Shiv Pandit at a glance
The long run to a new life
Shiv Pandit hit rock bottom before turning his life around to be a fitness enthusiast and marathoner, inspiring those around him to strive for better health.
In May 2016, I found myself in a terrible state one morning. I had lost all feeling and control of my body. Feeling helpless, I was afraid I would fall over any minute and lose consciousness.
My doctor told me that I weighed too much (105kg) and my blood pressure was much too high. Instead of prescribing medication, the doctor asked me to go on a strict diet and make drastic changes to my lifestyle. In spite of feeling overwhelmed, I decided to give it a try.
I enrolled in a local gym, and hired a trainer and dietician to help me with this transformation. I started working out and went for runs. My first run lasted only 200m as I was quickly out of breath. My trainer helped me overcome this feeling of failure. I persisted and completed 1km, 2km, 3km runs and more – slowly pushing my limits.
Simultaneously, I joined physical training classes, changed my diet and moved to a low salt / sugar regime. Currently, I do 2 hours of physical activity per day. My moment of reckoning came in my first half marathon, the Haarlemmermeer Marathon, on September 4, 2016 – barely three months after starting my life-changing journey. Several half marathons followed and in April 2017, I clocked 1:48 for the distance.
“Whenever I race in the Netherlands, I am asked where I am from and where I work. When I mention TCS, they understand that this is the company sponsoring the marathon in Amsterdam. ”
In October 2016, I took the plunge and decided to go in for the full marathon. I thought what better platform for this milestone than our own TCS Amsterdam Marathon. Having lost 20kg already, I finished the race at 4:49:24. Running in Amsterdam was emotional, and it was heartening to see TCS Netherlands follow me LIVE on twitter, congratulating me on my successful finish. Whenever I race in the Netherlands, I am asked where I am from and where I work. When I mention TCS, they understand that this is the company sponsoring the marathon in Amsterdam. I take great pride in sharing details about my company, the work we do and our commitment to health and fitness.
Keeping up a steady stream of activity, I train daily to run an event every month. I ran the Rotterdam Marathon recently in 3:56:38, a huge personal achievement. Now my target is to complete the 6 world marathon major events (London, New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin and Tokyo).
As the winner of an internal employee contest, I recently got an opportunity to run the TCS New York City Marathon as one of the select few employees joining in from around the world. It was incredible to see and experience our brand in action in an iconic city like New York. In 2017, I was also fortunate enough to run the TCS Lidingöloppet, considered to be the world’s largest cross-country race, held annually in the island of Lidingö in Sweden.
Physical, professional and social benefits
Running has not only made me healthy, it has also made me calmer and more productive at work. I have experienced exceptional professional and social benefits. I bond with my boss and other seniors over running and fitness.
ABN-AMRO, the client I worked for until the end of 2017, has been a huge supporter of my efforts and has made me the ambassador of their sports program. I will be participating in 4 events in the upcoming D2D event that ABN-AMRO sponsors in Amsterdam.
To help my colleagues and friends embark on their own fitness journey, I have formed a fitness group in Amsterdam. Around 20 of us train on a weekly basis with support from a Professional Trainer. Why not join us? Contact me at [email protected]
A superstar’s message to us all:
I want to share my story to inspire colleagues to give priority to your health. I believe that there is a superstar embedded inside each of us waiting to jump out and achieve the impossible. On my arduous journey from 105kg, I learnt that anything is possible if you have the will and determination!
Mantra to excel, “live my dream and maintain work-life balance.”