“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it."- Muhammad Ali
In 2017, Lakshay Solanki, aged 13, played his first boxing match. After failing to wake up after three counts till 8, his match was RSCed, meaning it was stopped by the referee. Lakshay couldn’t play any more matches that season.
Five years later, Lakshay has competed at the national level, won gold in the state championships, and continues towards his dream of competing in the Olympics.
Lakshay Solanki, a resident of Baprola in Haryana, is a participant in SocialBoat’s game. In an interview, he talks to us about his boxing past, aspirations, and role model.
Beginning Boxing, One Step At A Time
Lakshay’s father aspired to make Lakshay a boxer. But as a child, Lakshay would refuse. So his father started pushing him toward education but he wasn't interested in that either. As he was growing up, Lakshay started learning about and watching the boxers around him. At the age of 11, he knew he wanted to be a boxer.
“I went to my father and told him that I had made up my mind.”
For his initial and formative years, Lakshay trained in Delhi under Sooraj Coach Sahab, as he calls him. Then he came back to his hometown and took up training there.
Moving Forward and COVID
He moved from regional to state to the national championship and faced them all one by one. When he was at his peak, he won the gold medal in the state championship in the Junior category. He was hoping to recreate the performance in the nationals as well, but that year, the nationals were called off due to the pandemic.
“The pandemic was very harsh on sportspersons. There were no competitions in 2021 and many were canceled in 2020. We lost almost two precious years of progress.”
Turning Negatives to Positives
Despite all this, Lakshay remains hopeful and dreams of the Olympics. Talking about his role models, Lakshay has one and only one name to take- the legend Muhammad Ali.
“There is absolutely nobody like him. I watch his videos and learn a lot from his moves and spirit.”
Lakshay is a person who turns the negatives into his motivation. For example, the biggest source of his motivation is the criticism that he receives through comments on his social media. “I like the comments where people are criticizing my moves, workout, speed, and technique. They make me want to push myself to do better.”
Similarly, he thinks about his first match where he was not allowed to play further because he wasn’t fit enough.
“Looking at where I have reached, I know I can achieve more in the coming years.”
Lakshay plays at the Youth level for now. Next year, he will be competing at the senior level. His next match is the state championship in a few days and even though he is suffering from some injuries right now, he is preparing for it with dedication.
Daily Routine and Diet- What It Takes
Lakshay wakes up at 5 a.m. and attends his first training session from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. He relaxes for a while after that and goes for his evening training session from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
As for the diet, fried and fatty food is completely off the table. He takes a protein-rich healthy diet consisting of eggs, fruits, vegetables, and dry fruits.
“My routine and diet are fixed. I cannot hang out and go about like my friends. I can't eat fried and roasted unhealthy food. Even one off day can result in the loss of months of training.”
Looking at the improving condition of sports and sportspersons in India, Lakshay believes in the bright future of his game.
For more such inspiring stories, visit SocialBoat.