Geeta S Rao - The Girl You Don't Know and The Story You cant Miss
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Geeta S Rao - The Girl You Don’t Know and The Story You can’t Miss

Geeta S Rao- The girl you don’t know and the story you can’t miss

Diagnosed with polio as a 3-year old and being told by the doctor that they may not be able to walk ever again, not many people imagine living a normal life, forget about doing something extraordinary but the ultra-cycling champion Geeta S. Rao is not among them.

She has won a lot of laurels and holds a lot of records including the Limca Book of Record as the First Differently-Abled Super Randonneur of India- a title she earned in 43 days completing series of 200 KM, 300 KM, 400 KM & 600 KM Brevets.

At a time when others were celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2016, she was sweating and losing consciousness as she rode a cycle for the first time. She couldn’t cross even 200 meters but the lioness had tasted blood. A week later she completed her first cycling event, a 14-kilometer green ride at cyclotron.

She joked, “The 1-week turnaround was not the effect of vodka or something, it was just that I was determined to do it”. “After failing on the first day I decided I have to ride 200 km before I die but I didn’t know the time would come so fast,'' said Geeta.

Gaining independence through a cycle

Geeta was affected by polio in one leg when she was 3-year old. Her family was supporting-enough and brought her up just like their other kids. The family support and other things help you but at the end of the day, you have to look after yourself and do all the hard work, even if you want to lead a normal life, forget about trying to dig a path towards writing your legacy.

Geeta had to depend on her driver and others to roam around, explore places and almost every other thing. But they say when you are tested your real character shows up. She didn’t like it and the valentine gift from her sister- a cycle – became her crush. It became a medium for her to fly out of her cage and touch the sky.

Now she could go anywhere without her driver. In her words- she has explored the ‘chappa chappa’ of Ahmedabad, where she stays.

Creating her path towards legacy

Have you seen the excitement on kids' faces when they get a cell phone for the first time? That’s the kind of excitement Geeta got. Just like the kid, who would never leave the phone, Geeta too was glued to the cycle. She became so accustomed to it that she is never home from 5 to 9 in the morning, something that became a part of her training regime.

However, unlike the kid who would, more often than not, waste his time using the phone, Geeta started building a legacy and slowly an ‘implausible’ dream started looking realistic. That was, and still is, very far but at least the preparation started and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

She wants to participate in the Paralympics. The next edition- 2020 Paralympics in Japan, has come up really soon and she is still trying to fulfill all the criteria required to qualify for the event. However, she says that if she misses out it might prove to be a blessing in disguise as the 2024 Paralympics in 2024 would give her ample time to prepare. She has promised that the National Anthem will be played in France and the Indian flag would be unfurled with her in the background.

doesn’t know all participate in the Paralympics but there must be some criteria I will have to fulfill which puts my participation in the 2020 Paralympics a doubt. However, if I miss out I will definitely get a medal for the nation in the 2024 Paralympics.

Life is not a bed full of roses

They say falling in love is easy but staying in love is tough and that’s the difference between a sportsperson and a great sportsperson.
She had set the target but there was a long journey she had to follow. There’s an old saying in villages- the day you fall, you learn how to cycle. However, even the so-called normal people get scared when they fall, forget about someone affected by polio, but Geeta was ready. In her words, “the biggest challenge I faced when I started cycling was handling the bike”. It was tough to control the handlebar while paddling. However, once she started getting the grip, there was no stopping her.

Training

If you have seen some people affected by polio, you know how difficult it is for them to even walk. They get tired and start sweating in no time. The same happened with Geeta as well. She had to rest for 2-4 days after riding 50 km. She exercises for at least 2 hours every day. During the recovery time, she spends 2 hours mostly on meditation, easy exercises and morning walk.

Not everyone cracks the UPSC IAS exams in the first attempt

Geeta could not complete any of her brevets within the time limit in the first attempt. However, she didn’t let the ‘failures ruin her mind’. Given, she needed at least a month to recover after every brevet, it postponed her journey towards the top. At the same time, it made her hungrier.

Diet

Like every other person, Geeta also loves pizza and burgers. She ate everything that she liked initially but you have to make sacrifices. She slowly stopped eating outside and started preparing her own diet to suit her cycling and adventure sports requirements. She now focuses more on home-made food.

Fast&Up

The constant training has helped her develop endurance and stamina so she doesn’t usually need any supplement if she is not crossing the 100 km mark. She said, “I tried many supplements during the initial stages but once I tasted Fast&Up products, I never looked for anything else. I stopped all other supplements.” She loves the Fast&Up energy gel while the Fast&Up reload and recovery combination does wonder for her.

Do you still have some excuse? Maybe you should stop complaining and start working.

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