India’s wrestling star on leading a balanced life, being vegetarian and relaxation
The right attitude
I believe in simple living and high thinking. Life is like a match; knocking someone down is not as important as playing the match with the right spirit and attitude. I lead a balanced life in which everything has its proper place and moderation is key. It takes a lot of determination and hard work on my part. Yes, some days are more difficult than others, but I always find a way to fight through. A sportsperson’s attitude towards his sport should be like that of a devotee to god. Whatever it takes from you, you get more than that in return eventually.
Sched or dead
My day starts at 4am with basic exercises, which is a prelude to a full-fledged training session that goes on till 9 to 10am. My evening schedule begins from 5pm. I have each day’s training chalked out on the basis of technique, strategy, speed and power. I try to train for at least eight to nine hours a day to help me improve my endurance. I work out every day. It is the most important thing in my life. You don’t have the option of not liking a particular workout. You need to enjoy your workout thoroughly and completely at all levels, only then can you reap its benefits to the hilt. I enjoy working on my biceps, triceps and lower back the most as they give me maximum benefits as a wrestler.
Out-thinking the opponent
My training helps me understand my opponent’s style and fight him. I focus on the opponent’s weaknesses and constantly strategise as the match progresses. During a bout, all I think about is bringing pride and glory to the nation by getting my hands on a medal. The sheer joy of holding the medal in my hands with the crowd cheering me on drives me to win. When I was a child, I used to see my father and brother wrestle. I was eager to learn and my passion for this sport has got me to where I am today. Winning happens only when you are dedicated and sincere. But, as they say, winning and losing are two sides of the same coin. Either of them can happen. I should never lose focus after winning, and, if I lose, then that is motivation to keep working harder.
Eating right, resting right
I am a vegetarian. I drink at least two to three litres of milk in a day. I also eat soya, fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and foods high in carbohydrates. I love alooparathas, but my training regime does not permit me to eat them all the time. I also ensure that I get enough rest in between tournaments. A sufficient amount of sleep and relaxation is important. Rest also helps in healing injuries. I enjoy watching movies, love spending quality time with my wife Savi and my family and often play football or basketball with the local kids.