Mercy Mudo, the owner of a salon in Hyderabad, was at a crossroads in her life. All the alcohol and food from her lavish party lifestyle had started taking a toll on her body. Suffering from a series of medical conditions, she knew that change was required and quickly. It was then that Mercy found a path to redemption through dance and fitness.
Two years later, Mercy is now a certified Zumba, Belledi and an Aerobics instructor conducting a series of fitness programs in Hyderabad.
The 31-year-old from Ziro, a small town in Arunachal Pradesh, had a lot going for her. She was financially stable and was successfully running her salon. But she was never entirely satisfied. “I was running a salon and was just getting by, eating out and partying with friends. I was 75 to 80 kgs and for a five-foot girl, that was huge,” she states.
However, Mercy attributes her incredible transformation to her love for dance. From being a kathak dancer during her childhood days, she later stumbled upon zumba, which instantly struck a chord. After a couple of training classes, she took a decision that would change her lifestyle.
“When I was running my salon, I was also interested in zumba and wanted to do both. But I couldn't find time. My best friend then told me to concentrate on one thing. So I quit my salon and shut it down completely in a week. Finally, I decided to follow my passion.”
Jack of all trades
But Mercy’s story doesn’t quite end there. She is also an Aerobics instructor as well as a Belledi (a form of fitness dance) trainer, regularly incorporating these practises into her programmes. In 2016, Mercy joined a trekking club in Hyderabad. If that wasn’t enough to prove her versatility, Mercy is a seasoned road runner, regularly participating in half-marathons around the country.
Stumbling blocks along the way
Despite her well roundedness and overwhelming success, the journey has been anything but easy for Mercy. When asked about the challenges that she faced along her path, Mercy points out two factors that played a huge role: Money and health. “The most challenging part was the money. Sometimes you get paid according to what you look like. I was not very active and I was not able to take more than one class a day,” says Mercy as she recollects her times of trial.
Her health problems were another deterrent for her when starting out as a Zumba instructor. “I had to change my lifestyle to make more money. When I was overweight I had a lot of health problems especially with my blood pressure.”
However, Mercy was determined to push through and come out on top. “I started changing my lifestyle. I don’t drink anymore, I eat healthy; I don’t take tea or coffee. I am able to control my temptations. And that’s played a big role.” When the results started showing, Mercy’s life changed for the better. “Once I became fit, I started making more money and there is a lot of happiness involved. I get more motivated with increased fitness,” she says brimming with pride.
The Zumba instructor also shared some valuable advice for those who would like to lead a healthier lifestyle. “My idea for a healthy lifestyle is to work out in any way you can. It doesn’t matter if you do Zumba or aerobics or you run. You have to do something. My mantra is that you eat, but watch out for what you eat. The quality, as well as the quantity, is very important. Just don’t be a couch potato.”
Mercy’s story of a small-town girl moving into a big city and pursuing her passion inspires and motivates us to keep pushing our boundaries. Looking back, she feels content about the decisions she has made in her life. “I have no regrets. I feel very happy and I am very motivated. Till the time my legs stop working I will never stop.”