I thought I was superman!

I have been a physically active person as far as memory takes me. My love for sport persisted throughout my college days.I played all kinds of sport– football, hockey, table tennis, basketball, swimming and badminton.

When it came to food, I could digest anything. My roommates called me ‘dustbin’.Because I didn’t like wasting food, I used to finish what they couldn’t eat.Though I used to hog, I was always in good shape, had great stamina and good strength. So, naturally, I thought I was superman. I thought I would always be healthy because I used to exercise regularly and eat mostly homemade food.

Then, I started working. I enjoyed my work, so I used to put in long hours. I travelled, and had street foodacross the country. I didvery little physical activity. Of course, I continued to think I was superman.

Then came the rude shock, 5 years into my work life. I had a panic attack.There was a pain in the chest region, lot of acidity and slight perspiration. I thought I was having a heart attack and woke up my wife, who made me relax. Fortunately, the pain and discomfort subsided in a couple of hours and both of us could sleep. Because I believed I was superman, I thought I had over imagined the situation. I forgot about the incident and did not even visit a doctor.

I experienced suchattacks three or four times in the next 5 years. By this time I had ventured into entrepreneurship by starting a healthcare communications company. But, ironically, I did not have the time to think about health. Over time, the frequency of the attacks started increasing and it reached a stage where I started having nightmares along with the pain and discomfort. I used to spend sleepless nights 2 to three times a month. I decided to go to a doctor and under his treatment the nightmaresvanished. I continued the medication for a year and then stopped.

After a small gap, the attacks came back with a vengeance. It happened once or twice a week. I said to myself, I am only 38. I can’t continue to live like this.I have to take charge. I decided to use the knowledge I had gained working with healthcare companies.

I cut down on my long work hours, reduced intake of outside food and started exercising 5 days a week – 2 days of yoga and 3 days at a gym. Though not perfectly regular, I managed to do it most of the time. Yoga helped me relax and de-stress. It improved my flexibility. Slowly and steadily, things started improving. This motivated me to continue.It paid off. For more than 3 years now, I have been sleeping like a log every day.

I am 42 now and have run two half marathons (I could not run more than 3km when I started), the last one at a speed of 12 kmph hour. I am training to run the full marathon this year. I also cycle regularly. I feel active, healthy and energetic. I no longer believe I am superman. I am conscious about having a healthy lifestyle and now do things in moderation.

I know there are millions out there like me who want to better their health. I want to help them make it their primary concern. I thinkwealth hasmeaning only if you have the health to enjoy it. And that’s why I am part of pepper. Join me. Lets start a movement towards better health.

“Health should be our primary concern. If weare in good health, we can enjoy all our wealth.”

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