“Knowing Yourself is the Beginning of all Wisdom.”
Many people get associated with a cause but do not know how to go about spreading a word about it. One person who has no such problem is 29 year old Spoorthi Seethamma Muruvanda from Bangalore, who is busy spreading her message about the importance of health and fitness among women in the most exemplary manner.
Stressing on the importance of acquiring health and fitness through running, Spoorthi feels that in the process of taking care of her family, a woman usually tends to ignore her own health. She feels that if a woman has to build a strong family, she has to first herself be strong, fit and healthy and running is always useful to achieve this aim.
Spoorthi only preaches what she actually practices. Not too long ago, the marathon runner had no idea about the importance of running and staying fit and healthy as she hardly thought of anything beyond the love of her life. But her entire world came tumbling down when her marriage broke down. Spoorthi was in deep trouble, with an unfit body and a disturbed mind all she could think of was when and how to end her life by committing a suicide. Her mental tension and anxiety along with lack of sleep added to her woes. She got into the habit of binge eating and put on almost 16Kgs in two years reaching an alarming weight of 71Kgs.
Spoorthi felt the need for immediate corrective measures after a peon in her office mistakably considered her as a pregnant woman and opened a door for her. She made a fresh beginning right at start of 2014 when she decided to hit a gym and run on a treadmill to lose some weight but all it led to were tears in her eyes as Spoorthi initially could not work on it for more than two minutes. But determined to lose weight and get fit, she did not give up hope and started running losing few kilos in the next few months.
As Spoorthi got accustomed to running on a treadmill, a good friend of her suggested that she should go a step further and aim for a higher goal and take part in the 2014 edition of Bangalore TCS 10k run taking place in the city. Spoorthi herself wasn’t very sure of making it on such a big platform but it was her friend who was confident and pushed her to go for it. Ever since she crossed the finishing line in 1 hour 07 minutes there has been no looking back for her.
Spoorthi says that after her failure in love she thought that it was the end of the road for her but after this marathon she fell in love all over again and this time it was with running. She ran a half marathon in December 2014 and because of her own confidence reached the finishing line in 2 hours and 23 minutes. The year 2015 was even better for her, running in 13 marathons she finished in top 3 on four occasions. She is also associated with Pinkathon and took part in 2016 edition of the women marathon in Bangalore along with Pinkathon ambassador and her mentor and inspiration, Milind Soman.
Spoorthi embarks on ultra marathons from one city to another. She has already done Bangalore to Hyderabad along with her running partner, Giridhar Kamat. Spoorthi also ran 350Km from Bengaluru to Chennai to promote the cause of health and fitness among women. When doing inter city runs, Spoorthi covers 60km everyday which fundamentally requires lot of mental strength and endurance. Her running mate, Giridhar agrees that being a woman, the challenges faced by Spoorthi in these runs are far greater than what he faces. At times she has to start running at 3 in the morning when it is pitch dark and continue to do so for around two hours at a stretch despite being in odd situations at times like being chased by dogs or facing rough weather. But there is some force that keeps Spoorthi moving all the time irrespective of the hardships she faces. As Giridhar puts it, “Looking at her running is like watching Goddess Durga move on her feet.”
Running not only helps Spoorthi create awareness about health and fitness among other women, but also helps herself in different ways. She says, “Cycling was always part of my workout, but it was running which helped me immensely. Running is like meditation for me which takes me closer to my inner self and give me an opportunity to think about myself."
Spoorthi is a living example of a determined woman who has shown that with a strong will and determination you can not only change your own life but a life of others as well.