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    I started running 2 years ago and today I am my fittest and happiest self

    By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023

    Submitted by Akshita Chhangani

    “It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination.” – John Bingham

    Unfit to Fittest: My Awakening

    The year was 2018, and I found myself burdened with a hefty weight gain of 18 kilos after my first job. The combination of my sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits had taken its toll. Desperate to shed some pounds, I dabbled in yoga, gym sessions, and even Pilates. However, none of these endeavors provided the motivation and long-term commitment I needed.

    Running into a Revelation

    My journey towards fitness and happiness began in June of that year. Joining an event where a 3K run was required initially seemed like a fun activity. Little did I know that this experience would serve as a wake-up call. It opened my eyes to the damage I had inflicted upon myself. From that day forward, I made it a habit to run small distances in my neighborhood.

    Akshita Chhangani

    As a student, running proved to be an affordable pursuit, adding to its appeal. For the next two to three months, I embraced a daily routine of three to four kilometers, which boosted my confidence and cemented my commitment to running for the long haul.

    The Turning Point: A Life-Altering Instagram Post

    Then came the pivotal moment that transformed my life entirely. I stumbled upon an Instagram post that would shape my future. A local running crew, @bombayrunning, organized an event challenging participants to run 10K per day for ten consecutive days. In essence, the goal was to complete 100k in just ten days. Daunting as it seemed, I decided to take on the challenge.

    Akshita Chhangani

    As the challenge unfolded, it became apparent that this was more than a mere physical test. It became a battle against the constant urge to quit. My fellow runners provided unwavering support and encouragement, ensuring I stayed focused and determined. Even my friends, aware of my commitment, started counting down the days alongside me. For the first time in my life, I felt a burning motivation that prompted me to sacrifice late-night plans, travel long distances (like Juhu to Marine Drive at 4 am), and wake up before dawn on Sundays. From that point on, there was no turning back.

    Embracing the Marathon Lifestyle

    Fuelled by my newfound passion, I set my sights on conquering my first half marathon. In September 2019, I proudly completed my inaugural official half marathon in Panchgani. Since then, I have triumphed over five equally challenging half marathons. Now, I eagerly anticipate my next milestone—training for a full marathon.

    Akshita Chhangani

    Running has transcended the realm of a mere hobby—it has become my way of life. Slowly but surely, everything began falling into place. My dietary choices evolved, harmonizing with my daily routine. Running provided solace, granting me the ability to control my moods, relax, and find solitude within myself. It became a conduit for introspection and contemplation, enabling me to attend to issues requiring attention. In essence, running became my personal form of meditation.

    A Journey Fueled by Camaraderie

    Today, every time I hit the road, I am filled with a blend of excitement and trepidation. However, it is the unwavering support of my running crew and fellow enthusiasts that keeps me going. Together, we overcome obstacles and push past limitations, fueling each other’s spirits along the way.

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