One day in 2016, Dheeraj returned from his mobile shop and learnt that his daughter’s bicycle had been stolen from their house. His daughter was very miserable and was asking for a new bicycle. He went to the market and he was tempted to buy one for himself and got two cycles home.
At that time, Dheeraj weighed 108 kg. He was overweight, his eating habits were unhealthy, and he spent all his days sitting at his shop with no physical activity. Today, some six years after he had bought the cycle, he weighs 85 kg and cycles more than 60 km every morning. He is one of the fastest and oldest members of the Faridabad Cycling Club. Along with their weekly planned rides, he also goes on individual rides at least six days a week.
With this consistent and exceptional performance, Dheeraj has been among the top performers of SocialBoat’s game ever since he joined it. Almost every day he accomplishes the longest and fastest ride feats in the game. In a conversation with SocailBoat, he talks about his fitness and cycling journey and all that has changed for him.
Reflecting on his tryst with the bicycle he says,
“Perhaps it was destiny that tempted me to buy two cycles that day.”
Changes That Came with a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Feels Younger
“I am 40 years old today but I feel like I have the strength of a 25-year-old.”
Among all his batchmates from school and college and his friends from work, Dheeraj is the fittest. Most people his age that he knows are eating unhealthy food from outside every day, and not working out at all. They have become lazy and inactive, and have lost all their strength.
2. Clothes Size
Earlier Dheeraj used to go about looking for clothes his size that were rarely available. Now he gets the clothes of his choice because his size is available at every story. Although this would have seemed like a minor concern to the outsider, it is these small things that help people measure their progress and draw their inspiration.
3. Away From Diabetes and Other Such Diseases
Dheeraj’s family has a history of diabetes. Both his parents are diabetic and face many problems in everyday life due to this.
“I am very happy that I have distanced myself from this. I get my sugar level checked regularly and it stays within the normal range.”
In addition to this, he isn't taking any medicine for any health condition whatsoever.
4. Awareness and Confidence
Being fit does inculcate confidence in you; it comes from feeling energetic and positive about your body and yourself. This is also what happened with Dheeraj. With confidence also came awareness about the body and a likeness towards being careful of the eating and exercising habits. Both these collectively contributed to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Changes That Came with SocialBoat’s Game
1. Expanding the meaning of fitness: Earlier Dheeraj’s conception of fitness was limited to cycling only. He wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. and cycles for at least two hours but that was that.
“In the game, we are assigned sub-tasks of doing different kinds of exercises. Doing these, for the fit-points, I have learnt so much about exercise.”
Dheeraj says although cycling was strengthening his lower body, his arms were holding back the strength. These exercises have improved that limitation.
2. Improving through competition: The slightly competitive aspect of the game has pushed Dheeraj in many ways. Being on top of the game, Dheeraj is worried about losing his progress; this motivates him to push himself to do better.
Although there might be many secondary reasons, the primary motivation that pushes Dheeraj toward cycling is to be able to eat all the delicious food without having to worry about their harm.
“I burn enough calories so that I can eat enough calories. It is a balance.”
For more such stories, visit SocialBoat.