My Fitness Journey: chasing my passion
Integrity. Intelligence. Energy.
Fit as a teen
Being an ordinary teenager from a small town in the late 90s, the very idea to venture down the road of fitness seems like a far-fetched dream. Living in Andaman, we had tons of parks and beaches to work out at, but I along with my friends preferred to go to gyms. So much so that we considered opening a gym of our own!Back then, choice for role models was limited to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. But lack of encouragement could not contain my passion and I practically devoted my teenage to my passion.
Idea of converting my passion into profession came alive when I was approached by the Sports Authority of India. Apparently, they found my body structure conducive for weight lifting. Sadly my father’s skepticism for the sport shot down this first opportunity.Ending up with Computer Science in college, I continued to follow my passion and became an Arm-Wrestling Champion at senior level. Never being known for my computer skills, this vocation was a clear mistake. Ultimately I managed to finish my college, still being active in Strength Training and Holistic Fitness.
I had the fortune to get trained by Jay Sir, a former Mr. India, as my first mentor who also happens to be Kamal Hassan’s personal trainer. He never advised me to take up body building as sole vocation and kept me away from the harmful effects of anabolics, something trainers blindly recommend today. I value his insight that encouraged me to continue my passion in a natural way.I won Mr. Madras that year but little did I know that rainy days are approaching. After juggling between college and my passion for 2-3 years, I eventually had to shift my priorities to deal with college.
Circumstances pushed me to join an MNC but my passion always kept calling out for me. It was in those 2-3 years that I learned something that drives me till date- “when you set out to pursue something that you are good at, that makes you happy, everything else would eventually fall into place”. I rejected a promotion, quit the job and decided to take some risks!Like the one in my dreams, I joined a famous fitness studio in Chennai named as Maverick Fitness Studio, as a trainer. But soon I was faced with challenges; It was a relatively thank less 8-hour mechanical shift of standing most of the time and I could not help but notice that I was more qualified than most of my colleagues. However, destiny had decided something else. I met Mr. Shankar Baasu, my second mentor who was also the head of the gym. He inspired me in ways I could not recognize until years later. Furthermore, he was a very influential personality and you could not help but take his words seriously. He eventually made big, he is the current trainer of Indian cricket team. I still find his excerpts in cricketer Virat Kohli’s tweets! He motivated me to get a certification, gain knowledge and get out of the business of fooling your clients by simply showing off your body.
Gurgaon, my dream-catcher
As my first attempt, I set up a gym in my home town which unfortunately did not turn up as expected. So I decided to move to Mumbai, a city that held promise of significant exposure. But in turn of events, my wife got a job transfer to Gurgaon and we had to move, which later proved to be very helpful for my career.In my initial days here, I got in touch with Fitness First and was invited by American Council of Exercise to attend a workshop there. With the help of my qualification, I was offered to join them the very next day! Apparently 5 years back there were no certified trainers, unlike today. This is how my journey began. Soon I was known and respected in the industry for my knowledge, transparency and the fact that I do not con my clients.
Now the only hurdle was the ‘limited’ reach to my potential clients. Apparently, I lacked a business plan.To reach out to the masses I took up several social media platforms. Meanwhile I joined a few clubs, ‘Sports Fit by MS Dhoni & Absolutions Fitness’ in Galleria Market, for 3 years and tried to build up my credibility and reach as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Manager.
As a result of hard work and persistence over the years, I can humbly point out at my success in the industry. There exist only 5 to 8 best trainers in the industry who understand the science involved in this field like bio-chemistry, exercise physiology, bio-mechanics and a lot more.Now I intend to make a bigger name in the industry. One of my inspirations, with whom I am formally involved, is Kaizad Kapadia from Mumbai who started as an individual on a social media platform and made big with a huge fan base all over India. He now owns a certification academy by the name of K-11. Similarly, Shankar Baasu never ceases to amaze me with how he built up his name in 20-30 years.
In a nutshell, this is what it is! Today I have a vast experience & knowledge and to back it up, certifications! I intend to share my knowledge, reach out to people and also keep learning. This is what is important to me to achieve my lifelong goal. I want to restore the sanctity of the industry which I respect and love.