If only there was a cure for heartbreaks. It is painful and bitter. Often capped under ‘not a big deal’ bracket, breakups can be traumatic. Such is the grief of losing a loved one. When Chaitra Narendra faced a bad breakup, which followed the sudden death of her uncle, she was stuck in darkness surrounded by sorrow and negativity.
“My mental and physical health was very bad. I had gotten a year back because of everything that had happened. I was unhappy, and I wanted to change it,” she says. Four summers to that tragic year, Chaitra has got her smile back. Training under Harish Krishnappa at the Rashtrothana Fitness Centre in Bangalore, she has transformed herself from a lost soul to a fitness freak.
Born and brought up in an orthodox south-Indian family, getting fit was never a priority for her parents. Chaitra, an architect, was always advised to stick to her academics which meant that her painting and dancing took a back seat. It was her passion for art that propelled her to choose architecture and she enrolled herself in the BMS College of Engineering in 2011.
A couple of years into the course she faced what she recalls the lowest point in her career. “I needed a mental transformation because I was in a very bad place then. I decided that I cannot just sit and expect things to change.” Chaitra's close friend and now her fiance, Chiranjivi advised her to take care of her health and encouraged her to take up fitness.
After joining the college gym, she met Sagarika, a professional dancer who helped her get started. “I had no clue about training and diet. She helped me plan a simple routine which I followed regularly.”
She saw the results of a year’s work out, and that motivated her to keep pushing. “My personality had started to change, and I was more confident. My skin and hair and everything was getting better.” But once her classes resumed she was forced to join a gym outside the college to manage her time.
She knew her parents would never agree to pay the fees for gym hence she turned to her cousin who was glad to help. It has been three years she is training under Harish Krishnappa and she believes that has made all the difference. “The diet became stricter and the workout regime was structured. But above all my coach has supported me always and that is the most important thing for me”, says Chaitra who won a bronze in the Fit Men Fit Women competition, an obstacle race organized in the city by the Rashtrothana Fitness Centre.
After doing cross-fit for a while Chaitra realized she is more inclined towards weight training and is now training hard for an aesthetic body. While she is still exploring weight training she wants to be a professional in the field. “There are different categories like physique, fitness, bodybuilding, and bikini. Bikini and figure are my favourite categories and I want to compete in them in future.”
But it’s not vanity. She understands the value of determination and sacrifice in order to change for good. “People around you might hate you because your life will revolve around fitness and it will be your only priority. But you need to have the courage to face them and believe in your goals,” she points out.