Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Discount Your Fitness

“There’s no such thing as free lunch” – Milton Friedman. Most of us may have heard this quote. I too came across this proverb throughout my years in my post-graduation years. However what has it got to do with one’s personal fitness or fitness management? Ok

·         We all visit the doctor for some illness, sickness, pathologies sometime or the other in our life. Once the doctor is done with checkup or he/ she quotes their fees. Do we ask them “Doctor discount kitna hai bolo? same price mein next visit free haan” (Doctor how much is the discount please specify or else please consider my next visit free)

·         We go to hair-dressers or hair stylists ranging from a very simple local to a premium stylist salon. Once done and when the stylist quote their fees do we ask them “Acha haircut hogaya abhi head massage free or discount bolo” (Haircut is done, give a free head massage and tell me the discount on your price)

·         We give our bikes and cars for service and repairs. On receiving the invoice for service or repairs we don’t say “Mereko itna paisa nahi par vadta” (I can’t afford that much money)

Be it any service we take from any professional person or organisation. If it’s good we don’t ask how much discount you can offer or what other thing or service is free.

But then why with fitness or nutrition charges? Why with your personal trainer or nutritionist? Why??? Aren’t they giving you the best service? Infact one should understand if money rightly invested in good gym, good trainer and good nutritionist; it can help you improve your lifestyle and reduce the chances of getting lifestyle related diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Coronary Artery Diseases, Osteo related diseases etc. Benefits on one’s health and fitness can just go on. So then the same question why???

I tried analyzing this issue in the Indian Fitness industry. However I don’t see it as small issue but I see it as big problem for the industry and its stakeholders on long term. I see 3 stakeholders to this problem. Let’s elaborate with suggested corrections;

1.     Fitness Club Management:

Ok. I am sure many gym owners/ directors/ managers may turn back and say, not to teach them how to do business or who the f*#k am I?

Rightly! I am no expert but certain things need to be highlighted and require corrections as per my analysis.

a)     If you are CONFIDENT ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THE FACILITY AND SERVICES the club is providing then why offer discount. FIX ONE RATE AND STICK TO IT. Don’t change it with some ridiculous discount schemes “Valentines day offer! Sir we will club with your friend”, special one day offers, “Only for you and Only today”. Please understand, the customer/clients are not fools. You can tempt them once with offers, twice but eventually in long run they will figure the worth of the services. Imagine hospitals, hotels and salons doing that? Stupid and funny right! Initially business may suffer but once your services and facility is valued well and that brand building is done rightly, business will be good.

b)    Your HUMAN CAPITAL. In today’s business what separates one successful business to another, is its human capital (Employees) working for it. Firstly request to PAY THEM ON TIME. Secondly RECRUIT GOOD QUALITY PROFESSIONALS AND PAY THEM WELL. I know of two different, very renowed gym chains whose name I won’t disclose. Where, the Valet driver is being paid more salary than their Floor Trainers. Come on, this is ridiculous if someone understands business will know, people who run the business should be paid and rewarded more than support functions or departments of the business. A valet driver being paid more than your floor trainer.  A person who gives 8 hours a day and handles huge amount of your customers in hypocrisy of floor training. Do check with your gyms. We all know what a displeased employee handling large number clients will do the extend of harm to business. If you feel the professional doesn’t deserve to be paid that much might as well get more competent people on board. There are thousands there in the market. You invest in good equipment to get good sustainable returns, similarly invest in good professionals and they will give your awesome business. That’s why we call them Human Capital.  This will do good to your business and improve the quality and standards of your gym and professionals working for it.

2.     Fitness Professionals

We love calling ourselves ‘FITNESS PROFESSIONALS’.

·         Are we actually professional?

·         Are we punctual and discipline?

·         Is our own grooming and body worth our job?

·         How well and effective do you service your clients?

·         Are your certifications yet valid or revalidated timely?

·         How much do you read daily regarding fitness, nutrition, life sciences, fitness management, etc. beyond just simply being updated with our certifications every few years?

Ask these questions to yourself and I am sure you will find the answer too. Now what will make you successful is how you act on the answers you get. Trust me if acted rightfully no will ever dare have the balls to ask you discount or doubt your services.


3.     Customer (Clients)

I mentioned in my earlier article on Purpose on training about the importance of being clear of your goal and having clarity and reality on your expectations. Don’t be fooled by sham professionals. We love googling things. Cross check with trusted professionals and right forums to learn more about fitness. Speak to your trainers and nutritionists, be inquisitive. You are paying for their services ask them questions. Ask why? How? Don’t argue with them on facts they insist. If in doubt still, then take a second opinion how we do with a doctor or lawyer, similarly just ask that question to other trainer or sign up his/her services. You would eventually know about the quality of the services you are been given and there will be TRUST FACTOR CREATED FOR THE PROFESSIONAL AND THE PROFESSION. I gave some ridiculous scenarios in the start. Ask these questions to yourself then why do you ask for discount on trusted professional services which doing good to you and your health and fitness or I can simply say improving your life. There is no such thing as free lunch and we have to pay back in some manner. Similarly discounting on Fitness may make you payback with basically not achieving your purpose and may be worsening it.  We wouldn’t like someone negotiating with our salary or business revenues. Empathise! Think about it.

Concluding, I just want to give a disclaimer above are my views and analysis. Request anyone from the above 3 stakeholders to take it in the right spirit for betterment of yourself, the industry and society.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Stranger in the mirror

                               Stranger In The Mirror

                                                                      Is this me?

Are you one those people who finds yourself facing a stranger in the mirror?  A complete change in the personality has occurred now compared to 5 years back YOU . That  fabulous body and beaming face, that confidence for having all the fun with friends, , spouse, kids is now nowhere to be seen?The person that you can see in the mirror is someone much older, duller and thinks twice before wanting to spend any energy on having fun as the mundane takes all the energy now. It was not like this a few years back, and now you wonder how just 5 years have made you look and feel 10 years older, you wonder, ‘Do I even want to be this person after 10 years?’ But you don't know the way to find this person you want be again  - Yourself!

Know the Problem.

The best way to figure out a solution is, to know and understand your problem.

Let me ease this emotional strain of you being lost,by saying, you are not alone into this, most of us go through this issue . Let me also explain, how these 5 years have made you into another person altogether and give you a solution to the problem. As you grow older your body stops growing, hence drops the caloric  requirement of the body that was needed in the growth phase. The metabolism drops and so does the growth. That means the muscle which is an  active tissue, also starts its wear and tear and the muscle mass reduces. This is a natural process.

No growth phase = less calorie requirement. 

Less muscle = less calorie expenditure. 
Oops!!! It’s a double whammy. But the good news is we have found the problem  to solve! 

Few facts one must  must understand :

1) Muscle is an active tissue in your body, that means work is done by this tissue to burn calories. so in simple words more  muscle burn more calories 

2) Muscle will never turn into fat or vice a versa. Women with more muscle will always look much much leaner than women with more fat. 

3) Being thin does not mean you have more muscle,or you have less fat .It can be a lot more fat than required, inviting physiological problems.

4) Body composition is determined in percentage of fat and muscle to your total body weight .

Variables and Constants.
Age:Drop in metabolism happens around the age of 25-30. This is the age where the natural process of growth stops and the exercise and nutrition has to be added as trigger points to fight the ageing process.

Change in Lifestyle: This is also the time where  women generally get married OR choose a serious career option OR both. This results in dropped metabolism to show increase in fat . There is either no thought given to a workout regime or there comes a big pause in the workout regimen even before it has started showing results. 

Nutrition: This becomes an coefficient of lifestyle change. Irregular meals and wrong food choices becomes a norm. When I say wrong food choices , I do not specifically mean the deliberate ones . We all know junk food is bad and we make deliberate effort to avoid it , but most of the times the junk food is replaced by equally unhealthy options that seemingly look and sound healthy . So this has to be very specifically taken care by, with professional guidance.

Hormonal Imbalance:Yes the hormonal imbalance can accelerate the process of dropping the metabolism, taking more toll on the emotional state as well, making you a person you do not want to be. 

But this is the time for all of you to try harder to fight these issues rather than accepting them, just like another aspect of your life. Did your school allow you to fail in 3 subjects cause you were good at the rest? No! You worked hard to clear those 3 subjects all 10 years of your life!!! why give up now, when you did not even as kids?The weight gain is not just making you look, feel, behave older, but is bringing along all kinds of physiological disadvantages to you. Now with all these factors affecting how you look ,your mind very smartly plays the blame game card!! We have all heard the grumbles of how marriage or the jobs or the added responsibility of the kids and all other things being blamed upon for the weight gain all the time .  Lets go beyond that and take up the  responsibility to accept the reasons that has actually done the damage and make the change for good.

Solution: To finding yourself back and never losing yourself again.

We have understood that dropped metabolism with above mentioned factors reduce the muscle mass. The reduced muscle mass makes you fat and look old. So obviously the solution is to stop the muscle loss and try and to increase the percentage of the lean body mass in your body.
  The only way to increase muscle mass is by weight training or resistance training followed by a nutritional plan that allows cell repair(This quality in the nutrient is the reason for the muscle growth and good skin etc.)Its very important to understand that the desired results cannot be achieved only by just expending calories and cutting down the intake of the calories. This kind of routine would rather add fat to your body. So instead of just cutting down the calorie intake, precedence has to be given to cutting down  of the food that has lipogenetic(fat adding properties). Add weight training to the workout routine  and add foods that have cell repair properties.
Activities like running, swimming, squash, tennis will give you endurance and cardiovascular benefits but does not aid in adding or maintaining the  muscle. (As explained in the previous article- No Pain No Gain).
As you must have derived  the formula by now,to achieve good body composition, which is to simply increase the,  ‘Lean body Mass’ to look younger leaner.

The Formula

Strength Training + Cell repairing Nutrition plan

              Ideal body composition 

It is sad to see people putting in every effort, trying extremely hard, giving in a lot of time and money for activities like running up n down 2 hours, 2 weeks crazy boot camps that make you do numerous activities that are all cardio n endurance OR  eat only fruits for a week OR try other cookie cutter diets, soup diets etc. This actually gives rise to dropped muscle mass making them more vulnerable to adding fat, and they actually look worse in a few months than where they had started off. These are the same people now, that  give up on any diet or fitness programmes,  as according to them they have tried it all and nothing works, but actually makes them add fat .I urge you all to apply this formula and enjoy this beautiful journey.

Personally, not only have I experienced this beautiful anti ageing benefit of weight training, but have also seen a few of my students easily fight their hormonal imbalances, health issues, aches and pains, along with finding their beautiful selves again.You dont need to see a stranger everyday, when you can see yourself, the way you perceive, the way you want to be,THE IDEAL YOU

A little information about my journey.

I have been weight training for 8 years now. My intensity is my body weight or more.
Eg: I weigh 55 kgs , and my squat poundage is 60kgs(132lbs). 

As I have progressed in the intensity of the weights I have always found myself looking leaner and functioning better. Falling less sick too.

Me : Age way way above 30 [ don't ask other details ;) ]
Inactivity:  6 months 
Reason : Injury due to a bad fall on stairs
Not so strict not nutritious diet:   3 months.Mind played games told me I miss the gym so I'm sad
Strict Nutritious diet followed : 3 months. when you wake up being called stupid by yourself!

The answer is in front of you, Go for those free weights now and experience that new you!

This article was written during an injury phase (Feb 2015 to August 2015) of mine when I really did not add much weight( I had a huge tendency to add on weight, but with weight training things have started to reverse). I thought it would be great to share the formula with my readers. The picture too is clicked during that phase of not doing anything, but visiting the gym to click selfies.

 weight training actually helps you maintain a good body even during unavoidable break,  age  not being a benefit.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Tour of Deccan 2015: Cycling Expedition with hidden Gems and Challenges.

Tour of Deccan 2015:  Cycling Expedition with hidden Gems and Challenges.

It was that time of the year when finally I needed a vacation. And How cool would it be for just the girls chilling on the beaches of Goa and let their hair down to down some sun downers. Only the way I decided to be there was to go cycling . It sounded like a dream, the dream that needed to be realised. It was not going to be easy as I never do any cardio as part of my workout schedule due to the intensity of my strength training workouts, and the limited time due to work, but then nothing is impossible is what I told myself. Also I was the same person that had done Manali –Leh –Khardungla in July 2014 in same physical condition, which was at 18000 ft above sea level. This was Aapla Maharashtra, at sea level and I was sure I could do it (that’s what the organizers too assured me of). I had my doubts as the distances we were supposed to ride were extremely long, but now I had dived into it,and had decided to give it my best . Only time would tell if I could finish it or not. I was on an work assignment in Africa for 10 days right before the ride. Here I tried my hand at a cycle. I covered around 80kms in 8 days with Mark Griffiths an awesome cyclists who helped me with this. His advice to me was "Jui Keep those legs Moving" .Feeling slightly confident and a lot apprehensive of what was to come my way! 550Kms in 5 days!!!

Day 1:20th Nov 2015  Pune mahad 120kms
 Day one started with me landing from Africa and going straight to Pune from where we were supposed to start the ride. Billa no 13 was the badge no given to me , for my cycle, bags n tags, at the lifecycle store ,Tilak road, Pune. A scary looking  route map with 120 kms to be covered and a huge incline to be gained was handed out to us.Though fatigued through the travel, the excitement kept me going and once the flag off was done with the tradional Ganesh aarti the crew of 35 people started wheeling towards Mahad. Cycling through the city was a bit boring but as we hit the highway and turned towards Bhor my pace started picking up. Inclines after Inclines were conquered happily , post breakfast was the deadly Varandha Ghat where all cyclist had to keep pushing the pedal with just one thought in the mind that this ghat was to be followed by  a beautiful decent flowing into the last flat road 15 kms into Mahad. The beauty of the backwaters and the ghat was mesmerizing,but by now the sun had worked its way into torturing me and I was feeling its wrath , killing each km was an effort now and still seeing inclines coming our way was a clear bummer . Just when the legs were giving up  peddling through this unending ghat, I found the ghat finally ending and  the lovely descent waiting for me . It was my turn to enjoy the roller coaster going down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Getting towards the flats and scoring my pace really well by now. , But after many pedals and a few more kilometers covered ,legs were tired , body was fatigued and sun was not showing any mercy. The last few Kilometers were a killer but a long distance athlete has to win over this to finally make it to the destination and I knew it. Killing one kilometer at a time I finally entered Mahad only to take a wrong turn and ended up cycling another 10kms. At this point of time it was torturer in its purest form. I had a feeling of Friday(day of the ride) the 13(my badge no) had some part to play in this . I Couldn't see any markings for TOD(Tour Of Deccan, the roads used t be marked for the crew), the villagers didn’t know anything, the police vehicle refused to help. I was irritated, panicking and losing my temper by now. Finally two sweet village boys helped me back to the crew base.  130kms had been covered with tempers being cooled off by Nachiket Joshi ,my group leader  with yummy chicken kebabs and lovely lime soda.
Villager who was  amused ,Im not sure of weather it was me cycling through Varandha Ghat or clicking that selfie

Day 2: 21st Nov 2015. Mahad to Guhagar 105kms
It was a new day, and I had to leave the bad experience of getting lost behind and take on the craaaaaaazzzzyy challenging route Mahad to Guhagar. The route map given to us the night prior so scary, that I was not sure if I should stare at it or hide it away( why did I think this ride was gonna be easy?) we had to cover 105kms through these inclines. Guess what, the start itself of this awfully tough ride started with an huge incline to be covered . The only way forward was to keep kicking at the pedal.The sun was out and about  at torturing us again, only today it was at its peak much earlier at 9am itself and I could feel the heat seeping into me . I started feeling faint and I knew dehydration is taking its toll. Immediately added salt to my water stores and kept pedaling .  There were no clouds for cover, no tree for shelter, miles and miles of inclines with dry grass fields on both sides9wow they looked so beautiful, Golden, in its full glory).The only reprieve were my crew mates that were inching further killing each km with their determination.When u see team like that, its contagious. You encourage others and in return take their spirit to move on. This went on till the mid afternoon till we saw our ferry ride. Oh yes the beautiful ferry ride, the ride that was gonna relieve us from the blazing sun, the steep inclines and the cycle seat which by now had seemingly started feeling like a sharp object than a padded soft gel seat. I don’t know when was I so excited to see a ferry! Maybe when I was a baby , maybe for the first time in my life, now.The ferry spot was full of yummy foods stalls.My friends had some missal paav and famous fanas/jackfruit ice cream, and the chaas(buttermilk) was  to die for , I downed some yummy glasses of chaas, and rested my sore butt on the ferry seat for some selfies. It was as 10 minute ride and I felt rejuvenated again, only to see a wall like road ahead of us to be cleared. I couldn’t believe my luck, when my cycle started giving issues with the gears , and then the chain coming off over and over again, to top my woes. Once the issue settled after lot of time lapse and irritation, I was picking up speed again and was now eager to make it to the destination, Guhagar. The closer the destination would come the harder it would get to peddle, switch had to be made from physical to mental .But legs had to keep moving. Finally Day 2 was done with a lot of effort ,and an invite by a lovely beach, white soft sands,little shells sprinkled all over , kids playing in the water, some stalls selling the corn on the cob.The sun that had tortured us was setting, getting ready to do its job for the
Ferry Ride Happy Face
next day to come and so was I.

Day 3: 22nd November 2015 Guhagar To Pawas 95Kms
I was handed the route map and the thought that crossed my mind was , “where the hell have all these inclines come in Maharashtra? And how the hell this seemingly easy ride at the sea level is getting difficult each day?” It dawned on to me finally, that there was not going to be a day without the ghats and it was not gonna get any spirits started to dive down just then I see  my crew setting up for the new day .I brushed away all my doubts from the mind taking their spirit,assuring  myself to take this one day and give it all I have to this ride. Fatigued body was screaming for rest, but it was a  new day,  a new mind set- to finish this days ride all the way. The flag off was done at 5.30am. The body was crying of soreness, right hand fingers were numb, the butt couldn’t bear the thought of resting on the seats, but  the resolved crew and me were making war calls of“ Har har Mahadev” so loud as if we wanted to drown all the negativity and  start off the ride to finish it .  The ride started off with the incline , showing us that the mountains are always stronger than our voices. You shout, you scream, you hit back at them, but they are unmoved standing there, firmly challenging your resolve, challenging your capabilities. The route was not just difficult but time bound. We had to get through the first 50kms by 8.15am to get to the ferry of the day or miss it! Tired or not tired we had to keep up a certain pace or then be swept(Put into backup vehicles).I kept the pace on  with ease in the beginning, but it started to get tougher, me doubting if I would make it,but not letting my legs stop.I was finally relieved to make it on time to get into the ferry, after all that effort put into it and not being swept..  Post this whole frenzy (keep the effort and keep pushing on the incline , keep the pace on, with the fear of being swept looming over you) nothing could compare to those relaxed 10 mins on the deck of the  ferry ride with the happy crew faces that had made in time for the ferry .Post the ferry ,the cycle ride felt seemingly easy with no time limits. Riding through enjoying a few kilometers of this ride I saw a few friends waiting at a bend of a narrow windy road of a village, to take me for the beach ride. Once I took that turn beautiful Untouched pristine white sand infinite beach unfolded  itself, waiting for us to ride on the silver clear sand,I could see my reflection in this clear wet sand! Go all the way in the water,ride on the ripples of the sand and water. walking into an infinite sea is one thing, riding into it is another!It was an out of the world experience. Laughter and excited sounds filled the air; no amount of money can buy you the feeling of getting to ride your bike at such a lovely place in the middle of nowhere. Fully charged with laughter, selfies and more I started to ride on again. The happy feeling lasted just for a while, as the inclines were snarling up in front of me one after another, the sun burning not just your skin but the resolve as well, my numb fingers were trying to gear up the faulty bike (Its a complete different story to ride a faulty bike where you don’t get to the gears that are comfortable for the particular terrain) and just when I was in tears and completely defeated by my bike a seasoned cyclist Udayan Walvekar (this guy would reach 3 hours before me to the destination ,and I hated him, in an inspirational way of course, he’s an awesome rider ) passed me on an incline and shouted “Jui just use your palms to change those faulty gears, and just hit it” That worked so well , I pushed those faulty stuck up unmoving gears into its place and peddled right through the top. One thing going on in my mind as a Mantra used to be “One peddle, one incline, one kilometer.” I covered a lot of distance here, only for my cycle chain to slip off and get so badly stuck into the wheels that the cycle just stopped moving, right at 1kms before the destination village arrived. I couldn’t believe that after this whole ordeal my bike had to give up just a km away!!!!! But I was in no mood of giving up here and kept on working at the chain with my numb right had fingers, where my bike finally started moving. The chain was still not in place and a fellow crew member finally held on to my water bag and pulled me up over an incline and let the cycle roll-on the decent. I must mention here this fellow was just 16 year old kid named Jatin Jetani and I was so happy to see chivalry and willingness to help still not gone into the books of Once upon a time! Jatin and me made our way to Pawas as one team. Jatin could’ve reached an hour before me if he had not stopped to help me and I kept wondering how beautiful this world still is with people like this and we still have hope of being humans, and meeting humans.
Cant explain in words

Day 4:
Pawas to Mitbav -110kms
From my fingers going numb to my palms going numb my right hand had almost gone useless. I could grip the cycle handle , but changing gears, opening zips of my bags, lifting objects was out of my control. Thankfully my cycle was changed and I was given a different cycle. With so much trouble on the bike for last three days I didn’t have much hope for another rented bike.Thankfully this bike was working well. The good bike didn’t change the fear of the deadly route map for Paawas to Mitbav though . The inclines we staring at me in my Face through the route map itself and I knew it’s going to be a tough day with body giving up even without being on the cycle. Normal tasks like packing bags and filling water bottles had started feeling cumbersome , but I had to tell myself that “ So what if it’s not easy Im gonna hit it back hard.”The morning started by riding through lovely lazy fishing villages, pretty bridges lacing the creeks, waving goodbyes to little kids, I could keep my spirits up and peddle through the tough terrain due to these lovely sights. The sun had not forgotten to rise though and now had started to show its ugly side. It had taken its job to challenge me quite seriously. I wasn’t sure if I’m burning, melting or exploding or drying up and crumbling. At this point my body and mind just shut off and it was time to get under a tree put the bike aside and lay down, forgetting about the rest of the ride. I really didn’t care about anything at that point. All I wanted to do was lay there and chill. The mind was numb too. I just lay under a mango tree and enjoyed that moment of stillness.  I lost track of time till I saw another crew member joining me, and relaxing. We both decided to get up and  start the ride again . Today was particularly a hard day for me, it so difficult that at the times I wanted to  give up, but would keep telling myself to go on and finish the ride of the day that I had started. While you ride at your own pace mostly you end up riding alone, you become your own motivator, I found my mantra again ,to keep going “one pedal,one incline one kilometer," that’s how I had covered the distance till now and that’s how I was going to finish it.  It was a good thought to finish the last 20 killer kms .  I finally reached Mitbav. A few days later, back home I got a chance to watch Creed the movie,where Rocky trains “Hollywood Creed”  to go” One Step, One Punch, One round.” I was so happy to relate to this rule in every aspect of my fitness regime as taught to me by my metor Kaizzad Capadia and coming from Rocky Balboa, made  it sound super cool . The kind of expletives that were going on in the mind while finishing the last 20kms,along with all this self motivation, less said the better. Mitbav had a lovely untouched beach, white sand softer than the bed, waves beckoning and inviting you into its arms, sun melting into the sky making a lovely art piece. I couldn't believethat the same sun that I have hated during the ride was making me fall in love.  It seemed like  the sun was making a statement and questioning me at the same time . It said to me , “I  do what I do”, leaving a question for me to answer “Are you going to do what u ought to do?

Day 5 :  24th November 2015 Mitbav to Madrem 105kms
Fatigue had taken over. Yes the sunset was beautiful, and had made its point, but my mind was still split into two . One saying “come-on do the ride”, the other the loudest voice saying, “ No need to get on to this ride, just sit back and forget about the ride”. The mind was pulling me towards not doing the ride   until a crew member and my childhood friend Paree lalsare(another cool rider) came along and said “Jui if you don’t finish this you will regret it forever” her words stuck with me and all other voices drowned . I resolved to get on the bike , while  I felt like I was breaking inside with fully fatigued system. I couldn’t find my pace nor strength. I kept pushing ,not thinking how much more for the final destination. The flag off was done at 6am , it was 9am now,time for the sun to head up and crush me down. But guess what? I think that melting sun and I did have a heart to heart and I was indeed given a  beautiful cloud covered weather. My pace picked up a bit, a few villages and iced lime drinks later  my pace kept getting better and better. The final leg of the ride was done in high spirits with cloud covered sky and a new good bike. I peddled with all my might for the last 10kms enjoying the actual ride, not caring how more , how far or how many inclines. I was not just closing the ride that had made me  meet, face and conquer challenges .

But I had achieved far more than just that.I had my  foot prints and Tyre marks  on the beautiful untouched beaches . I had conversations with the Nature & myself. My relief sighs were heard by the  bridges that would  announce the arrival of the village along with cold water and iced lime drinks . Lazy villages woken up by so many cyclist swishing through the windy roads, the tall palms asking me to chill , the mango orchards offering their shelter and the lovely golden grass spread over acres tempting with its beautiful sights to be appreciated in that rugged weather.  I had an opportunity to ride with the  Crew that had an undying spirit. The spirit that rubbed on to each n every one of us to make this ride possible. I saw Happy faces of the villagers that tells us so much about our frowning faces most of the times. Sometimes you need a long ride like this to realize small things in life. I completed the challenge , I had fulfilled the challenge I had given myself,made new friends, found new inspirations.
 Some of this can be expressed in words and some remain unsaid and still more beautiful , for each one of you to experience it on its own.
This ride was in no way easier than Manali Leh Khardungla. Basically there is no comparison between the two and each ride should be treated with its own respect and loved for its own beautiful journeys it takes you through. This ride is dedicated to all of these sights and experiences that don’t just make a ride worthwhile but even life worth living.

Bridges lacing the creeks
Road markings generally done for directions but these added to some fun

Ferry Deck ride Happy Face with Paree and Damini

Tour of Deccan was organised by Nachiket Joshi –Lifecycle group ,Pune.
I would also like to thank Nachi for helping me stick to my ketogenic diet through this ride, which I have read of the benefits for long distance endurance events and wanted to try first hand. It worked beautifully in terms of keeping me strong, lactic acid free and kept me going.
Note for ketogenic followers: you will not get the food as per the diet plan on your plate when you finish the ride like others on this expedition. You need to go scouting for it(Thanks again Nachi), as most stay places  are vegetarian. You will need to pack the breakfast the night itself hence limits your food supplies for the day. I would suggest a low carb moderate protein diet with cheese and almonds as snacks for this ride. Though I did follow a  ketogenic diet on the ride, its not easy one  to follow here , in this region.   

Points to keep in mind for Cycling expedition for stupid ; so that you don’t end up stupid:
  • ·         Plan the expedition ride according to your fitness levels, so its not an ordeal but a challenge you can enjoy completing.
  • Nothing can replace the training benefits for expedition, You Have to Train
  • ·         Expect to face the challenges, it’s not going to be a picnic
  • ·         Plan your training period for the ride , speak to the organisers to help if new to cycling .
  • ·         know your cycle well, its  important to have used a cycle , to know the gears,  to know how to fix the chain etc.
  • ·         Go for practice rides organised by the organisers to know your crew well, it’s great to have companions that can cheer you and pull you up and you can do the same for them.
  • ·         Maintain a Nutritious diet plan, remember you have to do more than your usual.
  • ·         As simple and silly  as it sounds be organised, it makes immense difference to have everything in place for the mind to stay calm n focused. Water bags and bottles filled, next days utilities packed, clothes as per weather conditions ready etc.
  • ·         Warm up before the ride ,keep some time for it before the time given to you. Its difficult to start cold and to gain pace through the ride
  • ·         Wear Proper gear, like padded cycling shorts, cycle handles that allow you different grips to avoid numb fingers. Padded thick gloves can also help  bit to avoid this issue.
  • ·         Keep hydrating and replacing the salts. Beg, borrow ,steal water. I would say the best option is to buy it from the village shops, clean chilled mineral water bottles.
  • ·         Carry all general medications and supplements you need
  • Girls , remember you will not be finding any washrooms, be ready to find safe places and friendly homes on the way 
  • ·         Avoid having iced drinks, ice can give bad stomach infections
  • ·         Keep the Rocky rule in mind, “One step, One punch, One round.” Don’t tire yourself thinking of long distances , but edge on with shorter targets in mind.
  • ·         Rest when required if not a time bound ride. 
  • Plan your rest when the ride is done as well as the time is very limited post ride too, due to super early mornings
  • For time bound rides train mind and body before the ride. 
One more expedition was ticked off the bucket list and one more time, my fitness regimen- weight Training and good nutrition plan- Ketogenic diet had not failed me. Though this time I am more than convinced to keep cycling in my workout schedule as many more expeditions need to be ticked off the list

Entering Goa Border
More than anything don’t forget its an expedition you have taken up as a challenge for  yourself and don't give up easily , on the way enjoy small moments you get with yourself and the nature.  your achievement through this lovely journey is what you shall cherish forever.

Enjoying Goa With the Girls- Paree and Damini
 Believe!You have the capability to live your dreams