Fitness Queen 2021

“If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.”

-Fred Devito

In the last week of January, my running group mentor posted about an event called “Fitness Queen” in our group chat. I was quiet intrigued by the details of the event as this is the first time an event like this was supposed to take place in our town. Usually, my first reaction to any challenge is that of anxiety and fear. I am amongst the kind who dive headfirst into any new challenges and learn with the flow. I like to be prepared with everything I do in life. But this challenge was different. I have been working out for over 2 years now and this event was a perfect way to test my level of fitness. I signed up for it right away!

My running group mentor motivated all the women in our group to participate in this event. Her motive was to push us to participate and give our best for the event. She gave us the confidence to aim for a win and kept practice sessions to help us prepare for the event.

We had been given a wide range of exercise/workout types to prepare starting from basic ones such as jumping jacks, skipping, squats, crunches, burpees to difficult ones like pull ups, chin ups and pushups. When I saw the list, I was confident about most of the excercises except pushups, pull ups and chin ups. My arms had zero strenght when it comes to performing a push up and I have been struggling with it ever since I started working out.

The first training session with my running group was kept in the first week of February. It consisted mostly of cardio based activities which I’m comfortable with. My mentor then asked us to try push-ups amd I failed miserably. I couldn’t even perform 1 push-up. I was terribly upset and decided to work on my push up daily from that day onwards. I started with wall pushups and did it daily for over a week till I could safely perform an incline pushup. After a week, I still stumbled while performing a full push up! It was totally demotivating but I decided to keep going. I was happy with my improvement in a week and continued with my practice. The second training sessions consisted of skipping (which I am good at), yoga asanas and ladder drill. I was quiet comfortable with these but what came next shattered my confidence! We were asked to perform push ups (I could do 13 here with a bad posture though!). My incredible group members inspired me beyond measure by performing more than 25 perfect pushups! I was spellbound, I couldn’t believe what I saw! These super humans (who are married, with kids, who handle way too many responsibilies than me!) were INCREDIBLE at push ups! It doesn’t end here! We were asked to do planks next where I gave up afterb 2.20 mins (after a week’s practice!). Some of my superwomen, running group friends pushed through till 5 mins. That day I reaslied I have a LONG way to go in my fitness journey and was extremely motivated to practice harder thereon.

With a month’s practice, I saw good progress in below activities.

Skipping : From 150 skips o 570 skips at one go

Plank : From 1 min to my personal best record of 4 mins

Pushups : From zero to 20 in average form

27th February 2020 (Event day)

The event consisted of 2 rounds, prelimnary and final. I was decent in most of the activities which earned me good points (BMI, Hip to waist ratio, Forward Bend, Squats (47 in one minute), crunches (37 in one minute), shuttle run and sprint). I stumbled in Vrukshasan and lost 20 marks (Honestly, could have performed better in this one, I was negligent!).

I almost lost hope of advancing to the finals as everyone else had done a great job at Vrukshasan. From 17 participants, only 7 were selected to the finals. When they called out the name of finalists, my name didn’t come up in the first 6 slots. I was sad but still prayed to the Universe to grant me this one wish. I wanted to be in the finals! The 7th name was called out and as luck would have it, it was me! The Universe heard me out!

The final round was a circuit drill with started with a 10 step jumps, 1 round of ladder jumps, 10 jumping jacks, shuttle run to 4 different points, flipping a 10-20 kg tyre over a 20 metre stretch, duck jumps over a 20 metre stretch and finally ending with 10 squats!! (Phew!!) The top 3 quickest contestants would be declared as Winner, 1st and 2nd Runner’s up respectively.

I was totally drained after performing the circuit, I overestimated my strengh and underestimated the weight of the tyre. Everyone performed exceptionally well and I was back at my prayers to the Universe to help me win the beautiful trophy!

When the winners of my age category were announced, I waited with bated breath.

The Universe heard me out once again and I was placed 3rd (2nd Runner’s up) in my age category. I was estatic and absolutely delirious on winning the trophy (by now you would have come to know about my obsession with medals, trophies, any accolades for that matter!)

I came back from the event with memories that would last me a lifetime and being extremely happy with my decision to participate in it. I would have lost a great opportunity to challenge myself, work on my shortcomings, understand where I stand amongst my peers and last but not the least, have a great time had I done otherwise!

Moral of the story : Never shy away from trying. There’s nothing to lose, we either WIN or LEARN!

Gracias : 200 followers!

WHAT? REALLY? This seems unbelievable to me right now! The journey from zero to 200 followers has been INCREDIBLE. A big thank you from the bottom of my heart to each one of my fellow bloggers and readers who took the time out to read, comment and follow my blog. I am ecstatic to have hit this milestone in my blogging journey. I feel extremely blessed to be on such an amazing platform of readers and bloggers who are supportive and don’t leave any stone unturned to lift each other up.

Writing is the best form of therapy for me and I intend to continue this for as long as I can. My best wishes for everyone on this beautiful journey of growth and self discovery.

The ultimate goal

#99/100

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory”

-Rita Mae Brown

I just completed watching the series “The Good Place” on Netflix and I loved most part of it. One of the genres of this show is philosophical fiction and I’m drawn to everything that is connected to philosophy. Few of the dialogues and situations shown in the series were so profound, it blew my mind. The show touched on topics such as existential crisis, happiness, ultimate goal, moral obligation, life and death, sadness, mediocrity, growth and every single topic that raises questions that don’t have a well defined answer attached to it.

Almost every human being feel the emotion of sadness and experience all the negative feelings in life. This is caused as they fear an end to their existence without having the chance to experience everything that life has to offer. However, have you thought of what would happen if all problems and limitations are wiped out from your life? You can fulfill any dream you can possible imagine without having any conditions attached to it. Sounds blissful right? Almost like paradise? Does this seem like the perfect life you wish to live? Turns out, this kind of life isn’t ideal either. Even if you can do whatever you wish to do, once you have gone through all the experiences you’ve possibly imagined, what will you live on for? You might become happiness zombies if there’s absolutely zero inconsistencies in your life. Life can get boring really fast once we stop having a reason to live for.

The struggles, pain, sadness though difficult to experience, give meaning to our life. We find a new purpose, a better goal to aim for, a reason to wake up in the morning each day. Another great thing about human life is the innate desire to become a better version of themselves, every single day. Since we have a finite timeline on earth, we desperately wish to make it extraordinary and try everything possible to do it. If these things are handed out to us on a silver platter, life won’t have any meaning attached to it anymore.

The next time you face a problem, don’t curse yourself into believing that you are being punished for something. You face a problem, analyze your best possible options, try again after each failure and find the solution! Life makes sense because of every single element that makes up for it, the happy moments, sorrows and hardships are equally responsible for making our life truly exceptional.

Always prepared

#93/100

“Thorough preparation makes its own luck.”

-Joe Poyer

I don’t have a long post today. It’s already the end of Sunday and I feel rather unaccomplished for wasting my just another weekend. I know I have the potential to achieve my goals yet I restrict myself most of the times to do my best. I had planned few things this weekend which included resuming my running sessions. I overslept, yet again. I also had a reading target in mind and watching few educational videos which I have been procrastinating on since ages. I don’t really know why I am unable to effectively manage my time everyday.

My current goal is to channel all my energy on developing effective time management skills. I desperately wish to accomplish this. The first 3 months of my weight loss journey in the year 2018 were the most productive time of my entire life. I managed to get a lot of work done in those 3 months and was extremely proud of my achievements back then. The only difference back then was a crazy determination to achieve my goal. I wish to get back to the same level of willpower and grit in my life to do well. Enough of lazing around.

Next week on Sunday, November 1st, is the last day of my 100 days challenge. I am thrilled to have reached this far. I wish to end it by challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and work hard to upgrade to a better version of myself. Starting this very moment, I will use every ounce of my mental and physical strength to LEVEL UP!

A little extra effort

#77/100

Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.

-Wayne Dyer

I remember watching a show as a kid that had left a lasting impact on me. In the show, the main protagonist was a little girl who was an average student in school and had no friends. On her birthday, she invited her entire class for a party but not a single one paid visit to her home. Just before the end of the party, her doorbell rang. It was her favorite aunt who gave her a surprise visit. The little girl poured her heart out to her aunt and asked her why she was unable to make friends? Her aunt thought for a while and searched her purse to fish out a beautiful necklace with a butterfly pendant. The aunt told the kid that this was a magic necklace. The wearer of this necklace will have all their wishes fulfilled. But there’s a catch. In order for the magic to work, the the little girl had to ensure 3 things on her part :-

  • Always be kind and helpful to others
  • Be thankful for everything that you have in life
  • Work a little extra hard each time

The little girl was overjoyed with the gift and tried putting it to use right away. The next day in school, she offered help when a fellow classmate was stuck at a math problem. She smiled and said thanks to her teachers for looking after her in school. At home, she studied for an extra hour than usual to put the third rule into practice. Nothing really happened for the first 2 days. On the third day, a fellow classmate asked if she could sit next to her. She finally had someone to talk to in school!!! When the end term results were announced, she was surprised to find that she had topped the class. All the extra studying hours had finally paid off. Her kindness left a lasting impact on everyone and she quickly became everyone’s favorite in school.

We already know the benefits of being kind and grateful in life. I wish to elaborate on the third rule. This story sounds very basic now, but as a kid it motivated me to do well in school. A little extra effort today works a long way. Every human being has a self imposed limitation set by their mind. Yet, we find few people in our day to day life, who are way ahead than the rest and at the top of their game every single time. Are they born this way? Not exactly. Some people are surely born more talented than the rest. But, if they don’t work on their talent each day, someone else with average skills will move past them in the race of life. Talent cannot be developed but skill can be. We can learn and be good at any thing we put our mind to, only if we are willing to run the extra mile for it.

If you wish to live an extraordinary life, be prepared to work extraordinarily hard for it. I don’t want you to lose your food and sleep over it. Remember the exact moment when you feel like giving up or calling it a day, push yourself to sustain past this feeling for some more time. This can be applied to any aspect of life. Be it an extra lap during your morning run, reading few more pages of a book, reaching work a few minutes earlier than the rest or simply studying an extra chapter for the day. A little extra than your mental limitation, that’s all it takes to turn ordinary into “extra”ordinary!

An achiever

#73/100

“Success in life is not for those who run fast, but for those who keep running and always on the move.”

Bangambiki Habyarimana

I was watching a clip of Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s new book launch promo today and she said something that instantly struck a chord with me. She wants to be a person who sets goals and achieves them. The second part of this sentence is what differentiates it from any other motivational pep talk. We are always taught to chase dreams, our goals and made to feel bad if we don’t achieve them. But we are never pushed to finish what we start. Having goals is great, but it makes no difference to your life if you don’t put consistent efforts on it. Like anything in life, there will be failures and setbacks. That’s when 99% of the crowd backs out. The 1% who continue, end up realizing their goals or learn enough skills to chase a different one.

Instead of being a person who sets big goals, I want to be a person who lives up to my word, no matter what. I have envisioned a dream life for myself, yet I delay working on it every single day. Rest is great, watching movies and shows are blissful, but they’ll seem much more sweeter and victorious if earned as a reward on achieving your goals.

Instead of a ‘doer’ mindset, I have adopted an ‘achiever’ mindset in life now. The difference between the two is the consistency of efforts for any task or goal in life. A doer always has ample time to complete their work, probably till the end of their life. An achiever, well, they are focused on achieving their targets in minimal time. After all, their main goal is to complete what’s started.

Let’s push ourselves harder and break the self imposed restrictions set by our mind. As we all know, we are much stronger than we think!

Getting out of my comfort zone

It was my first day at my new job today. This place is everything I wanted my dream job to be like. Extremely knowledgeable people, great office environment, fixed timings, great brand, yet, I feel weird.

There is this intense feeling of discomfort that is plaguing my mind. I just can’t come to terms with the fact that opportunities lie outside the comfort zone. In my previous organisation, I knew everything and everyone, everything and everyone knew me. I didn’t like the people there nor the office timings, yet, I want to go back and hide myself there.

What is wrong? Why do I feel so uncomfortable at a place that feels so right! Well, that’s the cost to pay when you venture out of your comfort zone. The comfort zone is a place which protects you from any kind of fear. New places brings with it unknown situations, uncomfortable meetings, it tests your knowledge and your ability to deal with new surroundings. All this ain’t pretty. Especially, for an introvert like me. Introverts like to conserve as much energy as possible. They lose energy and hope as soon as they have to encounter a new situation.

It’s time to be more positive and embrace my reality. Living my life one day at a time might help. I either live in the past or find myself dreaming about the future. Present is never an option for me.

Embracing every moment of the present situation will help me recuperate and that’s what I am going to do. It was my decision to move out of the situation I was in and upgrade my life. Now, I need to be more mature and responsible about my decisions. Happiness is a continuous process. You cannot wait for it to find it’s way to you. Happiness sometimes requires effort. Your mind needs to free and clutter free in order to create a nurturing house for it to stay in for a long time.

While I go back to my reality, I urge you all to give the uncomfortable situation you are currently facing, another chance. Just remember, this feeling too shall pass. It is just an illusion created by your mind to protect you from prospective fearful situations. And believe me, you are stronger than that! So, fight the FEAR.!

Hand drawing unhappy and happy smileys on blackboard

Challenge : 100 days

This year, 2016, has almost come to an end. Well, not almost, there about 100 odd days left. I realized, like always, I haven’t really done much to make 2016 a memorable one.

Last week, I saw a link on Facebook to join the “100 days with Pinkathon” challenge. Pinkathon is an annual marathon held in India to empower women. They believe a healthy family, a healthy nation and a healthy world begins with empowered women. I haven’t participated in their marathon yet (#2017 goal) however was extremely excited about this challenge. The challenge requires you to run minimum 2 kms everyday for the next 100 days. The challenge began on September 23rd 2016 with the 100th day ending on 31st December 2016. So basically, you accomplish the challenge throughout 100 days and celebrate on 1st January 2017 (along with #newyear2017 celebrations of course!).

I also got an email to join the “100 happy days challenge“. Rules of this challenge are pretty simple. Every day, for next 100 days, I need to find the 1 best thing that made me happy and document it. Your happy moments can be documented on any social media platform or their website itself (if you wish to avoid publicity). Due to our daily routine and supposedly busy life, we forget to live and enjoy the present moment. This might be the best way to do just that.

Along with the above 2 challenges, I decided to create my own challenge “100 punctual days”. I am a chronic procrastinator and extremely tardy. I never reach anywhere on time (not proud of it at all). I curated this challenge for my benefit. I hope by the end of this challenge, I’ll be able to join the ranks of people who are extremely punctual. I believe anyone can accomplish anything they want if they value the time in their hands.

I have embarked on the journey to make last 100 days of 2016 memorable. I hope these challenges bring a positive change and help me in some manner to become “the best version” of myself.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED : 23rd SEPTEMBER 2016

Ciao!

 

My Super List

“Research says that people who write their goals down are 42% more likely to achieve them.”

I first stumbled upon the idea of creating my “Super List” after visiting the blog of Josef Wigren. He has posted an incredible list of things he wishes to accomplish in his life and it motivated me to create my own. I call it the “Super List” as I’m obsessed with the word “Super” and want my life to be defined by this word.

I first created this list on August 28th 2016. This list is not finite and will definitely change over the course of my life.

Wish me luck. I’ll update this list as soon as I accomplish each goal and also share the details associated with it.!

Life goals

  • Be extremely fit : Perfect and strong body
  • Be extremely fearless : Never be scared of challenges
  • Be extremely secure : External forces shouldn’t affect me

Health goals

  • Become vegan
  • Lose 5 Kgs (Goal weight : 58 Kgs)
  • Get visible abs and muscle definition
  • Run a 10K marathon
16th December 2018 | Pinkathon | My first 10 km run
  • Run a 21K half marathon
22nd December 2019 | Kisna Diamond Marathon | My first 21 km run
  • Run a full marathon : 42K
  • Exercise for 30-45 minutes in a day
Have been regular with my HIIT / body weight workouts since September 2018, highest single day session time of 1 hr
  • Run for 45 minutes in a day
Maximum long running distance of 26 kms covered with an approximate timing of 3.20 hrs on 26th January 2020
  • Perfect my push ups : 10/15/20/25 at a time
  • Pull ups : 3/5
  • Hold a plank for 5 minutes
  • Complete a 10 km run under 55 mins
  • Complete a 21 km run under 2 hrs

Knowledge goals

  • Learn to read, write and speak Korean
  • Know about :
    Indian constitution
    World history
  • Read 50 books in a year
  • Clear CFA, all 3 levels in first attempt
  • Complete 10 online courses in a year

Travel goals

Visit :

  • South Korea*Dream place*
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • USA
  • London
  • Thailand
  • Dubai
  • Mauritius
  • Australia
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Rome
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Malta
  • Turkey
  • Greenland
  • Kolkata
First trip to Kolkata (28th October to 1st November 2017)

Community contributions

  • Clean India : Contribute towards India’s cleanliness
  • Create an animal shelter in India
  • Never leave an animal in distress

Career goals

  • Get a job that I love
  • Give a TED talk on”Confidence
  • Feature on Forbes magazine
  • Motivate and inspire people
  • Have a mentor who would truly help me achieve my professional goals

Adrenaline pumping goals

  • Sky Diving
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Ride a plane
  • Scuba diving
  • Surfing
  • Whitewater kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Paragliding
  • Ice-skating

People to meet

  • BTS
  • Shah Rukh Khan
  • Anushka Sharma

Life experiences

  • Attend a BTS live stadium concert
  • See a shooting star
  • See the northern lights
  • Hug a panda
  • Lie on a beach and look at the stars
  • Get a national accolade
  • Get a PR package
  • Be a speaker on a podcast
  • Own a huge library at my home
  • Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida
  • Visit Disneyland