Fitness trigger Fitness

Five individuals share what got them into fitness

Christine Pemberton

Christine Pemberton   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


We asked people what that one last push was, that got them into sport. They told us, so we’d make their words our fitness spark

Over the last two-three years, I have often been asked how my fitness journey began. Was it a eureka moment when I pulled my back doing an everyday activity, or was it something more glamorous — after say, meeting with Usain Bolt. I didn’t, and it wasn’t. It all started when I was abroad and going through a period of loneliness, common I hear amongst women who are away from their support systems after the birth of a child.


At 60, Christine made a bucket list. She even ended up in a Bollywood movie because of that, but that’s another story. But the two most prime and daunting tasks on that list were running and climbing. “In five years I have gone from zero running, as in zero, to six full marathons under my belt. And from never having climbed, I have now tackled several Himalayan peaks, and am eyeing ever higher mountains. The initial push to follow these bucket-list dreams was having a significant birthday, but once I launched upon the path of adventure, it was easy. The joy and happiness and sense of achievement running and climbing give me means that now there is no stopping me,” says Christine.



RASHMI MOHANTY   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


Rashmi was always an overachiever but, out of nowhere, her career hit a low point to the extent that even her personal relationships were deeply impacted. She wanted to do something to get her confidence and sense of self back. Around the same time, her sister, who was a total couch potato, called to tell her she was running a half marathon. Something in her snapped and that was step no 1 of the hundreds of thousands of strides she would make in her life. Since then, she has become the first woman from Delhi-NCR to run (and win medals) at Comrades — an 89-km, 12-hour gruelling race that tests the limits of sanity. But that was just the beginning. She has since run 100kilometres on the MacLehose Trail, a 110-kilometres through the coffee estates of Malnad and a 130-kilometres through the jungles of Kodaikanal.



ANKITA KANWAR   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


We have all seen the public version of her relationship with Milind Soman, but Ankita had a rather unhealthy lifestyle, with late nights, junk food, lots of drinking, all the typical trappings of a 20-something’s life. Meeting Milind changed that. She started realising that on most days he would have finished a 20-kilometre run even before she had woken up. Her lifestyle caught up with her and she started falling sick often. That was her turning point. She promised herself that she would at least once run a 10k without stopping before she turned 25. And she did. From there she has gone on to complete a full marathon at Athens.



GAURAV MAKKER   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


Gaurav was an athlete growing up, but as is the case with so many people, he aged with not the best lifestyle, to the extent that he started getting panic and anxiety attacks. During one such episode, he rushed to the doctor thinking he had heart issues. The doctor told him he was fine, but he wasn’t going to be if he didn’t change his habits. It was like a slap on the face and he started running short distances and felt really good. Gaurav has completed some of the most daunting athletic endeavours of the world, including Ironman Mallorca 2015, Ironman South Africa 2016, Ironman South Africa 2017, Ironman Malaysia 2017, Ultraman Florida 2018, Ultraman world championship Hawaii 2018.



VAMINI SETHI   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


A senior leader in a multinational, Vamini has always sought adventure. But one day, she registered herself in a mountain biking race. To her surprise, she stood second in the women’s expert category. That was her moment of change from adventurer for fun, to adventurer with a purpose. She went on to set a record in the Limca Book of Records for riding the longest distance in a foreign country (Women), in addition to summiting mountains such as Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Mera, Mt Elbrus and many more. She now aims to scale the highest peaks in all seven continents.

The writer is a blogger and entrepreneur in the health space

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 10:03:25 PM |

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