BENGALURU: Nirupa Shankar rarely wears watches but recently, she has taken to wearing a fitness tracker. By 10am, she’s already covered 3,000 steps. Despite a hectic eight-hour day, the executive director of Brigade Enterprises Ltd aims to clock in 15,000 steps by the time she hits the sack at 11pm.
Shankar’s passion towards fitness isn’t new, considering she spent her growing years being involved in sports. But in 2017, post the delivery of her child, she started spending three hours for six days a week for five months training for a triathlon – running, swimming and cycling. Her goal was to shed her 25 kg post pregnancy weight.
“I took a day-off only if I was confined to my seat in a flight during my travels. I even took multivitamins to avoid falling sick,” the 36-year-old says.
The striking part about her dedication is that despite not being a water baby (blame it on the film Jaws, she says with a laugh), Shankar still chose to go ahead with this and swam in an 80-feet deep lake. She started training in a pool and within two months, she mastered doing 20 laps with ease.
Looking back, those five months were one of the most intense periods of her life and the cycling portion was something she didn’t enjoy at all. “The roads weren’t cordoned off. There were times when lorries would be right next to us,” she says.
She recalls the day before the event, when she visited the location that was on the outskirts of the city, to practise swimming in the lake. “I had a panic attack that day. The water was murky and there was a current. I almost gave up,” she says.
This isn’t even a one-off for Shankar whose bucket list of completed things includes skydiving, bungee jumping and diving.
After the triathlon, there was no stopping Shankar as she went on to do a swimathon, a 10k marathon and the Pinkathon, while also starting yoga.
Shankar follows the five buckets principle – juggling work, family, friends, exercise and sleep. At any given point, she says, one can only focus on three. And this year, Shankar is choosing to focus on work, sleep and family. While these remain her top three, exercise isn’t too far behind and she still starts her day with a run. Thanks to her dedication to fitness, she is now able to do three times the work in 70 per cent of the time and also feels more energetic than she did at 18.
The agenda for 2019 isn’t devoid of fitness events and the quest to beat her fears continues. She might soon start training for the 2.5 km swimathon in Goa in March. Despite two huge fund-raising projects in the pipeline, Shankar is relying on these three words to manage her fitness goal for the year: Just keep swimming, she says.