Aparna Bhingarkar D’souza (Pinkathon Ambassador)

Aparna Bhingarkar D’souza Who is she?

Hello Friends you all know me as Aparna Bhingarkar D’souza the runner, Pinkathon Ambassador, etc. Would you like to know my different self? The Aparna who apart from being the runner and Pinkathon. How am I as a person? Aparna Bhingarkar D’souza a daughter of a Fauji. My father was in the Airforce so I am a Fauji kid, schooling all over India. Graduated in English Literature and currently working in the logistics field as a Customer Service Regional Manager. I am sure you didn’t know that? there is plenty of things you didn’t know about me. Keep reading ahead.

I began my running journey with Pinkathon. What happened next was truly magical, something I never expected. I don’t know how when where it happened, I fell in love. Yes I did, before I could realize running soon became a passion. Running became my ‘me’ time. It’s only when I fractured my foot in Feb 2020, I took to cycling as an alternative to recover. Never thought I would start enjoying cycling with equal gusto and I finished my half virtual ironman which is 5 km running + 90 km cycling + 21 km running in November 2020, thanks to my coach Paritosh at Fitfeat.

I have been running since 2014 and cycling from 2020. I have finished 3 inter-city runs Mumbai to Pune with Pinkathon and more recently my half Ironman.

Running has changed my life for good. Apart from being hale and hearty, I am definitely more disciplined and confident that I am physically capable of much more than I give myself credit for.

According to me every runner should possess discipline, passion and a lot of craziness to enjoy the complete experienc thoroughly. Its a kind of therapy and meditation. It gives you a kind of high which can only be experienced not expressed.

Before I began my running journey my social circle was limited to college friends. Today when I am out I feel I know half of Mumbai. Running has been a very wonderful journey, today I have taken to cycling in a big way. Yet I feel the same energy I felt while I was running.

There are a lot of changes one needs to bring about in their lives if you have to follow your passion. Early to bed is the one daily habit I have inculcated .. and the thought of spending time with my thoughts, watching the beautiful sunrise us enough to shove me out of bed.

There is a lot of time management, discipline, work pressure, family commitments in hand, striking the right balance can definately be a challenge. Maintaining balance comes naturally to a mother and adding running/cycling to my daily routine has definitely made me a better juggler of time.

Ever since I have started running, I am more alert and happier to take on the day. Definately i am more productive at work. Whether its running/swimming your body does not know what sport you follow it just know when it has to release its happy hormones.

My family is the most important entity in my life. They are very proud of me especially my daughter. Personally what I feel is you need to love yourself first. If you cannot love and look after yourself, you will not be able to do the same for family either.

As mentioned earlier your body does not know which sport of excercise routine you follow. It just follows your heart, the minute it starts rising thats when your brain gets the signal to release the happy hormones to give you that high. Your body feels and looks good too.

Apart from family and my passion I am a working mother. I love my job and its very important to me too. Running has changed my entire persona I am not only more alert, happy and productive at work but also full of energy to take on more challenges.

Also as you get to know your body better once you start exercising you realize that injuries are a part of life too. Hence I prefer to train with a coach. their presence gives you very different confidence. Also like following the sports Stretching and cooldowns are an integral part of any sport or exercise. It is always better to do it under professional supervision.

I normally hear people getting into deep discussions about what strategy to go with. Elevation gain, terrain, trail Auf. Sometimes I feel people really think they are participating in the Olympics. My mantra in life is I don’t strategize or plan before any run.. go with the flow. I don’t want to ruin the fun of running by getting into these heated topics. I have been running currently cycling so I have been following my madness for close to 6 years now I am in a happy space by the grace of God. Have started enjoying incline (uphill) runs after training with a coach. So now I don’t bother about the route at all. The only thought that comes to my mind while running a formal event is, my finishing line picture needs to be awesome. Ha Ha, nothing else matters.

As mentioned earlier I have been a part of this madness for close to 6 years. I have run and been a part of the organising teams of multiple Marathons. As they say there is always a soft corner for one particular event that was My first Mumbai to Pune run. It taught me a lot about myself. It was a huge social revelation for all of us that highways need more washrooms for women.

I have done one run abroad. 2019 we did a self supported run from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. The beauty of the route is etched deep in my heart as one if my most favourite runs. I will surely write about it in my next blog.

One tip I like to share with event organisers, there should be a supply Water stations for the slow runners till the end. Its even more difficult for them because the slow runners are normally the first time or novice runners they need to be respected and supported even more for them to continue running. I personally feel that with the right training, diet, and support we can beat the Kenyans in running.

If asked give me the one reason why you should continue running, I would say Its because it has helped me to discover the real me.. my physical capabilities which I never knew existed.

My happy space has uplifted me as a better version of me. I love my family dearly . After finishing off my runs early morning I ensure that the weekend is spent completely with my kids and husband. I have two children are proud of my achievements.

Injuries are a part and parcel of our lives I too am not exemt from it . I have fractured my foot. Physiotherapy by Dr. Abhishek Bangera is treating me. That was one of the reasons why I switched my focus from running to Cycling. What I didnt realise was that I enjoy cycling with the same amount of passion, I had for running.

Actually, the primary reason why I am sharing these intricate details about myself is not just to brag about myself. I have realized over the years, there are many people who look up to you for inspiration. Hence I make it a point to share my experience on social media. Wellness Expeditions being one of them.

Finacial wellness is an important aspect of my life. So is my work. I see to it that I strike a balce between all of them. I travel for my run atleast 2-3 times in a year. I follow the regular sops of trainning including stenghtening, stretching, cardio etc. Liked working from home but it was only for a month as logistics fell under the emergency services so had to resume work after a month of lockdown. It was a tough phase in life but we all are fine by God’s grace. According to me the most positive thing about working from home is it saves a lot of time. During the lockdown I Included a lot of strength training which I had never done before, since I was not allowed to run outside. This has actually helped me in running.

I personally think that this break was required to recuperate and recover from the daily rundown. I learnt cooking during the lockdown. I never had the time to do much otherwise.The biggest lesson I learned during the lockdown was “Nothing is permanent and this too shall pass”. My first running experience post lockdown was quiet Euphoric. Even before and after the Pandemic primary focus in life is to Enjoy every day with your loved ones. My first priority has become my health and family, because both are interconnected.

I feel that everyone should follow atleast one sport because you need to be passionate about something. I like adventure sports.. having indulged myself with sky diving. Zip lining.. I am a very peoples person and I like to meet up with all kinds of people. So If you feel like meeting me. Do drop in a message on the comment below. Thankyou.

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