“Think Gold, Never Settle For Silver”

Posted on: 17/04/2018

As one of a family of nine, Caitríona Níc Caba grew up in the West of Ireland. It was in these formative years that she built an appreciation of the arts, a love of physical demand and began to understand the power of intrinsic reward. Having worked her way through a music and physical education degree in Canterbury, England, Caitríona was faced with a decision; which to pursue, a career in the arts or sport? She chose sport, in a way – or so it seemed at the time.


Twenty one months after joining the Irish Defence Fores, Caitríona was commissioned as an Army Officer. This allowed her to develope technical and tactical military skills and she excelled as a leader in the army environment. She also served peacekeeping missions in both Kosovo and Lebanon. Away from the Army, an All-Ireland football medal and being chosen for the Six Nations National rugby squad demonstrates her ability in mainstream team sports, but it was in lesser known pursuits, such as adventure racing, mountain running, sky-diving and orienteering, that Caitríona would discover her true grit. Her reputation as an endurance athlete grew, but more importantly, her immense depth of mental strength became evident.


Following the birth of her daughter, Caitríona turned to CrossFit as a means of recovering post C-Section surgery. She found that not only did CrossFit reward her with strength gains she had never believed were possible, but it also set her on the path to undertaking the greatest physical and mentally-demanding journey of her military career. In 2017, at the age of 36, and just three years after the birth of her daughter, Caitríona took a shot at the Army Ranger Wing Elite Special Forces’ selection course which is the army’s most grueling course that only one woman had applied for in almost 35 years. Her aim – to challenge perceived boundaries for women in the Defence Forces and pave the way for women to come.


Caitríona will share details of how she balances motherhood with a rigorous fitness programme and how she uses Sports Psychology, Goal-Setting, Motivation, Mindset Training, Mental Toughness, Daily Discipline and Visualisation as tools in her development. Inspired by her belief in the strength of women and mothers in particular, Caitríona maintains we are limited only by the boundaries we set for ourselves. Motherhood gave her strength and courage to relentlessly pursue her dream. Her mission now is to effect positive change on women in Ireland, particularly in the Defence Forces.