Time and again we see stories about how “He” clinched that last-minute gold medal or how “She” broke the record to be the fastest amongst all. But sports is so much more than just winning the game or breaking a record. The most inspiring sports stories highlight Courage, Passion and most of all, Willpower!
Meet Vandana Goel, Director at Convenient Constructions & Consultancy Pvt Ltd. A lady with a will of iron, she has made us believe that following one’s passion and hard work can turn impossible dreams to reality! From being rendered immobile for more than 6 months due to overweight and spinal problems, to finishing a Half-Marathon in just over 2 hours, Vandana has led us to believe that Super Women..do exist!
We got a chance to talk to the Iron lady herself. Here is an excerpt from the inspirational talk that has touched our hearts.
Let’s get to know the Iron Lady, Vandana Goel herself.
- Hi Vandana, Tell us a little about your background and what do you do?
Hey Sachet, I’m an architect with more than 14 years of experience in the field of architecture and I’m currently one of the directors of a fast-growing project management organization. I’m also married and a proud mother of a young boy.
- When did you get into Running or Sports per se?
I reckon. I was always an athlete during my school time. During school days I used to run long races (cross country, 3km,1.5km, and 800m). I won best player awards multiple times in school for Badminton and Table Tennis and represented the district in state-level championships. But since school, I had zero physical activity.
After a turning point in my life, I decided to again start working on myself. I started with a 10 min walk and increased gradually to 6-7 km in an hour and added a few minutes of running in the daily activity.
- Can you tell us about the “Turning Point”?
Everyone has one I guess. Mine was when I was rendered immobile for 6 months due to slip disc (the year 2014) and I was 74 kg!
I had first gained more than 20kgs due to steroid intake because of a lung infection in 2006. In 2011, I further gained 10kgs during my pregnancy and reached 74. Post that I suffered from slip disc twice. I was immobile for 6 months straight and that made me think. After deep introspection, I realized that this is all because of this damn weight!
- Tell us about your personal milestones after suffering from your physical condition and how you got back in the game?
After a month of walking and running in 2015, I joined Zumba sessions which helped me build stamina and strengthen the core. Today with the help of regular running and Zumba I have lost more than 10 kgs.
In 2016 I ran my first half marathon, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) in 2hr 50 min. It was my first official run after recovering from slip disc and since then, I have run several 21 km, 10km, and 15 km runs.
Then, I decided to improve, to challenge myself. To get to know how much I can push my body. I started my training via FITSO. I ran the ADHM in 2017 which I finished in 2 hr 24 min, gradually improving my timing to 2 hr 22 min in ADHM, 2018 and the latest ADHM, 2019 in just 2 hr 20 min, all thanks to the rigorous training from Fitso.
- Triathlon – HR26 – Podium finisher
- 10 km – Dwarka half marathon – Winner
- 10 km – 1947 run – podium – Second runner-up
- 15 km – Delhi Fitness run – Second runner-up
- 10 km – I can run – Second runner-up
- Games forest run – 5 km duo- Winner
- Wow! You’re a true inspiration, Vandana. All this with just sheer will power?
No, I didn’t do it all by myself. I follow the Fitso app for the running schedule.
I hardly get any time to run but the Fitso app gives me a fixed schedule and I plan my mornings according to the app. Credit also goes to my Coach Chandan from Fitso for guiding at each and every step of my running endeavors. Apart from the workouts within the app, he also gave me extended challenges which eventually helped in improving the timings for my 5km, 10km, 21km run.
He followed the progress rigorously during the journey to my 4th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, 2019. He kept on sharing awesome tips which really helped and I finally completed the marathon in 2 hours 20 minutes, my personal best!
- So, what are the future events where we can see you being awesome?
In the future, I’m planning to do the Ultrarunning that has its own set of challenges and finishing the Ironman Tournament.
- Is there any advice you’d like to give to people who are just starting or thinking of pursuing running as a fitness endeavor?
I believe that it is never too late to start. A good guide can make you achieve your goals so is the case of mine. I’ve come to know that I’m so much healthier, stronger and happier than before. This fuels me to keep pushing, keep working and keep smashing those goals. Onwards and upwards!
Well, you go girl! Show the world how it’s done. You truly are a #FitsoSuperWoman!