Wednesday, August 26, 2015


With my coach and mentor - Kaizzad Capadia, Director of the K11 Fitness Academy.
The natural psychological reaction to danger or stress, is the FIGHT or FLIGHT response. Well, I personally have never been the flight kind. I like to stand my ground. It comes naturally to me. And with a tendency to stand up for what you believe is right, comes a lot of situations that require you to be prepared. Many of these situations are entirely unpredictable since they are in real life and not in a ring. You are never on level ground – you never know who would bring a gun to a knife fight. So all you can do is be prepared. And no matter how many martial arts you know or survival skills you are good at – there are two things that amplify them all. SHEER BRUTE STRENGTH and SITUATIONAL INTELLECT.
Childhood in a hostel taught me very early in life that strength may not always be the best measure – sometimes, just managing to sway the people around you in your favour can win you your fight without even throwing a punch. And there are times when you will have to roll with a few punches and survive. AND there are those times, where it is you who has to put your foot down. HARD.  These two situations are where brute strength is an absolute asset.

I never stepped in the gym to get ‘good looking’ or to get ‘a six pack’. I got that out of my training as a by product. An admirable side-effect. As I say, if someone is mugging you or your girl, you won’t pull up your t-shirt and say “hey look! I have abs alright!” or pull down your pants and say “hey dude! I got a super glute-buster booty okay!” – NO. You knock the hell out of that mugger and teach him a lesson  or rather, SURVIVE the situation by any means necessary. [Sometimes giving in is a smarter option – memorize all details of the mugger while you do that though – while pretending to be scared. It’s a smarter thing to do. And then report to the cops. Been there. Done that. It works. ]
The way I see it, almost every adverse situation in life gives you an option – BE A VICTIM or RISE OUT A SURVIVOR. I prefer the second. And that requires immense STREGTH – mental and physical.

When I first stepped into the gym as a 48kg underweight kid at 18, I stepped into the gym to get strong. And that QUEST FOR STRENGTH over the years became a form of worship. Especially after a formal education in strength training and weaning off the fitness magazine bullshit.  It became a kind of prayer to this atheist that actually is measurable in results. In this prayer, there are no fictional gods and demons  – only iron and gravity. Worship the Iron. Resist Gravity. Simple.
STRONG is a state of mind above everything else. A state of mind I love being it. Being STRONG is a meditative state. A state of confidence, a state of knowing that actions become results, and a state of mind that lets you understand that yes, a lot of life is in your control, but a lot of it isn’t – and you need to deal with it.

And that’s my reason to go STRONG.

What’s yours?

- Pushkaraj S Shirke


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