I used to fight a lot in school. My mother enrolled me for singing classes, but I could not continue it as I was too restless. She felt that I could not do anything extra-curricular. When I was 6 years old, one of our neighbors suggested enrolling me for Karate classes, as he had had some experience in it. I was a bit chubby, and I wanted to lose weight. I was told that I was 28 kilos when I was six years old. I initially joined Karate to lose weight, gradually I started getting good at it and winning competitions.
In 2009, I won my first gold medal in Nationals then in 2014 I won bronze in the school games. Since 2017, I've been participating in senior nationals. I worked my way, up from losing in 2016, to winning bronze in 2017, then bagging silver in 2018 and finally winning gold in 2019. After each defeat, I used to feel down, that I had done my best but I still did not finish at the top. But I never gave up, and I always told myself that even if I have not won 1st place this time, I’ve still finished better today than I was yesterday and the day before.
My school, Nabagram Hiralal Paul Balika Vidyalaya, has supported me a lot. I would not be here without them. Whatever I am today, is because of them. My first karate teacher was Sensei Taraknath Sardar, I'm indebted to him as well for his guidance. I was not very good at studies. After joining Karate, my confidence grew and I learned about how a disciplined approach can help one tackle challenges better. From never passing in maths, I went on to get close to full marks.
While we are all locked down now, it has not been easy for anyone. I find myself better able to cope with it by keeping myself fit and healthy regularly but working out and eating right. It is important to keep ourselves motivated at this time and to play it safe. I've been doing a few exercises at home that helps me even improve in my karate moves/techniques.
Weight training is something I took to recently. VJ Bani is my inspiration, after seeing her I thought "Ok, I can also lift weights." I started strength training with weights when I was 18. It is very good for the body. I feel that every girl should lift weights. You don't have to start off with heavy weights, start small but be regular.
Here are a few exercises I do to specifically help me with my Karate;
1. Weighted squats with dumbbells and Pulse Squats
In Karate, we use our legs the most. It's important to develop lower body strength so you can perform at your best. Weighted squats with dumbbells and pulse squats really help in that regard.
2. Static and Dynamic Stretches
Stretching helps you to recover from a bout and from an intense training session. It also makes you more flexible, which helps you compete better.
3. Pushups and Air punches
Along with kicks, you need to be able to throw fast and stable punches, for which push ups and air punches are an essential exercise.
I've seen a lot of ups and downs. My pursuit of fitness has taught me that we should accept the challenges in life with a smile. All this led me towards modeling and being more of a voice in fitness, I hope to inspire more and more to pursue fitness.
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