Sarina Pani

I was always this healthy kid with a dusky complexion. This had a major effect on my self-esteem during my childhood and teenage days.

I fell in love with Anup, my colleague (who is my husband now) while I was working in Infosys, Pune DC. My time in there was either spent working or roaming around with him. We both had a very unhealthy lifestyle. We would eat anything, skip a lot of meals, took a lot of chai sutta breaks, and alcohol was a very dear friend. Soon we started living together but after a few months he got a brain stroke and was in the ICU for a week. He was paralyzed due to a blockage in his artery and the doctor said the reason was our unhealthy lifestyle.

By the grace of God, he recovered in a week. When he got discharged, I gifted him an Xbox to play games as I had to go to office and he would have to be alone at home. There we had a game known as ‘Zumba Fitness Rush’ where we had to dance to get points.Even I had some hormonal imbalance and doctor asked me to do at least 30 minutes exercise everyday. So I also started playing that game. Later, I decided to do a Zumba certification and soon became a licensed Zumba instructor.

I started taking Zumba classes in my society. Initially there were 5 people but within a year there were about 100 regular members in my classes. It was becoming too hectic for me to do a full time job and take Zumba classes 2 hours every day, so I decided to take a sabbatical from work.

Now, that I had some more free time in my hand, I decided to do weight training too. My aim was to be able to do 5-8 pushups at one go, so that I can take HIIT classes too. In Jan 2020, I met a person in gym, who saw my strength and recommended me to go for power lifting competitions. I didn’t take him seriously but he said that he will train me for free. I said, Okay let’s give it a shot. After a week of practice, I was able to lift more than usual and went for the competition. I wasn’t able to win it though as I wasn’t much aware of the rules. But I got recognition by a lot of people and all of them told me to keep on training as I had the potential of being a good athlete. In the next power lifting competition I got a gold medal and I started taking weight training seriously.

In November 2020, I got selected as a body power athlete .I decided to participate in fitness model competition, which was going to take place January. My body has changed from a chubby girl to a girl who has muscles everywhere. In January 2021 I won the Fit Factor Female Fitness Model and Beach Body Female competition.

My parents are still not on board, with the idea of me being an engineer who also walks the stage wearing a bikini whilst flexing her muscles. Even though I am happily married, successful, and independent, this is something which still hurts. I just wish if I can make them proud someday. Now, my aim is to win medal for my country. And I am working very hard for it.

Total Work Experience : 6.5 Years (Infosys, Saama)

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