Our Hero – Interview with Man Kaur!
Man Kaur, 105 years old, Mascot of Pinkathon, and winner of multiple gold medals for India is preparing for her next World Masters Championship in 2021. The world champion athlete shares her simple, yet profound, secrets!
What exercises do you enjoy?
When I started running at the age of 93 years we were at Chandigarh and went daily to Punjab University and I would warm-up and run repeats of 40m, 60m, and 100m. Before the lockdown, I would train on alternate days. Other days I would do some stretching exercises. Now I train at home in a Balcony measuring about 12 m and complete 25-30 repetitions.
How do you stay motivated?
I love to be active. Ever since I discovered running, I have always been self-motivated. During workouts, I love to see my timings improve. Before any competition, I would count the days impatiently!
Do you ever miss a training session because you don’t feel like it?
As far as possible I make every effort to train. After starting training for competitive sports I don’t feel like missing a session. I was not able to train for about 15 days when there was a problem with my gallbladder. Even during trips for Pinkathon events, I train in the corridors of the hotel.
What do you eat every day?
My son Gurdev cooks for me and we eat very simply. Early in the morning, we take Kefir (fermented milk) on empty stomach. After an hour any seasonal fruit. Then at 11 am we prepare Chapatis from sprouted wheat with fresh sabzi. We never keep sabji in the fridge to be used later and we prepare fresh every time. In the evening I eat nuts and seeds that have been ground after soaking in water and for dinner some oatmeal with fresh leafy greens. No fried or factory packed foods ever!
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is healthy food. There is no favorite for foods, only whichever food is good for health. If some food is good for health I will eat it even if I don’t like the taste.
What makes you angry?
Even if something makes me angry I keep it to myself. Anger teaches you about yourself. God is great.
What do you enjoy the most besides sport?
I enjoy meeting people. Nowadays I love to recite Gurbani (Sikh hymns)
How did you feel representing India for the first time?
My happiness was immeasurable. The feeling of representing your country cannot be described. 2011 World Masters Athletics Championship, Sacramento, USA, was my first opportunity to represent India. I was 95 years old. I took part in 100m and 200m running events and I broke the existing world records and was declared athlete of the year. Before this, I was a housewife, and now everybody wanted to take photos and videos of me. Although I was tired I posed for the press and with the younger athletes.
What is your message to young mothers?
As a mother, grandmother, and a great grandmother, I believe young mothers should learn about eating healthy because only if they know all about food then they can guide coming generation to choose and eat healthily. Healthy people make healthy families and healthy families make healthy nations.
Young mothers should do some kind of activity besides housework and keep healthy.
They should dress well and keep good thoughts. I try not to keep ill will against anyone, which keeps illness away from me. All young mothers should participate in Pinkathon to remain motivated.
- As told to Milind Soman
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