Over the previous yr, four-time Commonwealth Video games medal-winning discus thrower Seema Punia has been by hell and again. The 37-year-old, who trains in Russia, examined optimistic for Covid, spent lengthy hours in solitude and fought psychological battles. However she by no means gave up although she was in a overseas land. The Haryana born athlete says she took solace in yoga, meditation and Osho’s philosophy to drag by testing occasions.
“It may get very lonely and exhausting over there however I’m looking for one thing higher. Language is a large subject however I can perceive now. I’ve picked up sufficient that I can transfer across the metropolis with no translator. If it’s important to show one thing it’s important to avoid right here and soiled politics,” says Seema.
Seema was in India earlier this month for the Federation Cup, her first competitors within the nation in over two years. She was favorite to bag the gold till Punjab’s Kamalpreet produced a record-breaking throw in extra of 65metres. Seema, though dissatisfied, accepted the second spot gracefully. The athlete feels it was an honest try, contemplating she was coming from a chilly area like Krasnodar (southwestern Russia), one in every of her three coaching bases.
“I’m coming from a area the place this can be very chilly so I take into account my throw (62.64m) nothing lower than a 65m throw,” she says.
‘I couldn’t breathe’
It was round April final yr when the tall and well-built athlete was introduced right down to her knees by the coronavirus. Dizziness and a fever of 103 Fahrenheit had been telling indicators.
“I felt like my head was spinning and had a extreme fever. I requested my coach to not come to my room. It was a dreadful feeling. Like going by hell. Then well being professionals arrived to take blood samples. The check proved I used to be optimistic,” the athlete recollects.
Getting again in form felt like a herculean process for the athlete, who used to coach a minimal of six hours a day earlier than the virus hit her. “I might be left breathless after climbing a flight of stairs and there was this fixed headache. Issues eased slowly and I might have been actually blissful had I certified for the Olympic Video games right here,” says Seema, a two-time Olympian who has a mixed tally of six medals within the Commonwealth Video games and Asian Video games.
Regardless of the struggles, Seema feels meditation and spirituality helped within the therapeutic course of. “I learn a number of books on Osho and spirituality. I’m an enormous follower of Osho and listen to his sermons usually. It brings me a number of peace and tranquillity which helped me get by these testing occasions,” she says.
Seema’s resolution to start out coaching in Russia again in 2016 had raised eyebrows due to the doping file of athletes from the nation. Seema presently trains at three centres in Sochi, Maykop and Krasnodar beneath coach Vitaliy Pishchalnikov, a former thrower. Seema additionally works intently with physio and health coach Bella who travelled to Patiala for the Federation Cup.
“We now have spent a number of time collectively and she or he is sort of a sister to me. Since I’m a neighborhood, I assist her with something she wants. Our manner of getting enjoyable is making certain good restoration and consuming properly. Seema could be very hardworking and we prepare 24X7. No holidays and no alcohol. By no means,” says Bella, who was seen interacting with the Indian athlete in Russian.
Seema can also be a lot leaner and fitter due to modifications in her consuming habits. Purple meat and a number of veggies are what she survives on. “No sugar, virtually zero carbs. I’ve developed a gluten allergy so no bread as properly. At this age I should be very cautious of what I eat,” says Seema.
‘Society wants to vary’
Though Seema has been away from residence for a very long time now, she isn’t homesick. “I had a wedding which ended. We separated in 2016-17, and now there isn’t a lot left to consider or miss about India,” she says.
“Giving up is just not a selection. You have got been given this one life, and it’s important to benefit from it. I need to be a beacon of hope for different girls. There are such a lot of oppressed girls in our society. If you happen to go to the interiors of Haryana you will notice the plight of girls. Now all I take into consideration is throwing higher.”