“I’ve always been very active. As a kid, I was an all-rounder–I’d swim, skip, play kho kho and kabaddi. My teachers would just give my name for competitions and I’d come back with prizes. Even after I got married, only my activity form changed; I was milking cows, using the chakki for atta and grinding masalas by hand. Everyday I would climb two flights of stairs holding a pot of water in one hand and a full bucket of water in the other. I did all the household chores since I was the only young member at home! With time, as the family grew and the kids got older, we hired help but I couldn’t be idle, so I continued to work with our help.
But then while visiting family in the US, I twisted my ankle and couldn’t walk straight for 3 months. The kids were all married and had kids of their own; no one let me do any work but maine kaam karna nahi chodha. I started sewing. It was good for my legs and kept me busy. But my stamina went down. From doing all the household work to just sewing, it was a big change; my body didn’t take it well. I felt weak; age had started to catch up with me. Eventually, all I did the whole day was read spiritual books.
There came a time when I’d need 5-10 minutes to recover from a walk across the room. Me–a girl who used to be a sports champion!
Things only got worse; about seven months back, I fell from the bed because my bones were weak. I was in pain. Recovery was long…I began to feel like my end was near. But my family stayed strong and my grandson took charge. He’s a gym trainer–he took it upon himself to nurse me back to health.
He did some research and 3 months ago we started weight training. I felt uncomfortable at first but then I started looking forward to my sessions, especially the back exercises– they reminded me of my village days, where I drew water from a well!
Slowly, we moved from the bed to the floor and from water bottles to weights. The swelling from my feet reduced and I regained strength in my arms. With time the joint pain and BP issues faded as well; I started feeling alive!
It’s all in the mind betaji–I feel younger than ever today! Still some people say I shouldn’t lift weights at 82, but my mind is young…I’M young so why shouldn’t I? 82 is just my birth age and this Dadi can lift!”