Ironman Nagaraj Harsha – Life trained Him for Test of Endurance!

Today’s article is the third in the series of legendary accomplishments in one’s field of sport. The reason why I picked Nagaraj Harsha this time is because of the struggles he defeated and held the title of Ironman. He defeated ADHD, he defeated broken bones, he defeated ‘lack of funds’ and Won!

Nagaraj Harsha was born in April, 1990, in Begaluru. He grew up in the city. He did his schooling at Methodist Kannada School, studying there till tenth standard, before moving to Kripanidhi College to do his eleventh and twelfth. The school he studied in catered mostly to under-privileged children. On that island of education, Nagaraj was sometimes topper. He doesn’t beat his chest on that attribute. He viewed it in perspective as the natural fallout of being good at studies in financially challenged backdrop where many students in class may have been similarly struggling and good was sufficient to top the lot. What should engage in Nagaraj’s case is that he achieved such result despite being an ADHD. The condition challenged his ability to sit down and study at one place. 3.8km of swimming,

ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which is not easily diagnosed. Nagaraj got to know about it later in life. In school, long before the diagnosis was made; it was plain struggle for him to focus. He had boundless energy. He wanted to play, participate in sports and be good at everything but the problem is that he was not able to channelize his energy properly and achieve to his full potential anywhere. He tried taking part in sports but ended up failing. A further problem and a potential solution also presented themselves. He found happiness in sports and games as it used to help him release his energy in constructive way. The other thing that made him happy eating. Chubby youngsters were a target for bullying and at this stage his mother bought him the gift which perhaps was instrumental in changing his life – bicycle. This became his mode of transport to his college. It balanced his mind and body somewhere. His college was far and bicycling down would squeeze his energy still he found that it was helping him to focus. For studies, his parents couldn’t afford a better college when Gadys and Compassion International intervened (the NGO which helped him studies earlier). According to Nagaraj he was the first student to be sponsored by an NGO to college at that time.

During his studies in college, he joined a local gym to workout and loose weight. To help him raise money for his expenses, he asked the gym facilities and they offered him a job of cleaning the premises there in the morning and then in the evening again. He was engaged from 4:30AM to night in studies and gym work and his own workout, hence, had next to almost no social life. During second year of college in the athletic meet a friend challenged him that he won’t be able to pull it off for 5 rounds of run. However, his friend couldn’t run after first lap but Nagaraj ended only after finishing the feat. It left Nagaraj exhausted and next day he ran fever but he was contented that he can stand the endurance sport with will and determination. He passed college with job with high pay package and hence, he said bye to his career in gym where he spent 2 years in succession.

He started looking up for adventure training in Bengaluru. He took to swimming lessons. He was already used to cycling 100km by then. He began preparing for Half Ironman in Sri Lanka. A Half Ironman requires 21km running, 90 km cycling and 1.9km swimming. He completed the same in 6 hours and 37 minutes and this sense of achievement made him aim for Ful Ironman later. Soon after his Srilanka’s half Ironman, he met with a terrible accident that left him with fractures on 4 different parts of his foot. Once he recovered, he decided to take up raddoneuring. It is unsupported, long distance, uncompetitive cycling event. A super raddoneur is the one who completes 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km brevets in one calendar year, something which Nagaraj Harsha achieved in just a month!

His first Full Ironman was in Zurich which he completed in 13 hours and 17minutes. In 2014, the organizers of Bengaluru Marathon chipped in to send him to Louisville Ironman in US. Nagaraj was supported by Nike for his gear in his early days for his gear. He was doing all this running low on funds for his meets but with grace he stepped up and completed  180km of cycling and 42km of running in 11 hours and 55minutes. Despite being in debt, he again participated in Lake Tahoe Ironman, which he clocked at 11:58. By now, he gained popularity and support from brands, he got sponsored for gear and bikes alike. It was easier for him to train now. His training pattern changed down several Ironman he did. Slowly, his financial difficulties were eased too.

So, this was the story of one of the India’s greatest Ironman – Nagaraj Harsha, who is going strong and doing justice to the sport with his feats. People like him inspire everyone to challenge their own limit every time, not only in sports but in life as well because human potential is unlimited. All you need is to train thoroughly and consistently for the same.

About The Author

Honey Grover

From passion for fitness to profession in fitness as certified coach, nutritionist and athlete till 2018, Honey Grover is now a founder of Read More..

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