I started writing this as a series and then thought it would make more sense to write full posts. So here is part I —
It was the summer of 2006 in Madhya Pradesh, India. I was sitting and eating lunch in the mundane cafeteria of my employer (summer internship) at the time. It took me a few seconds to realize that my senses were betraying me. I noticed that my ears were closing and hubbub of the cafeteria had gone completely quiet. I knew I needed some air; so I walked toward the bin for the used plates with an unfinished plate. After depositing the plate, I turned towards the door and felt my eyes betray me next. I walked to the glass door but instead of being able to open it, I had tried to walk through it as my eyes had completely betrayed me at that last moment. I collided with the door and collapsed on the floor. Next thing I knew I was being taken to the doctor.
At this point, I was 5'10'’ of fully grown man with a body-weight of about 130 lbs. I’d say I was pretty close to being malnourished.
Being the son of an officer of the Indian Armed Forces, I always grew up with a chip on my shoulder. While my father was busy serving his country, I had to be the man of the house. I was not allowed to be weak. I thought I was strong. In fact I had fought till the last minute even after my eyesight betrayed me that fateful day to try to get out to get some air. Alas, I had failed.
The doctor had informed me that my blood pressure was very low. When my mother heard of my condition from my supervisor; she burst out in tears. I remember every little bit that happened after that. I felt helpless. A friend helped me with everything; small and big. My father with his big list of connections sent an acquaintance down to make sure I got on the train back home alright with all my bags and suitcases. I remember promising myself that I would never feel helpless ever again in life.
That was when my journey towards the ideal physique began truly. Before that point I didn’t see a purpose in the vanity of the people who pursued greatness in the gym. I saw the purpose clearly now. The purpose was to be able to do things on my own; to never have to ask for help from someone.
I started out with doing things that I knew about fitness from what my father had done in his time. He used to tell me how he’d done hundreds of push-ups as part of military training. He also told me how he had ran many cross country races spanning hundreds of miles in total. So, I started with push-ups and running. I also paid special attention to what I was eating according to my limited knowledge at the time, of what should be eaten for fitness.
I overlooked one of the most easily accessible tools available at my fingertips (literally) which could have helped me in my pursuit — the internet.
Read Part II to the story here.