Akriti Jamwal. Updated: 11/1/2019 2:59:23 PM We the Women

Sapna Jain

She was a ‘Grehni’ for decades, mother of two, turning forty, suffering various health issues like Disc problem, weight and uterine issues, Cervical, and so on, when she decided to Powerlift to lift herself. The result of which is, she has made Jammu proud by bringing home Gold from National Powerlifting Championships three times; latest being the gold medal in 45 Kgs masters category in the National Classic Powerlifting Championship under the federation of Powerlifting India recently conducted in Idduki- Kerala between 26th to 30th September 2019. 43 years old now she lifted a total of 220 kgs weight in her category improving by 5kgs.She has now made it into the Asian powerlifting championship.
‘We The Women’ brings for you the excerpts from the conversation with Sapna Jain about her life and journey.
When did you start and under what circumstances?
I started in 2016, before which I used to walk but I realized that it was not enough for the health issues I was facing. I decided to join gym thinking that exercises might provide some relief. I was inclined towards aerobics due to my interest in dancing but was guided by my trainer Mr. Rahul Dev Manhas to start lifting gradually. Initially I was incapable to lift even the smallest of weights. I was encouraged by winning the competition held within the gym.
You are a home-maker, mother of two, had health issues, turning forty when you started on this path. How challenging was it?
I belong to a typical conservative joint family of Jammu and I believe breaking the norm was more challenging than anything else. The hesitance to tell and seek approval from the family for the first formal competition, outside the gym was the hardest to surpass. So, I decided to tell him on the phone than in person.
Other than that starting at such age with medical complications adds up to the challenges. Once can even get injured while training; I have been at bed rest for days on one or two occasions. One has to realize that when you work out your body aches but the life and its demands from you doesn’t wait for you to feel better.
I would take care of the responsibilities and chores during the day, go to gym in the evening and come back to some more chores. There’s no excuse.
Do you remember your first formal competition?
I listed in first state level competition in January 2017. I was apprehensive about it as I was competing with young girls in late teens and twenties. I was encouraged by my coach to just test my capacity and reminded that I had nothing to lose.
Again in month of March, National competition held in Jammu; I participated and again won the gold. It has been an exciting journey from thereon.
What was your family’s reaction to the fact that now you were competing in Powerlifting?
Before leaving for my first formal competition, I finished my house chores and wind up after Lunch. I was expected by evening tea and may be that caused a bit annoyance but when I won gold and that hiked my confidence but instilled a faith and sense of pride in my family.
I am grateful for the support I have received; my father-in- law Sh Pawan Kumar Jain and husband Mr Pankaj Jain has been my pillars since the beginning.
My elder son Utsav had left for college by that time, but my younger one Maheep has been with me to each and every competition.
What about the women around?
I have garnered appreciation and support from the women I know. They get inspired and do not hesitate to admit that to make me feel appreciated. The belief that I can inspire has been instilled in me by such women.
Any message for the women out there?
Few years back from now I had never imagined that my life would take such a turn as I neared forty. So I have learnt few things from that I would like to share. First, Age, work, health complications aren’t excuse to not work out; I have lifted while menstruating. Work out in any form walk, stretch, do yoga, aerobics, anything. Second, do it for yourself, for a better, active and more confident version of you; one needs to take out time and be determined to work upon themselves. Third, don’t give up.

Now Sapna has few months to train for the Asian Powerlifting Championship and ‘We The Women’ wishes her All The Best.

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