Meet Ayesha Billimoria, athlete, the new age fitness icon and one of the leading fitness and nutrition influencers, who speaks to Nandini Reddy about her fitness philosophy.
Ayesha Billimoria is a track athlete, captain of the Adidas Runners in Mumbai and is leading a project, Fitgirl to empower women in athletic sports. Billimoria coaches runners for marathons and this three-time 400m national champion has been keeping her dream alive of running for India in the Olympics for over 15 years.
Ayesha Billimoria’s relationship with sports and fitness started at the age of 11 and from age 14 she has been a professional athlete. Her influence can be seen on the popular social image sharing site, Instagram, where Ayesha commands a formidable following. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
How young were you when you fell in love with fitness?
I don’t believe in falling in love. Because those who fall in, fall out very quickly. I have enjoyed growing in love with athletics since the age of 11.
You are a powerful fitness influencer, what are the pros and cons of this responsibility
The pros of being a fitness influencer are that we get to touch thousands of hearts in a positive way. Cons – everyone likes to pounce on us for the slightest of tiniest of mistakes.
How have you overcome struggles like injuries? I ask because these are the points were people get most demotivated?
Yes, tons of injuries in my entire 22 years of running professionally and as an amateur. It depends from person to person and what their motivation is. For me it is mega, and that makes me want to wake up every single day with the same passion and energy.
A stronger and fitter society. mentally, emotionally and physically.
Do you feel running is empowering as a sport?
100% I think the best gift one can give a child is the gift of running. It not only gives you the confidence but the courage to think for yourself.
Nutrition is the most important factor in fitness. Do you believe that and what is your nutrition mantra?
New age comes with new drama. but no doubts there that good healthy food is essential for good performance and injury recovery. Nonetheless, we still won national medals with basic home food 🙂
How important is it to work with a coach? Is it only for the elites or do amateurs also need them?
MOST IMPORTANT! Just how we need a doctor when we are ill. The same goes for running. Those who try to do it on their own, often fail. I am the best example of that.
You had participated in the 100 days of running challenge – is such a task advisable or is it an extreme form of fitness?
I did not participate in the 100 days of running, I only represent the company that partners with this initiative. It is misguided information on the internet. And no I do not recommend this to anyone. Absurdity in the name of running, is driving this country crazy.
What is your ultimate dream as an athlete
It always and will be to represent India at the Olympic games.
Your words of advice to anyone getting into fitness
Relax and Enjoy it. Life is not a race. Breathe every moment and enjoy the process of physical and mental evolution.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.