“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!