At the age of 28, most of us are busy slogging our backsides off to get that elusive promotion and hike. The only adventures in our lives happen over the weekends, when we go out and “celebrate” our new found independence. More or less, we are all preparing to settle down and resign ourselves to the monotony of life. But there exists a small minority of Mavericks who have decided to live life on their own terms while making the very best of it. This is the story of one such maverick – Kailash Yadav, a former Human Resource professional who quit a cushy job in one of the fortune 500s to become a marathon runner and a certified scuba diver while setting fitness goals for all of us! Here is his tantalizing story!

Off To A Running Start

Hailing from an army background, Kailash is no stranger to fitness. In fact, it was his father, a retired Indian Army officer, who set the pace for him from the very beginning. A sports lover since childhood, swimming and basketball were his two passions.

In fact, Kailash had once captained the corporate basketball team for Deloitte LLP. But when it comes to long-distance running, Kailash gives all the credit to his brother. Kailash says,

“The trigger point for me was when my elder brother, ran his first marathon despite having met a major accident.”

The elder brother in question is Akash Yadav. Aspiring to follow his father’s footsteps into the army, everything was going perfectly for Akash when the world came crashing down on him. A major accident, which resulted in multiple ligament tears had almost put a halt on his ambitions. But instead of giving up, Akash fought against all odds and within a few months of his surgery, completed his first half marathon in just 1 hour 49 minutes.

Kailash was by his brother’s side throughout the training phase. It was while helping Akash that he had a chance to observe the “Never Give In” spirit up close! An officer in the Indian Army today, Akash’s spirit or josh had a profound impact on Kailash. In his own words, “My brother’s transformation inspired me greatly. I thought to myself that if he could overcome and transform his weakness into one of his major strengths, I can too!

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Running The First Marathon –  Workout & Diet

The opportunity to test his own grit came to Kailash in the form of Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2015. Training hard and drawing lessons from his brother’s fitness regime, Kailash made his leg and core muscles the primary target. Among the various workouts that Kailash performed, some were weighted lunges, duck walks and progression runs on the treadmill. Besides this, he also included a fair amount of compound exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups and others for an overall all physical development.

Diet too played an important role in shaping him up physically. One of the first things Kailash did was to completely ban junk food from his diet. Instead, he stuck to normal home cooked food with lots of fresh fruits, especially fibre rich fruits like kiwis and bananas. For protein, Kailash ate 4 boiled eggs and protein powder from MuscleTech. Boiled potatoes became the source for his carbs. For snacks, Kailash would munch on more fresh fruits and veggies. Most importantly, Kailash made sure he remained hydrated throughout the training sessions.

Preparing slowly but steadily, he increased the distance gradually from 5k to 10k to 12k until finally when he was able to run 15-18 km nonstop. Once he hit the 18k mark, his focus shifted to pace and timing. When the D-Day arrived, his hard work paid. He finally ended up clocking the half marathon in under 2 hours.

Since then there has been no looking back for Kailash. Over the course of 3 years, Kailash has completed 8 half marathons including an international half marathon which was held in Chicago and last year, he completed two full marathons!

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On Fitness, Age and Inspirations

While most of us dread hitting the milestone of 30, Kailash firmly believes in the adage, “Age is just a number”. Looking up to Milind Soman, the renowned actor who’s always been in the news for his incredible running prowess, Kailash says, “Even if you’re at 50 but in a good shape, your body is as good as a 20-year-old!” But why look at Milind Soman? His own father, Major Ranvir Singh, who has run full marathons at the age of 72, is fitness goal personified for not just Kailash but all of us!

For Kailash personally, fitness is connected to each and every aspect of life. Citing the example of long-distance running Kailash says,

“Running teaches you to never give up and keep pushing yourself.”

Challenges, Motivations and Beyond

Apart from the minor injuries that are usually associated with running, the other challenge Kailash had to face was balancing his professional life with his passion for sports and fitness. Once a Human Resource professional with one of the biggest names in the corporate world, Kailash admits that sometimes this balancing act can be really exhausting. He adds, “There were days when I was exhausted from work and I had to really push myself to wake up early in the morning because there was a major Marathon coming soon.” Thanks to a super supportive network of family, friends and colleagues, Kailash never went off track. In fact, looking back at those days, Kailash finds the entire transformation journey as an immensely fun process worth every drop of the sweat and blood!

Apart from the people in his life, Kailash has a special philosophy which helps him stay motivated. He says, “In order to inculcate fitness in your lifestyle, you need to follow all the steps rather than jumping steps. Don’t compare yourself to someone who is already in shape, it takes years of dedication and determination.” We thoroughly endorse Kailash’s philosophy!

An adventure junkie to the hilt, Kailash also holds advanced certification in paragliding and has recently taken up full-time scuba diving. Already a PADI Certified Divemaster, Kailash is planning to pursue this field as a full-time career option. If this isn’t the definition of cool, we genuinely don’t know what is! As he continues exploring the road less taken, we wish Kailash all the very best. If you want some more inspiration from the man, you can follow him on Instagram at @kailashranvir. Till then stay fit and stay healthy!

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