August 3, 2009 2:27:04 am
Jugal Rathi commemorated his 62nd birthday this year by taking 63 non-stop rounds of t Jugal Rathi commemorated his 62nd birthday this year by taking 63 non-stop rounds of the Deccan Gymkhana groundhe Deccan Gymkhana ground
He can put the youth to shame when it comes to hitting the treadmill and never complains of any ailments. While many other sixty plus people would appreciate a quiet family gathering to celebrate their birthday,it seems for Jugal Rathi,a retired chartered accountant,it was an opportunity to reassure his fitness. Going by the theory of age-no bar,he has been doing this ritual since past three years. This year,when he turned 62 on June 5,he took 63 rounds of Deccan Gymkhana Ground (29,250 metres) in one go.
I was never into sports. It is only when I turned 55 that I thought of seriously doing something to keep myself fit and there began my tryst with biking and marathon. After being a regular in the long distance cycle expeditions and attending two half marathons that I decided to celebrate my birthday this way, says Rathi,who calls himself a semi-retired CA.
Among the latest events,he attended a 11,00 kilometre cycle expedition,where a team cycled to Kanya Kumari from Chennai. When asked if all this is taking a toll on his health given his age,pat comes the reply,The body knows it well and will not fail to tell me when it is over for it. We should know how to read the signals that our body gives. However,I make it a point to take that extra step before giving up. Probably that is why I keep increasing the number of rounds with my age.
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Rathi admits that he started the game for fun that gradually went on to become a passion. In 2007,I did it for fun and I finished 61 rounds in three hours,I improved with planning and practice to 62 rounds in two hours 55 minutes and 63 rounds in two hours and 47 minutes this year. I was able to do under the guidance of Nitin Dawle the trainer at Deccan Gymkhana and support of my fellow members. Talking about the popularity of his feat,Rathi says that it has nearly become his identity. While members and other family members appreciate and cheer Rathi,his wife feels concerned for him and feels he is taking it a bit too far.
If this was too much for a 60-year-old,Rathi plans to participate in a marathon,trek Sinhghad 11 times in a row (he can do it six times in a row now) and participate in the open category of Enduro race. On a concluding note,he says,We need to change the concept of age. More than the age itself,the thought of being old stops us from doing many things that we are capable of.This attitude is wrong.
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