“We cannot give you a loan since you do not have a father, brother, boyfriend, or a husband to back you up” was one of the many shattering statements I had to hear in the pursuit of my dreams. We might be at the peak of technological advancements today, the reality is that the mindset of most people hasn’t evolved from a generation ago.
And I’ve seen its ill effects pan out as a women entrepreneur, in the fitness space. There’s still a great deal of struggle to make others, women especially, take me seriously as an expert in the field trying to make her mark. There’s bias at every step and a general lack of trust, all due to my gender. Now, it took a while for me to realize the depth of this reality and come to terms with all that I was up against.
But then again, I do believe very strongly, in living my life to the fullest, and never backing down, especially after having found a calling! The fitness bug you see didn’t really hit me until my late twenties. I was earlier, a journalist working across the spectrum, both in India and abroad. It was during my time in an IT firm, that I went to a physiotherapist, asking him to train me to run! And the unexpected tryst that began there, has been life-changing, to say the least!
Every day as I trained, my mind became clearer and it sparked an internal sense of happiness. From there, I slowly picked up an interest to educate myself thoroughly and went about completing multiple certifications whilst working as a freelance trainer too, on the side. Every bit was exhilarating and in due time it all planted the thought to open my own gym in the city.
Of course, the interest levels were high, but the obstacles were too overwhelming! I had to overcome opinions such as “No gender will accept you- while males wouldn’t trust a female coach, women would all be jealous” before taking matters into my own hands and establishing a set of trustworthy clientele who respect me for my knowledge and work! At 46 today, I’m in the best shape of my life and enjoy training others to good health! I guess, at the end of the day, what really matters is genuinely believing in your dreams to manifest them despite life’s tests!”