Anna Geary is thankful for the people in her corner. The Ireland’s Fittest Family coach confesses that she makes sure that she surrounds herself with the right sort of people.
Starting with her mother, who she jokes is happy to tell her what she’s doing right just as quickly as she is to tell her what she’s doing wrong.
In recent months, it seems like female pundits have been getting a lot of misogynistic trolling and Anna admits that it’s something women in the sports industry are well used to.
“You go into this world with your eyes open. You don’t necessarily have to be on TV to have people say what they want about you, whether it be about how you look, you sound, you dress,” she tells VIP Magazine at the RTÉ Autumn launch.
“That happens a lot on social media. I just don’t go looking for it. You won’t see me Googling myself any time soon. I’m like every other person, everyone likes to be liked. When I was younger I had an obsessive need to please people. I took it really personally when someone didn’t like me.”
However, Anna has definitely shaken that notion in recent years: “As I’ve gotten older and a few years into the media world, I’ve realised it’s about having your people and your crew. Not having people who are going to tell you that you’re great all the time. I have no interest in that.
“You need a good support structure. I look to the likes of my mam, I don’t need people to say stuff on social media. She will tell me if my outfit doesn’t look nice on TV so I don’t wear it again. Once I have those people in your corner, those are the people I’ll go to for feedback.”
She continues: “I don’t go to those anonymous people. We call them keyboard warriors, but there’s nothing warrior-like about someone who chooses to be anonymous. They should be keyboard cowards.”
And while she can definitely rise above it at the best of times, she admits: “When you see something you don’t like about you online, there’s always a part of you going: Reply. I have to take a break away from my phone. Sometimes my husband will say, ‘Don’t reply to that.’ If I don’t look for their opinion, I don’t focus on their criticism. Constructive criticism is good.”
It’s not just her mother who she has in her corner. She also speaks about her late father, who tragically passed away at the start of the year.
Speaking about his death, she admits she lives her life for him now.
“It’s humbled me in lots of ways, I know my dad would be the kind of person that if I get upset or am feeling sorry for myself, he’d tell me to cop on. Now I nearly feel I need to live my life in a way that shows I’m really grateful that I’m here, healthy and looking to say yes to new opportunities.
“I could focus on the fact he was taken from us too soon because he was only 64, or I could live my life in his honour. Do those things, let him live vigorously up there going ‘That’s my daughter doing that’. That’s how I deal with it.”
Ireland’s Fittest Family returns later this year with a brand-new coach in the form of current Dancing with the Stars champ Nina Carberry.