The Shape I’m In: Ashling Thompson

CORK camogie captain Ashling Thompson sees her tattoos as part of her brand, even though there are some she’d rather not have.

The Shape I’m In: Ashling Thompson

“I couldn’t imagine myself without them,” she says.

“Obviously, there are some tattoos there you wish you didn’t get. I got a load of them when I was young but I got some covered and lasered.”

The tattoos fit well with her independent nature — on and off the field.

“I couldn’t be a person that’s in an office 9am to 5pm, five days a week. I’d crack up. I went through my life exactly like that — never knowing what’s around the corner. I could be a singer next month. I never plan anything.”

Having suffered from depression in the past, the 26-year-old sports massage therapist, now knows she can deal with the dark times. “It’s such an advantage in life if you know you’ve been through the worst of the worst and you’ve got through it and you’re happy.

“It is something I am so grateful to have behind me. You never know when another setback could come along and now I feel like I know what I can do to help myself and where I should go.”

These days part of her therapy is keeping busy.

“I have to be on the go 24/7. I’m always looking for something to do. I couldn’t imagine myself going back to the way it was — having so much free time on my hands and doing nothing with it.

“The most important thing is to always keep active. Life is never going to be easy. There’s always going to be bumps in the road.” n Ashling Thompson is an ambassador for The Schools’ Fitness Challenge 2016.

What shape are you in?

I’ve never been fitter but I think there is a bit more in the tank. Every year I seem to be getting fitter and better. I’ll probably be peaking in the next two years. When I was playing with Cork, we would train three nights a week. You do a lot of aerobics and do a lot of running on the grass. We also spend two nights in the gym and one night doing wall balling to practise your touch.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I’m not that picky. For breakfast I’ll have porridge and add fruit — blueberries, raspberries and bananas — and seeds to it. I have to have a cup of tea every morning. That’s a must. I’d always snack on fruit. I usually use Alpro soya yoghurt. It’s full of protein and there’s hardly any sugar in it. I don’t really eat big meals. I tend to eat every two hours. What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Chocolate. I love Star bars.

What keeps you awake at night?

If I’m on the phone or if I’m thinking about the game tomorrow. I have to park everything at least an hour before I go to sleep. Otherwise, my mind will be racing throughout the night.

How do you relax?

I love watching television. I love Keeping Up With the Kardashians. On Netflix I watch Orange is the New Black. It’s brilliant.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Denzel Washington. I think he’s the coolest man on the planet. I’d love to have to have Rihanna as well. They are both fairly fearless.

What’s your favourite smell?

Freshly cut grass and Vera Wang perfume.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

My eyes are green but I’d love if they were crystal blue. I wear coloured contacts a lot. I have crystal blue contacts and they are just class.

When is the last time you cried?

Two weeks ago. It was about losing the All-Ireland camogie final to Kilkenny.

What traits do you least like in others?

I don’t like people who are two-faced. Also, people who are condescending.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I’ve a short fuse. It used to be a lot shorter. Sometimes in games I might lose the head way to easily and I shouldn’t. It’s constructive criticism in my head but it doesn’t sound it [to others].

Do you pray?

All the time. I pray mainly to god and then there is my ex-partner, a really good friend, who died in 2012. He is always in my brain but not in a bad way.

It’s like it happened yesterday.

What would cheer up your day?

The simplest thing could cheer me up. A letter in the post. Even chocolate peanuts could brighten up my day.

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