This city mommy turned to a sport that women shy away from, and made her name in the body building arena with her dedication and commitment.
The best time to be physically fit is in the first 20 years of life. The 30s are when responsibilities pile up, and time to get fit never arrives. But city-based mom of two, Sonali Swami is not only handling home responsibilities like a pro, but the toned lass represented the country in body building in the Asian Championships in 2016 and in 2017 where she secured the sixth place. The mommy sheds light on how she has attained her best physically at the other end of 30!
Having always been physically active, weight training entered her life much later. “To be exact, it was after the birth of my second child. Weight training started in late 2012 when I joined a gym,” Sonali starts, adding that she is also into dancing — Latino and Bollywood style. Body Building in India was initially a sport that only men took to, and she changed perceptions there as well.
“When I took up training, it was to see how my body transformed, and not really to compete. It was only about being stronger and fitter. My trainer and I decided why not I give it try. Speaking to my husband just boosted the decision to compete,” adds the pro. That much-needed support from her husband is what made her achieve so much. Any sport, be it cricket, football or even body building is ideally taken up at a younger age, though Sonali started body building at the age of 37! “The notion that ‘it’s too late to transform yourself after 30’ is not right. Transformation is in your hands. If you work hard and give your 100 percent, the results will show at any age. It may take a little longer but it is possible.” Her driving force she says were the results she saw after training. “When see the results after your hard work and consistency, motivation comes naturally. You will know that you can do better in the future,” Sonali elaborates.
Being a mother of two kids and looking after a house, managing training etc can get difficult. But Sonali says that she is able to manage because of her husband. Sonali shares that the main reason she is on social media is to inspire married women and mothers like her. “I want them to know that life not over. Life is not all about focusing only around family. They have to take care of themselves first, she adds.”
One of the most popular myths in body building is women who lift weights will start looking like men (more buffed). Debunking it, Sonali adds, “This is not true at all. For starters, we don’t release enough testosterone to become bulky. In fact, you will be in the best shape of your life. It also depends on your diet and training programme as well.” Sonali has a number of awards to add to her credit. She won Bronze at the Asian Games, 2016 which she says was the most memorable moment for her. Apart from that, she won fit factor at Body Power Indian 2014 and MuscleMania India 2014. Starting her day as early as 4.30 am, she adds, “For anyone who wants to take up this sport, please do not feel shy, be 100 percent consistent, don’t take shortcuts, have a lot of patience as this sport needs it.”
An avid traveller and dancer, Sonali has taken a break as her children are in the middle of their exam preparation but, she is keeping her options open to compete this year on a high.