When you love what you do
Milind Soman, the swimmer-turned-model-turned-actor-turned-athlete, doesn’t have the word ‘impossible’ in his dictionary. He remembers the days 14 years ago when he started running and people started joking about it. He always believed that no matter in which field he works, fitness should always be a part of it. However, by the time India just started making fitness a trend, it already became his passion for life.
“I don’t exercise for a particular reason. It’s an activity that makes me feel good. I have always focused on being fit and healthy and feeling happy. Everything else automatically falls into place.” – Milind
On making people conscious about fitness
According to Milind, it feels great when you run every day. The habit of it never comes to you easily but by practicing hard and if you love doing it, ‘hard’ is just a word for you. He believes that running is the easiest form of exercising which everyone can do. You don’t need any special training and you can run to feel happy, not to break records.
“When you’re running, your physical, mental and spiritual energy all come together. It is like meditation: all the energy coming together and focusing on one activity. People usually confuse fitness with losing weight. When you’re fit and you’re healthy, losing weight becomes a bi-product of that.” – Milind
Milind is happy because he thinks that now fitness is becoming very popular and mainstream. The various fitness gadgets and apps are also there to help people start. Because it’s certainly not easy to start and even if you start, it’s not easy to sustain.
“I keep doing what I do and people get inspired by it and I think my age also plays a major role in inspiring people. They think that if someone over 50 can take fitness seriously, why not us? And that makes me happy.” – Milind
Leaving chain smoking to win the Ironman Triathlon
“I think I smoked my first cigarette when I was 29 waiting on the sets of a television show for no reason in particular and when something is so acceptable, accessible and addictive - it's the toughest to escape it.” – Milind
Like the many others, Milind too tried and failed to quit smoking several times. The drastic change came about when he took up running.
"Having been naturally inclined to sports since a young age, I felt terrible about myself and that's how I was able to release the habit for good over six months and now I can't even passive smoke." – Milind
According to him, as he has become older, he has taken a fond liking to simplicity. In the year 2015, at the age of 49, Milind completed the Ironman Triathlon in Switzerland, which consists of a 3.86 km swim, a 180.25 km cycle race, and a 42.2 km run - he managed all this in 15 hours 19 minutes and 29 seconds. That was the event after which he was satisfied that he had finally left all the imbalance of his life far behind.
“For me, Ironman Triathlon was something that could make me feel fantastic. To take up such a challenge and beat that challenge, it gave me a high.” – Milind
Being balanced and focused all the time
“When you understand the principle of balance - where things happen around you or to you to balance the energy in the world - your life will become a lot simpler and clearer.” – Milind
Milind doesn’t believe in training hard before a run as he thinks that when the challenge is done, your training stops and you go back to kind of fitness level that is not something you want. So, the idea is to maintain a level of fitness all the time so you don’t need to train especially before an event.
Living the passion
Milind thinks that it is your mind that you need to work on first as your mind is the weakest part of your body that becomes a block on the path to living your passion. If you can control the fitness of your mind, the body automatically follows the same route.
“There can be several objectives when it comes to fitness. But the main reason should be feeling good about it. I believe the most important thing should be doing what we like and just because running is such a natural activity, it has become an activity of choice for me.” – Milind