I’m 32 years old and from the past 24 years, I have been suffering from type-1 diabetes. Not an easy feat, I know! I’m a sports lover–all thanks to my dad. And now, I’m all set to walks 100 kilometres in two days in a walkathon.
Wondering how a type-1 diabetic will do this? Well, that’s because I believe in myself. And this belief gave me the gumption to start my own NGO called Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation.
But first, let me take you through my journey
I’m a marathon runner and I have participated in multiple runs than span 42 kilometres and ultra marathons that go beyond that. The credit goes to my dad who himself by the way is a marathon champ.
I began my career in the hospitality industry working with a five star hotel, but eventually I realized that my heart wasn’t in it. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of those who just like me are dealing with diabetes.
I had been witnessing the bias that those who suffer from type 1 diabetes face–be it in finding a job or a life partner. This urged me to launch an awareness campaign and paint the real picture. Eventually I started my own NGO and began various outreach programs for diabetic patients.
Also, now I’m a certified diabetic educator–as you know degrees matters a lot in India.
But why did I sign up for a 100 kilometre walkathon?
When I first discovered the Oxfam Trailwalker India, I had two options: either walk 50 kilometres or go for the 100! The sheer excitement of achieving a feat as big as this, made me sign up–for the century of course.
And it’s not just me–I’ve got my whole crew, right by my side. Apart from my parents who are going to help me during the walkathon, I’ve got my friends as well, who are type-1 diabetics like me.
Chinmay Tambole, Sonu Patel, and Raj Jagdale are going to accompany me.
We will each carry a medical kit which consists of glucose tablets, insulin injection, and pumps.
Now, let me take you through my prep
My buddies and I try to prep on weekends with 50 kilometre runs (breaks included, we can’t do that in one go you see). Apart from that, on weekdays I train in mixed martial arts and workout in the gym as well. Told ya I was a big sports enthusiast.
Of course, I keep a tab on my diabetes. Thankfully, I have been able to manage without much hassle.
My goals keep me going
Debunking the myths that surround diabetes is my first and foremost goal. And that’s exactly what I want to achieve by walking 100 kilometres. I’ve always heard that I should not exert myself too much, but I’m as normal as anyone else. Running marathons and walking walkathons sets me free, and helps me test my limits as well.
I also want to be a role model for the whole diabetic community–kids and adults alike. I want to tell parents of diabetic kids that if I can do this, then your kids can do that too You’ve just got to support them in all their endeavors.
The fact is that I don’t want people to sympathise with us just because we have type-1 diabetes. I want them to treat us like we are one of them–normal and able.
If by walking this far and long I can achieve that, then I’ll consider task well done.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, wish me luck! I am walking on the 13th of December 2019. And remember: diabetic or not, the sky’s the limit.
As told to Nikita Bhardwaj