Abhishek Mishra hails from a small district near Varanasi. He quit his comfortable MNC job to follow his dream of setting up a sporting events management company and participating in the IRONMAN. Despite the crazy work hours of a start up, he still manages to take out time to train for the event to be held in September. Here’s his inspiring journey:
- You quit your job at GE to follow your dream. Were there any apprehensions?
I believe you should always choose passion over profession. Ever since my school days the only things that have been consistent in my life are physical activity and organizing events. So I decided to combine the two and quit my job to set up a sporting events management company.
Of course I was apprehensive, by the time I set up my company I had already gone through all my savings. But running had taught me how to stay calm and optimistic so I was never worried. My aim was never to own a 10 room bungalow. It’s necessary to live your life but it’s a necessity to be happy. I’m doing what I love and I’m happy doing it.
- How do you keep yourself motivated on days you feel low?
I have raised around 1.6 lac rupees from crowd funding so that I can participate in the IRONMAN. At times when I feel demotivated and doubt whether I can do this or not, I think ofthe people who have contributed money so that I can live my dream. The thought of failing their expectations is what really keeps me going. I believe the motivation is there around you; you just need to identify it.
- You train with Milind Soman, how is he as a training partner?
Milind is a very good sportsman. He’s a national level swimmer and has been running for that past 12-13 years. He’s also my mentor. What I’ve learnt from him is that you should listen to everyone, take information and then decide what’s good for you. He taught me that you should choose to live how you want to and you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
- How do people who don’t know you react when you tell them you’re training for the IRONMAN? Your looks can be deceiving!
Most people don’t know what IRONMAN is. People have even asked me if I’m doing a movie with Tony Stark. When I tell them about the triathlon and the total distance we have to cover, they find it hard to believe mainly because of my built. But for this event, more than physical it’s about mental strength. The oldest woman to have done the IRONMAN till now is 79 years old, that too with a broken hand.
- What does fitness mean to you?My grand father always said fitness is having self-control. If you’re training, you need to be in control so that you don’t push yourself too much otherwise you can injure yourself. When it comes to your diet, you need to be focused and committed. You have to make sure you get proper sleep each night. There are distractions all around but you need to be in control. That’s what I believe fitness is.
- Apart from your family, who are the people who have been your biggest support in your journey to IRONMAN?
Milind Soman; he’s my mentor and also my training buddy.
Avinash Kohli; he was my colleague at GE. He really supported me when I decided to quit my job and follow my dream.
Vinay Bansal; he’s helping me raise funds for my Company and also so that I can participate in the IRONMAN.
Shailja Sridhar; a strong runner herself who constantly keeps motivating me and is also my best friend.
Manisha Khungar; she is the one who proved to me that with proper guidance and motivation you can learn things and excel in them… she is my swimming coach.
Rohit Rawal; Rohit started working with me as domestic help. Now apart from that he handles the operations at my company and has been a very big support. He knows exactly what I eat, when I train, when I sleep and everything is always ready as per my routine. He is like a brother to me and also helps me get better at swimming.