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Guest: Sandeep Mall, entrepreneur, fitness freak, runner, an awarded wildlife photographer and the guy who transformed himself after 50.
Who are you?
-I am Sandeep, from Faridabad, I am an entrepreneur, I’ve been doing this since 25-26 years, apart from that I am a wildlife photography and I am very much into fitness.
-In 2008-09, I met with a car accident in New York, it broke my c4c5 disk, it was a very critical surgery, then slowly and gradually, I met with a realisation that life needs a change, that’s when I got into wildlife photography, cooking during that year, I got obese.
-In our company as an insurance scheme we had this health checkups and the question was raised that if you’re as a CEO stay unfit then how would you run the company? That’s when I started walking, running and got into fitness.
-For first 5-6 years of my fitness journey I did various things, then I started making my own programs about what works for me.
-In march 2018, I did 100 days of running, that got me into a practice of running, now I run into marathons and 50-60kms per week and enjoy it.
-If by working out you can stay away from doctors and medicines then why not?
-Being unfit shouldn’t be a limitation when it comes to chasing your dreams.
-Health is a priority now!
What were the most difficult habits to break?
-I’ve been very lucky when it came to breaking bad habits. I had a neighbour who’s into boxing and has played in Commonwealth games, so I asked him one day if he would help me, he said yes. Then he used to push me to go to the gym and workout every morning, we did this for a month. He made me run in the part then do some strength training.
-I lost few kgs, the face fat reduced, I started looking better, that’s when self motivation kicked in.
-I am in the best shape of my life today.
How was the reaction of your friends and family?
-Nobody will say anything if you go for a walk, but when it comes to resistance training and running a marathon they’d be like “Ghutne todega kya”, “loha uthane ki kya zaroorat hai” these kinds of comments and things will always be there, but after certain time they also realise that “He started looking like a buy and we still look like uncles”
-In the initial phase everyone passed comments, asked me to not work so hard but when they saw results they stopped saying anything. And now they are happy that I did this.
-They also encourage now, I don’t take any medications now.
What’s your daily routine?
-I go to bed very early so I wake up in between 4-4:30 a.m without an alarm, I prepare black coffee, then I do my office work for 45 minutes without any distraction, at that time I make my to-do list, check my emails. By 5:30.
-After that I go for a run, if I don’t I’ll read or write a blog or a note.
-At 6:30 I hit the gym. At 8:15 I am back at home.
-At 9:00 a.m it’s family prayer time. I take rest for an hour again because by that time I’ve done half the work for the day.
-I have my lunch around 11 a.m and by 12 I hit the office.
-12 to 6 p.m I am at work.
-After that 3-4 days per week I do some stretching workout or massage, I’ve a trainer for that. Because after a lot of running, it’s important.
-After that at 8:00 p.m I have dinner and by 9:30 I am off to sleep.
-After I come back from work I spend some time with my family and grandkids.
-When I started my company (2001), we were only 20-25 people, we didn’t have any automatic plant, we were a small enterprise, it was delegated to the US at that time at a very big company so I don’t know what they saw in me and they told me that they are planning on putting a joint venture in India, they’ll give technology, the’ll give machinery to make their product and send it back to America.
-I made some more visits to US, they also visited India to check the location and establishment. On 18 June 2001, I went to US to sign a MoU, and when I came outside the building after signing it I got a call from my dad that if you could come back to India right now, please do (I had to stay for 5-6 more days in the US), your mother’s health is not well, I went back to India on the same day and found out that she was diagnosed with cancer.
-After that I wrote to the customer with whom I signed the agreement, his name was Mark, I told him that I don’t have time for the next 6-7 months because of my mother’s health, so if you can hold, hold it or do it with someone else, they said that they will wait.
-By December that company went bankrupt, it was due to recession or whatever, if I signed the agreement and went into it by that time, I’d be bankrupt too.
-My mother is in good health now.
How many lives have you changed?
-I try my best, I try to help as many people as I can. On Twitter too, I help many people. I help 30-40 people here, I mentor on physical and mental health, I mentor on photography, I try to teach all the skills that I have.
-When you teach something, you learn it even better. Someone who gives, gets back more.
About religion and spirituality.
-I am very religious, I believe in God, I go to the temple everyday.
-I haven’t tried meditation yet, my whole family does hanuman chalisa everyday. That’s to build a culture in the family.
-I read a lot of autobiographies and history. I don’t read fiction.
-Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is a good book.
-I am able to finish about 15-20 books and a lot of journals in a year.
Do you think you started late into fitness?
-Absolutely, I wish I was doing this thing when I was around 25.
-I am grateful that my kids are already into it.
-I feel guilty that the people who aren’t into fitness, I wish they do something for their health.
-You won’t find a solution by stressing about something, the only way you’ll find a solution is when you’re mentally and physically fit.
-You’ve to find a way to be happy.
-Everyone has problems, stressing won’t solve anything.
-There are bigger problems than money problems.