For long it never struck Vinay Bhardwaj what his daily routine was doing to his body. A senior auditor at IBM Daksh Pvt Ltd, Bhardwaj’s everyday chores would keep him busy and his body would take the toll for long. But thankfully, it was this routine that eventually made him realise where he lacked.
Caught in the middle of a power failure at his office, Bhardwaj had no choice but to climb six flights of stairs to reach his work place. “It was terrible. I was on the second floor and I started panting,” he says remembering that frustrating day. “I think my legs gave up. I couldn’t walk another step. It took a while before I could compose myself.”
Bhardwaj weighed around 91 kgs then, something that surprised him. But his daily routine meant he would barely get any time to invest in anything else. But a determined push from within saw this 35-year-old take up running. Three years on, Bhardwaj is fitter, a successful marathon runner and now chooses to pace others at various road races.
Last year alone saw him cover over 3000+ kilometres at various runs. He would also clock his personal best in a half marathon with a timing of one hour and 26 minutes at the Super Sikh Run. With a pacing experience in over eight races, Bhardwaj was also invited by Procam International, the organisers of the Tata Mumbai Marathon, to pace the timed 10K this year.
However, Bhardwaj’s journey hasn’t been all merry. A determined runner, he has had to encounter numerous challenges over the years. Though there weren’t any external factors stopping him from achieving his goal, motivation from within was something that Bhardwaj was in search of.
It started with a stroll in a park near his Gurugram house. A few days into that, he realised a better diet would help him in his journey. “Within a week’s time, I felt that a change in diet would improve my running,” he says.
His has been a fascinating tale of how much a self motivation can help one achieve. A self-trained athlete, Bhardwaj would later take up a 100-day challenge where he would try to run at least 5 kilometres a day. “There were days when I couldn’t even walk. My mom would tell me to stop being crazy,” he recalls.
“I lost about 23 kgs in those 100 days and more importantly I understood the importance of determination. How much determination could help one in achieving their goals.”
Bhardwaj who finds running as a form of meditation has found a running buddy in his wife, Saraswati Negi, a long-distance runner. “She is my inspiration. She has been by my side always and supported me,” he says.
“From the past one year, we are training really hard because we know that we want to maintain the quality of our performances.”
With a constant urge to improve himself, Bhardwaj is now preparing for the Tuffman Ultra in Uttarakhand next year. And if his track record is something to go by, we can be sure of another feather his cap very soon.