the most collaborative clothing brand in the world. Pretty big, we know!
We want to use collaboration in everything we do. This goes all the way from deciding on the next product we release and the events we hold, to the photos we put on our social media and the stories we tell.
That was how 'People of the Hoodies in the Wild' came about. For as long as we've been in business, we've been tagged in photos by incredible members of our community as they wear their G+C hoodies while they #makelifericher.
So, we wanted to find out the stories behind the photos. We spoke with Suzanne who traveled to Bali to help her balance work with her yoga passion. Newlyweds Peter and Susan adventured to Arctic Circle but also shared amazing advice on how to make life richer at home. Sue Kane inspired us no end by completing a new year's challenge she set herself in impressive fashion. Jasmine took on a massive challenge, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, to bookend a new chapter in her life.
Everyone has different motivations in life. In the previous paragraph there were those that wanted to dive deeper into a field they were passionate about, there were physical challenges to overcome and motivation to simply chase adventure.
A motivation that we often forget is 'family'. After all, making time for family members and being able to create memories with loved ones is as good a motivation as any. This motivation was the reason behind our latest addition of Hoodies in the Wild. @DonalHarrold traveled to the Pyrenees to spend quality time with loved ones and start a new family tradition. A tradition that we think everyone will soon agree is quite special.
Ever since we got sent a series of jaw-dropping photos from the Pyrenees by community member Donal Harrold, we wanted to hear more about the story behind the photo.
The photos were incredible, especially a selfie with possibly the most photogenic horse in the entire world! (you'll see this beauty below). However, we had a feeling that the reason behind walking the Camino would be even more touching.
We were not let down.
We were delighted to find out more about Donal's background and what motivated him to walk the Camino in the first place.
"I would consider myself an extremely active person. I work in the pharmaceutical sector in Cork as a process chemist. I really enjoy my profession but, as you know, a desk-based job can give you an even greater longing for the weekend to get out, be active and explore.
Personally the main motivation for doing the Camino was to bond with my mom. The opportunity to explore the Pyrenees and soak up the culture of the Camino was very important also. Spiritual grounds was slightly lower on my list of motivations but there was definitely plenty of time to think and reflect when walking 8-10 hours a day.
My mother retired recently from teaching after what seemed like a lifetime of service. We just wanted to take the opportunity while we could to do the Camino together. Life is so hectic with work and commitments; it is hard sometimes to find quality time to spend with each other."
Were you able to walk the whole route or was that even the plan?
"We completed the first stage of the Camino, which takes you from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona over three days.
I’d love to have thirty days holidays to complete the full Camino like the original pilgrim. Instead we plan to do a small section over a long weekend each year. Hoping to make this the first journey of a new family tradition.
I’d definitively recommend the Camino. If you enjoy the great outdoors and walking the countryside it’s the holiday for you. I found it a great time to walk and talk with my mom. Catch up on life and laugh at old memories.
If you go alone it’s a great opportunity to escape from everything and enjoy the peacefulness of the countryside. With a small bag on your back you live each day only with your essentials. You essentially leave all your baggage at home both physically and metaphorically. I guess it’s a time you figure out what’s really important to you and what you can do without."
There were so many elements of Donal's journey that we loved. As a brand, we always encourage people to #makelifericher and share memories with loved ones. We believe that life is made for trying new things, getting outdoors and creating new traditions.
We were so glad to be able to connect with Donal as, in many ways, his motivations, passions and outlook is exactly what Gym+Coffee is all about.
We thought he would be the perfect person to ask a question we have asked many ambassadors in the past.
" A richer life is one filled with new experiences and sharing them with the people you love.
Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest. I strongly believe in exploring the world as much as possible. Experiencing different cultures and traditions. It helps to broaden your way of thinking and makes you a more rounded person"
We hope you got as much out of Donal's story as we did.
The whole idea of creating a new family tradition and making time to spend with parents or loved ones is one we greatly respect.
Hearing his story has definitely inspired us to do something similar with the people we love. Thanks so much to Donal, we are so grateful to learn from another inspiring member of our community.