This instance happened during my very first trek when we were heading to Kumaraparvatha, back in 2012, considered to be one of the most difficult treks in the WesternGhats but we being a bunch of newbies had no idea about it. It was my very first interaction with outdoor adventure and it actually struck me like love at first sight, with the mountains of course, and that’s the start of my journey to seek those adventures.I still remember the moment when I saw an overhanging patch of huge black rock almost 60 degree inclined and it looked impossible for us to go up on that but there was no other route as well, so I started first, trying to crawl towards a steady rock 50 meters above me. The moment I reached up, got stable on the flat portion and turned back, the valley down below send jitters down my spine. That sweet rush of adventure crept within me right at that moment.
What is your daily source of inspiration?
Leaving the procrastination and getting on to learn something new every day is the goal and I do try to keep up to that. Sometimes changing the HOWs while still keeping those dreams intact in my mind help me generate that new zeal. Also trying to impress my own self with my work does help a lot. Before even putting it in front of anyone, I seek validation within.
All the appreciation from closed ones and acquaintances also help to stay inspired to learn, grow and do better with my skills. At the end of the day, when I am dead tired and lie on my bed, a gentle reminder to myself seals the day which is that life is not a race, you won’t lose at the end, you just have to patiently wait for your turn to win!
What is one life lesson you've learnt in your pursuit of fitness?
I personally adhere to the fact that, patience and perseverance are the keys to attain anything in life. Success is an outcome of a sequence of events which takes place only when you have the patience to wait for and persevere towards your goals.
Fitness being one of those primary goals in my life has always been dealt with in a similar manner. A composite of strength and stamina is necessary in mountaineering and you cannot have gains in short period of time, quicker gains are a long time loss I feel. Thus, patience and perseverance is the key to attain the best of you.
Do you employ any unconventional or conventional ways to motivate yourself to stay fit and disciplined? What are they?
Keeping the dreams in mind helps me push myself to attain that discipline. There’s one unconventional thing that gives me an instant boost which is watching those motivational videos, learning from what the masters have to speak about fitness and from my peers who are working towards similar goals. You need to empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. Put it in a cup it becomes the cup, in a glass and it becomes the glass, be water friend - this is something that stays with me always and very rightly quoted by the legend Bruce Lee.
When did you first start consciously thinking about your nutrition and why?
Unfortunately I have been a late starter to consider nutrition as a prime element in my life. I have been into IT in my earlier days of career, just enjoying the first job with the freedom of staying away from home and not looking towards my health was the worst that I could have done to myself. At that time, I suffered from severe stomach pains and I was visiting the doctors almost every week, it became that frequent, even the doctors couldn’t identify the root cause. Worst was the night of my birthday when my friends had to take me to the doctor in a really bad condition, as I wasn’t even able to walk because of the extreme pain and dehydration. After that, I have started working out regularly and eating in the healthiest possible ways. That’s when I realized the true importance of nutrition and luckily I haven’t faced such health issues after that.
In 5 words, what piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Be calm and keep learning
What is your biggest indulgence? What's your favourite way to unwind?
I might sound like an old soul, but returning back to my family and my people is how I really love to unwind from the extreme mountain-ness. As much as I love to stay in the mountains to enjoy the climbs, photography, and every aspect of what I do, but there comes a time when I do feel the need to be back and spend some time with my loved ones. It acts as a refresher and gives me the strength to be ready to face those bigger challenges and climb more mountains, and in turn capture more captivating experiences.
I am not a big foodie but home cooked food is also something that I miss once I have spent plenty of time in the wilderness, and I am sure almost every mountaineer do crave for that delicious home cooked food while they are out in the mountains.