Most of you may not be aware that I have been an insulin-dependent Diabetic since the last 24 years.
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in the mid-9th grade in school when I was just 14 years old. After trying various combinations and doses of oral medicines for a year, my doctor finally decided to put me on insulin injections 3 times a day. Days, weeks, months, and years flew by as I continued with the same dosage of medicines and insulin. Frankly, to add insult to injury, my lifestyle was pretty bad in comparison to what it is today. I weighed 100+ KGs and could barely walk even a short distance. I never followed any kind of diet and ate everything that I wanted to.
In 2014, my father suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away in his dense sleep absolutely unanticipatedly. That incident gave me a very strong message. I shuddered at the thought – ‘what will happen to my family if something unpleasant happens to me all of a sudden‘. That was the point of self-realization when I decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
It all began with a 5 km walk every evening. I became very regular at it, but then at the back of my mind, I also kept thinking that this is not enough to kill my saturated fats which were accumulated for so many years. Finally, to challenge myself, I joined this CrossFit training center near my house. At first, I found it extremely difficult, but soon it got really interesting.
I still remember the day my trainer asked me to run 3 rounds of the ground as a warm-up. After running for about 100 meters, I started gasping for breath and stopped. I somehow managed to complete 3 rounds walking but started feeling horrible when I saw so many people running 5 and 10 rounds with ease. But I didn’t give up. Fortunately, my trainer was truly supportive. He told me that I will soon be able to run like others if I follow his workout and diet religiously.
A few months later, I had already lost 5 kgs!
I had unusually started loving this lifestyle and had dedicatedly started following it. One of my friends who also used to attend CrossFit training with me was a marathon runner and a cyclist who asked me to run 5k in an event in Dec 2015. And guess what, I did it! Thereafter, he gave me a target for 10k which I achieved in mere 3-4 months. I gradually started increasing the distance and finally completed my first half marathon in November 2017.
I fell in love with long-distance running and cycling. I completed various well-known events like Satara Hill Half Marathon, Airtel Hyderabad Marathon, Navi Mumbai Half Marathon, Goa River Marathon, Pune Running Beyond Myself and the list went on. I also checked good timings and a couple of long-distance cycling events off my list like Pune-Satara-Pune (204 km – 12.25 hrs) and Alandi-Pandharpur (237 km – 11.55 hrs).
Somewhere, I was always dreaming about running a Full Marathon (42.2 km) in Mumbai but was scared of the distance. But finally decided to go for it in Jan 2020. I trained hard for more than 6 months; finished strong in 4.50 hours which is considered to be very good timing for a first-timer and especially, in the hot and humid Mumbai weather.
Now, I am planning to complete the Ladakh Marathon this year and the Manali – Khardungla Cycling Ride in 2021. Ladakh is a very different ballgame as you run or cycle in just 50% oxygen. I am pretty excited about it!
The most important thing I learned from this journey is that nothing is impossible if you have the willingness to achieve it. All you need is great focus and dedication, and you will definitely achieve it.
As per the WHO study, every 6th Indian is a Diabetic and many of us are already in the pre-diabetic stage at the early ages of 30 and 40 years. The main reason behind this is the increased stress, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, food habits, etc.
So, to sum it up, all I want to say is that you need to give only one hour to yourselves every day. You can start walking, cycling, running, gym, swimming, badminton, squash, tennis, or any other cardio activity and you will ensure that you increase your life by a good amount of years.
If a lazy person like me could achieve this then anyone on earth can!
I will be more than happy if I can to inspire at least one person to take up a healthy lifestyle!