CHENNAI: Fifty two push-ups a minute. That’s one push-up every 1.15 seconds. Motorsport champ Alisha Abdullah, though, sees scope for improvement in these pectoral-numbing statistics.
“I’m pushing myself to do more. After all, to be number one, you need to work on your weaknesses,” says the Chennai racer. Alisha’s training regimen also sees her slip on boxing gloves for an hour and a half every day. “That helps me improve my reflexes. I also focus on my core muscles, as that’s another necessity of racing.” If this wasn’t rigorous enough, a week before her races, Alisha tries to recreate the feel of the body-fluid-sapping interiors of a racing car by performing cardio while wearing thick clothing. “That’s the most horrible part, because you’re sweating all over and you can’t breathe. But, it’s necessary. That’s exactly the way you race.”
Another case in point for Alisha’s militant zest for fitness is the sabbatical she took from motorsport in 2015. “Since I was eighth years old, I’ve been racing continuously, be it cars or bikes,” she explains. “My focus was on health this time. I wanted to be in prime shape before getting back to racing.”
At the national racing championship held in the city last week, Alisha’s fitness ensured that her start to the New Year was anything but dull. The 26-year-old ended with two third-place finishes in the ‘super stock’ category of the event. “It was really good, as it was my first national championship after the break. Feels nice to win after coming back,” she says.
Alisha is also putting together a talented team of 25 women bike-riders for her racing academy. “We’ll be scouring the city colleges and I’ll be training the shortlisted women. This is just me doing my bit to help motorsport gain more popularity.”