Travel and Food Writer/Blogger
Destination Marketing Consultant – www.tanhadil.in
“I was always an active person, a Delhi-state Gymnastic Champion, a Runner, always doing Aerobics, Yoga and by the time I was 46, I had become the person who had Asthma, BP, Hypertension, Thyroid and what not! All my activity was paused and that caused such unrest in my heart. I was advised not to strain, was told to pop pills all the time, experienced pre-menopause depression. I did not feel like I was the same person.
I decided to work to fix this anarchy that I was having with my mind and body because I owed it to myself. From zero physical activity (also because when my doctor told me to, and that hurt my ego!), I started taking each day at a time and resumed my walks gradually increasing the duration and also trying to understand how much I could push myself. At 46, I would be the only woman who would regularly go to a fitness group in the park close to my house at 5 am every day for a year.
I began to realise with each step I took toward self-betterment, the more life began to unscramble, and I got better at learning about myself too. I pushed myself to do better constantly. Walks to runs, half-marathons to treks, I knew I wanted more. Much like self-discovery, I regained my strength and by my 50th birthday, I decided to trek up the Himalayas! My most challenging journey yet – Kedarkantha, 12,500 ft over 4 days! All in 4 layers of clothing, limited water and food resources only to keep you energized, sleeping on snow, drinking water to regulate oxygen levels and bathroom needs to be tended to in the wild!
For a 50+ woman, among youngsters to be able to complete the climb and a challenging descend was an experience. Once you reach the top, you feel an exhilarated gratitude that makes you rethink a lot of unnecessary grudges we bother about. I’ve figured that life is similar to a trek; to move ahead, you need to travel light and tread cautiously along rocky paths only to reach the goals that mean the most to you.
I decided to document my travels and experiences through my blog, www.tanhadil.in, that may in some way inspire others to reach for goals that they deem unattainable, especially women! Once we decide to work on ourselves, paths do seem to unfurl, and things fall into place. You should always strive to the best version of yourself, not others. There is no right way to do this, there are no standards to abide by; one needs to find their motivation and make themselves happy along the way.”
Interviewed and transcribed by Maryam Syed