“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” This quote by Vince Lombardi does explain the importance and value of perfection in our life. Few individuals have a dream and they know exactly how to protect it. These few individuals have the passion to work hard for their goal and ultimately achieve it. Recently, Reacho had a great opportunity to interview one such great personality in Dr. Amit Samarth of our own Nagpur city. Dr. Amit is a triathlete, runner, and combination sport athlete who gladly agreed to share his experience and memories associated with his sporting career. Dr. Amit also co-founded “Pro-Health” foundation which is organizing a “Nagpur 10k” marathon on 13 November.
1. Tell us something about yourself?
I have done my academic education from Nagpur. I did my initial schooling from Sarasvati Vidyalaya. Later I completed my MBBS at Indira Gandhi Medical College. After that, I moved out of Nagpur to explore my horizons and to work in the field of public health, also called as community science. I also did my masters from ‘John Hopkins University’ in the field of ‘Public Health’. After that, I came back to India to work with different NGO’s and international consulting firms.
2. What spurred your interest in Cycling?
I was always into sports from my childhood. My sporting foundation started from my interest in endurance sports via Taekwondo. I used to do lots of martial arts training. I was 1st Dan (Rank) black belt in Taekwondo. My teacher used to make me run a lot and so I started running. My interest in running gradually grew and I decided to run in long marathons. Then, I started doing Ironman’s, which is combination sport consisting of swimming, running, cycling. And that’s how I started CYCLING. After coming to Nagpur, I started some long distance Cycling. Then directly I participated in 650 KMs race from Pune to Goa last year. I completed this race solo in 27 hours which included non-stop cycling.
3. Tell us something about your experience of covering 2500 km in 5 days?
This task was extremely challenging for me. We covered tracks from ‘Hoogli’ to ‘Belgham’ then Kolhapur, Satara, Pune and from Pune; we got a very good tailwind. All the time, I was facing crosswind or tailwind (push from behind due to the wind). We covered the distance really fast almost in around 27-28 hours from Pune to Nagpur. Moreover the road was really bad, especially after ‘Mehkar’ which made the task even more challenging. When I witnessed RAM (Race across America) conditions were comparatively different and better than from India where they had better roads there. My support system was also incredible and encouraged me throughout my journey.
4. Any role models or inspirations you had growing up?
I always looked up to Bruce Lee growing up. To be honest, different individuals motivated me at different periods of time. Record second six-time Ironman champion Mark Allen inspired me vastly along the way.
5. Any funny incidents or anecdotes you remember growing up?
Not any particular that I could think of. But, I was always questioned by some of my friends regarding this field. But I always followed my passion and now everyone started supporting me which was a great challenge. Most importantly we have to treat failure and disappointments with respect as they are a part of the process and we should always learn from them
6. Any particular diet restrictions you follow?
I abstain from junk foods like ‘samosa’ and ‘kachori’ and also refrain from ‘soft-drinks’. I believe healthy food is very important to maintain your health. I don’t mind eating oily food as long as it is made from good fresh ghee or oil.
7. Tell us about your expectations out of this event on Sunday?
We are organizing a Nagpur 10K marathon on 13th November. This is our second year of this event and the objective of this event is to promote running for everyone. That is why we are covering small distances and no long marathons or half marathons. There is no age limit in this. Every participant will get a medal, t-shirt and refreshments. Moreover if the participants are coming inside top 10, they will be awarded cash prizes as well. We had 3000 participants last year and we are expecting a bigger turnout this time around. The entire objective is not only 10k because people in Nagpur have recently started to consider running as a recreational activity. So, it is important to channel this thinking in the correct manner and apply it accordingly. We also plan to conduct more duathlon and combination sports in the future to encourage more youngsters along the way.
8. Anything else you’d like to share?
I would definitely like to say that, every individual should consider taking at least one sport in their life. It can be any sport like running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, combination sports and they should try to pursue them for a longtime basis as it would be advantageous in the future. Lots of mental fitness and mental strength would also be incorporated in their life. Their social life will also change for good. This positivity will spread across the people around you.
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