Arunjith Unnikrishnan

So we all talk about being fit and so do we browse a lot of content on how to sport that six pack abs or an hour glass figure is it not? I’ve seen many including myself. Let me ask you this. Is having six pack abs means you are fit? I do not think so. Well yes, you really need to be fit to sculpt those muscles for sure. Takes a lot of efforts as well as control in terms of the food you intake. But if you are looking at being fit, my personal opinion is to have your regular exercises done and to have a balanced diet. The next question would obviously be what exercises we can do. Now that is something that you could answer for yourself. Pick the one you really love and enjoy doing. Not just for a day or two but persistently.

I always had my love towards long walking. I did it whenever I had time and I did it for years together but then I did not concentrate on my diet well. I am sweet lover and simply loves to eat at every opportunity that I had. Hence, I needed to move on to a more intense exercise to keep my calories under control. In 2019 is when I moved to try on cycling. Being a 80’s person, bicycle was always close to heart and I started off with an old single speed cycle and started doing pretty decent distances until I met a member of a cycling club who advised me to move on to a geared cycle so that I could do long distances with ease. I bought my first geared cycle in 37 years and realized that the cycle industry had changed drastically from what I was into and the products that are available in the market now. In any case the new friend of mine, a Raleigh Strada Elite was a hybrid bike and it was a transformative exercise. I rode my first every long-distance ride from Cochin, Kerala to Ooty, Tamil Nadu and covered about 630 Kms. I was bubbled with confidence and followed a couple of more endurance rides. The rides started becoming an obsession and I could literally notice the differences it was making inside my body. My weight had started reducing, I was feeling more energetic and most importantly I was feeling happy about what I was doing.

The fun didn’t last long with Corona entering the picture. The rides had stopped completely and being obsessed to cleanliness, I never wanted to venture outside of my home. The cycle remained unused and with no clarity on what the future would look like post pandemic, I didn’t want to keep an unused cycle at home and hence sold it. By the time the situation improved, and the lockdown was lifted, my weighing machine had clocked 74.5 Kgs which was way too high in terms of the BMI for a 5 feet 5 inches person. I realized that it’s now or never and knew that if I leave this now situation could get worse and out of control. I didn’t have my cycle and with cycling industry booming during pandemic getting a new one had a good 4 months waiting period. The only alternative was to get back to walking but I was sure that with the amount of weight that I had it needed a harder workout to show results. That’s when I thought of trying out running. Though I had done a couple of full marathons (without any practice), I always found running tough and I wanted to master it.

Towards the end of October 2020 is when I started running. I was finding it extremely difficult to move beyond 2 to 3 Kms but I kept reminding myself that there were no other alternatives. I persisted, days passed, and I could see that I was improving on my pace and thereby the timing as well. I slowly started pushing my limits and realized that I too could do it and that was a moral victory for me. This gave me the sense of confidence and today when I write this note on 27th January 2021, I have already completed 10 half marathons in this month and am planning to run a half marathon on each day until the end of 31st January 2021. Many criticized that I do not wear a proper running shoe. Yes, I wear a normal Indian made shoes which is used over 3000 Kms. But it really doesn’t matter for me because I firmly believe that it’s not my shoes that controls my run/ ride / walk but it’s my mind’s willingness that gallops me. And yes, please do not misunderstand my statement because I am not against any brands but my point is brands do not make you or at-least me more able.

I am extremely happy to share that ever since the end of October 2020 till December 2020, I completed around 2800 Kms of cycling, running and walking and have shred 13 Kgs. All these without any formal training or coaching and I use my case as an inspiration to the others because I always felt that if I could do it, anybody in the world could do it. All you need is a mind that has confidence in you to push harder every other time you hit the roads. Realize that once you are there, there’s no looking back.

My Experience:

  • There’s nothing in this world that you cannot or will not be able to do

  • Tune your mind and your body would always follow

  • Always have a plan in your mind on what to achieve for that day and stick to it

  • Track and monitor your performance and that’s how you improve each day

  • Wear a comfortable clothing and footwear. This will put you at ease

  • Hydrate yourself very well because fluids really matter as you perform

  • Have a balanced diet. While I do not follow any specific diet, I have reduced a lot on junk food that can hamper the activity results

  • Try and work on a running posture that best fits your body. This comes with a little observation while you run and could make life easier

  • Always try different routes so that your runs don’t become monotonous. This will also help you explore more places. I personally choose places that are close to nature in order to breathe freely and feel relaxed

  • Music can be a real booster and studies indicates this too. Play the music that can pump you up and keeps you moving

  • Do not have excuses. I try and do all my activities by finding time before or after my work and family commitments. It’s our decision and a choice to make. Try waking up early so that you could do your chores peacefully or however you deem fit

  • Stop if you have injuries or any indication of the same. Let it heal before you put more pressure on it. Take medical support wherever necessary

  • Have proper sleep so that your body rejuvenates

  • Check out that star in you in your mirror and see your transformation

  • Try and spread all the positivity and vibe and inspire the people around you

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