Disease could not shatter his dream to become a sporting icon. Meet Sham Singh Shera, who despite having polio affected leg, not only beat the disease but also scores of opponents to become world renowned body building champion. Today his name has became an inspiration for all those with a desire to come up in life. With a staggering total of 12 gold medals to his name in national and international tournaments, Shera is a role model for everyone, particularly differently-abled persons, who are aspiring to achieve enviable physique. To help physically challenged achieve their ambition and come into the mainstream of society, Shera is working with NGO Udaan.
In an interaction, Shera tells how he plans to help those who dare to make their dreams-come-true. As to who his inspiration is, Shera responds, “I always looked up to my elder brother, who is also a fitness enthusiast. He used to train hard, working out at the local gym, going for morning walks. It made me want to do the same. At 15, I started following his regime, avoiding walking supports and gradually turned the odds in my favour.”
The turning point of his life was when he won the gold medal at Mr. North India. “This boosted my confidence and earned me the support of my family and other loved ones thus helping reach an international level.”
In 2011, he qualified for the Santa Susana World Championship in Spain, claiming yet another gold. “Certainly this was the high point of my life, it gave me and my family all the motivation we needed.” Initially, he faced obstacles despite having represented the country on an international level. “I qualified for the World Championships in 2012 and 2013 but due to lack of funds I could not make it through.” He felt let down by the lack of support for athletes from government institutions. “I was on the verge of giving up the sport,” he says.
In an age when the youth takes steroids, Shera promotes healthy diet plans and urges people to stay off from performance enhancing drugs. “It is all temporary and fades away in a matter of weeks. The human body is a temple and worshipping it is an art. You need to know what’s right for you. Before putting anything in your body you need to be sure of the quality of the supplements you take.”
A non-vegetarian, Shera’s diet constitutes eggs and bananas accompanied by milk for breakfast before he hits the gym. “Post workout meals are very important as they help gain lost muscle and aid in recovery. Chicken and meat are great sources of protein.” As for vegans he says, “Plenty of choices, from beans to pulses and rajmas, boiled green vegetables work wonders.”
A combination of diet and exercise is necessary to develop a brawny physique. As to how he’s helping youngsters, Shera, says: “I am coming up with my own fitness line which will help people who cannot afford the rising gym membership fees. I plan to personally help them train regardless of any physical difficulty they face.”
Before signing off, Shera gets poetic. “ shikwe to bahot hai tujhse ae zindagi, par jo tune mujhe diya, bahoton ko to wo bhi naseeb nahi .”