An Inspirational Fitness Journey and the Formation of the Newgen Fitness Club
When we think of fitness and workouts, what comes to mind for most of us is our I’m-determined- to-get-in-shape-this-year New Year resolutions. Some of us take a step forward and shop for workout gear. Weeks pass, and soon our fitness resolutions become a thing of the past, long forgotten. The only workout we get is the occasional guilt trip our minds take when we see our workout gear lying about, collecting dust or, even worse, becoming an expensive clothesline! Sounds all too familiar? Well, not for Ashok. Ashok (Ashokumar Pattabhiraman) is Associate Vice President – Operations & Head of Manufacturing, Artwork and Cover Services and has been with Newgen since 2007. Read all about his unwavering enthusiasm for fitness and how he has managed to keep at it despite everything!
Fitness to Ashok is the right kind of action that keeps him physically and mentally fit. Fitness activities on a regular basis help him be fit, improve stamina, and overcome and face challenges with a positive attitude. A fit body to him is a happy mind.
A natural athlete, Ashok has won several field-and-track individual championships for three consecutive years. He was a Madras District Basketball Player in his school days. He retired from all sports activities when he was in 12th standard. His engagement with sports began again in 2013 when he started running long distances and cycling.
Ashok’s first inspiration was his dad, a hockey player and swimmer, who motivated him to take up sports activities during his school days. Eventually, Ashok’s shifted towards his studies. After a long gap when his wife Nandini forced him to participate in a School Parents 50-metre race, he was pleasantly surprised to find that even after 20 years he could win the race quite comfortably. That gave him the confidence that his muscle memory was still strong. Nandini then pulled him to join a marathon group in their neighbourhood in 2013. Nandini was his second inspiration for resuming his interest in sports.
Achievements & Daily Routine
Ashok has participated in 10 full marathons, more than 50 half marathons, a few trail runs and duathlons, and several 10-km runs. He runs 3 to 4 days a week and takes up cycling and other activities to keep himself fit. He goes for long runs on Sundays and makes sure he gets one day of compulsory rest in a week. He claims that it is not easy to do fitness activities on a regular basis. Sometimes one feels tired and lazy, but he overcomes all that because he runs with a running group, and Nandini has motivated him to stay on track, come rain or shine, for more than 10 years now! Even during Covid, he and his wife were engaged in fitness exercises at home and walking for small stretches. When asked how he, as a busy professional with umpteen work commitments, manages to find the time to prioritise fitness, he says all one needs is an hour or 90 minutes every day. He gets up at 4:30 in the morning, starts running by 5 am, returns home by 6:30 am and starts work by 9 am. When the weather is much cooler than that in Chennai, he says one can start by 6 am, return home by 7 am, or even try evenings if one misses the morning workout.
Newgen Fitness Club
At Newgen, Ashok has successfully started a Fitness Club, and he recruits people for the club through the New Joiners’ Meeting every week. His colleagues, particularly Maran and Jose, also help him find new members for the club whenever the discussion turns to fitness, sports, trekking or running. Listening to newcomers talk about their exercise routines or lack thereof, often when introducing themselves, was the spark that prompted him to start the club. What he likes most about the club is the appreciation and encouragement from its members whenever they share their activities in their WhatsApp group. What makes it extra special is that the club is not just for Newgen employees but also their family members. He claims that the club has helped a few members to restart their fitness activities, has motivated a few who were already doing some to do more, and some to even start afresh. Some of the club's goals are good habits like eating right and at the right time, getting enough rest/sleep, and finding ways to de-stress from work pressures. The motto for the club is to ‘Be fit and keep inspiring others.’
Ashok also adds a word of caution for people wanting to stay on top of their fitness goals: 'Please note that there is always a difference between being physically fit and medically fit. So do regular check-ups to ensure you are medically fit and that your body condition can support your physical exercises and activities.’
To get in touch with Ashok or to join the club, WhatsApp Ashokumar at 99406 38932.