Shaping Up Is The Way To Go



JUHI MEHTA'S JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION

From stepping stones to pushing pedals, Juhi Mehta, President of a digital media firm, shares her journey of transformation, through an exciting biking trail.

 

Born 9.9 ounces, I stayed chubby pretty much all through my formative years. At 15 years, I weighed 75 kilograms . “Motu” was much more than a form of endearment – it defined how people viewed me – my overtly aggressive tomboyish exterior was as much in self defence, as it was to keep the chatter down to a minimum .

Come 16, junior college happened, where there were boys who didn't care much for large girls. Walking, swimming and dieting decreased weight, but couldn't do much about the lard I had accumulated over time. Plastic surgery or tummy tucks, said well meaning friends and someone said weight training can result in toning - so off I went.

From fat to fit, slowly I saw the change - in my body, mind, the manner in which people perceived me and above all in my self confidence. I still hated pink but loved my short dresses and strappy sandals. Equally comfortable in my track pants and chappals as I was in my LBD and big black heels - I had a spring in my stride. The attention was an ego boost- ‘Motu’ had metamorphed into Juhi Mehta and life was suddenly good.

Running, gyming, swimming, - while I enjoyed them all, I found 'love' on the bike - an MTB was gifted to me on my 40th birthday.

Taking on a new sport at 40 is no mean task . My maiden ride of 20 km left me breathless and exhausted. Not one to say die easy, slowly I gained strength - from 20 to 50-75 and finally 100 km rides became the norm. I was now addicted.

Asthmatic by birth, building base took time. The more I rode, my lung power increased and I got faster and stronger. I got my SR (Super Randonneur) by selecting the most challenging routes.

 

athlete bike black and white 260409

Cycling strengthens the heart and brain, wards of illnesses, helps lose weight and makes one look younger. While I don’t want to pass off as a 25 year old, I want take one on in a competitive environment and be able to hold my own.

Cycling disciplines you, strengthens the core and makes you tougher.

These attributes extend to my work life. I clock in before others and adhere to a strict schedule. I'm punctual, rarely have my inbox full or unattended. I keep pace with a rather young team and not only know their music and lingo, but I speak it too. (urban dictionary) I eat healthy, maintain good hygiene and set high standards on work ethics and respecting co-workers - all of which group riding has taught me.

My teenager thinks no end of me, as her friends think I'm rather cool. That is courtesy landing up at a PTA meet on my bike in my spandex. Recently voted head of PTA committee for grade 9, the kids feel I get them. 2 teenagers have gotten bicycles for themselves post my interactions with them, which makes me smile.

5 am alarms don’t bother me - always willing to give up a late night for an early morning. The workout gives me a high and prepares me for the day ahead. I feel fit, look years younger, can keep pace with my 15 year old daughter and 22 year old colleagues at work.

While most others my age (now 44+) check their lipid profiles, I'm working towards improving my FTP (functional threshold power) I want to ride faster, climb better and keep pace with the best cyclists in town, as I aspire to do a triathlon next year. All this while attempting to hold a day job, be a single mother to a demanding teenager, run a household and have a social life. Yes, it requires support from the family - my mother makes a few sacrifices, but I have never felt better, looked fitter and been healthier - in mind and body.

The road ahead: Cycling has given me a lot and now is pay back time. Be it donating cycles for underprivileged girls or holding small sessions for female cyclists on bike handling and maintenance, I try and stay active in the community. My dream is to see several lady cyclists leading from the front at the next competitive event.  I share my experiences and learnings through some blogs I write - #ramblingsofacrankaddict.

 

 

Author Profile
Juhi is the Brand Pilot at Qyuki Digital Media since inception. She is a seasoned sales specialist experienced in both Start-up as well as traditional work environments with exemplary networking, relationship management, negotiation, communication & presentation skills, with nearly 12 years of 'out in the field 'work experience. She is a licensed commercial pilot and an adventurer.