Bring it on!

Bring it on!



On May 20, 2011, Premlata Agarwal (45) became the first person from Jharkhand and the oldest woman to go on an expedition to Mount Everest and conquer its peak.She epitomises what Aimee Mullins, Women’s Sports Foundation President, said: “The power of the human will to compete and the drive to excel beyond the body’s normal capabilities is most beautifully demonstrated in the arena of sport.”

At the other end of the spectrum are young women like Anu Vaidyanathan, a well-known triathlete, who are shining examples of what spirit and skill can achieve. Long course triathlon, primarily Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run) and Ultraman (10km swim, 420km bike and 84.4km run) are Anu’s forte. “My inspiration to participate in triathlons or endurance events came from taking part in individual events such as swimming, biking and running,” she says. Sheetal Iyer (21), who started riding a motorcycle  when she was 16 years old, says she has found her “dream bike” in the Royal Enfield. She counts the motorcycle rally, ‘Ride in Paradise 2010’, organised by the Arunachal Bullet Club, from Itanagar to Mechukha, among her best where she rode nearly 2000 km. “It feels great to be called a super woman and the confidence it instills in me is incredible. Riding gives me a sense of individuality and freedom,” she says.

Alisha Abdullah (22) finished third in the 600cc Superbikes Novice Ice Class in the JK Tyre NRC in 2009 and participated in Polo Cup India 2010. She’s aiming for a podium finish at the Malaysian Super Series. After suffering a “terrible” road accident, she made the shift from bikes to cars. “I am very serious about going international soon, but that’s not easy. I have to work hard to be among the Top 5 in India,” she says. What gives her a high is the fact that she gave riding tips to several boys in the recently concluded F1 Driver Hunt!

Sindhu V Kashyap (26) is into Mixed Martial Arts and works for Independent Shootfighters Inc. “Martial arts enhance an individual’s power of concentration as well as emotional, physical and psychological strength. I would suggest that every woman learns some form of self-defense,” she says.

Firdaus Shaikh (25), who participated in the first edition of ‘Stunt Mania’ on MTV, says: “The sense of excitement and freedom that any extreme sport gives you is tremendous. The travel opportunities you get are amazing. However, you must ensure that you have sponsors because most extreme sports are expensive.”

Although she’s not a professional climber, Devvaki Aggarwal (21), an adventure sports enthusiast, is part of a growing number of girls who hit the Great Outdoors regularly. Devvaki trained at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi. “This was a rigorous camp. We climbed the Dayara peak. The climb gave me the confidence to travel to Nepal for a bungee jumping event. It was the most wonderful experience of my life. The sky, the water and the mountains swirled around me at a speed of 180 km an hour,” she exclaims.

Neethi, an RJ with Fever 104 FM, says she recharges her batteries by taking off on holidays where she can go snorkeling, scuba diving and river rafting. “Of the places that I’ve been to, my favourite is Nethrani Islands, which has some fantastic marine life,” she says.

Princy Mehta (27), who trained for a month at Darjeeling’s Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering, says the fact that she was able to walk 26 km a day with a rigsack weighing 18 kg, has made her tremendously proud of herself. “It filled me with a great sense of achievement. I am sure I want to test the skills that I’ve acquired soon.” These young women surely know what it takes to follow their dreams.

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