Inspiration From Jyotsna
By Vishwanthar on General
December 23, 2021
Whenever I think of Jyotsna the only word that reverberates in my mind is perseverance. She has been a long-time gym client, and I can assure you that she is the embodiment of tenacity. A few years back, during my conversation with her, she casually said that she used to be a Taekwondo practitioner. Misled by the excess fat that she carried at that moment, I thought she was bluffing. One day, I saw her practicing her kicks on the gym boxing bag. I was shellshocked to see her vigorously kick the bag like a well-trained kick boxer. I imagined myself receiving the kick, and felt baffled. That shook and humbled me.
On speaking to her later, I found out that she was an athlete during her school days. (She played Kabaddi in interschool competition and was a silver medallist in badminton.) She discovered her passion for Taekwondo, and began to train under Amol Palekar from 2000 to 2007. She was inspired when she saw her friend practice the martial art. The kicks and self-defence tactics for protecting themselves were exciting for her and she immediately joined. She secured a black belt after a few years of rigorous practice. However, competing in the nationals took a huge physical toll. She was injured twice—swollen ankle joint and a back injury. Unfortunately, her father and elder brother, fearing for her wellbeing, demanded that she quit competing. However, in the end she was allowed to compete but only after promising them that this would be her last competition. Happily, she was welcomed back home with open arms as she secured the silver medal in the national competition. Tenacious right?
All of a sudden, she was married and that wholly altered the course of her life. When her first child was born, she understandably, gained (post pregnancy) a few kilos of fat, and after she bore the second one, she gained in excess. That’s when it occurred to her that she had to pick herself back up. Whenever she spoke with me, she sounded focused, but unfortunately failed to frequent the gym. The eagerness was there, but something had stopped her.
Looking after two small children, caring for a husband and keeping up her daily chores–she had her hands full. Moreover, adding to her woes was her excess baggage. She admitted to not feeling healthy. For an active person, gaining excessive weight can inhibit movements and be distressing. I could imagine how sad and frustrated she must have felt.
Luckily, the lockdown during Covid was a blessing in disguise. She had the opportunity to visit her hometown (Maharashtra) and stay with her parents for a short while. She full-well knew that this was a window of opportunity to lose fat. Coincidentally, she met an inspiring coach (Kesar Thakur) who promised to assist her to realise her dream of becoming fit and healthy again. She also lost the excess fat (16 kilos). The transformation was jaw dropping, and I was proud to see her in a lean frame.
Moreover, this prodded her to explore newer territories. She found her interest in yoga and even became a certified yoga instructor. (It’s inspiring to watch her do handstands in the gym.) Yoga helped her maintain her weight. She has also completed level 1 of Kalaripaytu. However, she soon realised that she had to lift weights to rev up her metabolism. She started frequenting the gym, and her tried her best to keep the excess fat at bay.
Please note that she might not have achieved these results at my gym. However, I will be a fool not to appreciate her perseverance. I share these inspiring stories not to pat my own back, but I tell them for you to take notice of the undying spirit these individuals carry. Moreover, don’t think that homemakers have fewer responsibilities than working women. Both are to be respected equally and should be lauded for achieving their fitness goal. Importantly, she is setting up a constructive example for her kids. Soon they will realise her eagerness to embrace a fitness lifestyle. Once they realise the relevance of persistence and consistency it will help them to know the usefulness of leading a quality life. Genuinely, she is carving them a path to lead a holistic life. The fore-mentioned qualities also permeate all walks of life.