Image courtesy https://majordpsingh.com
He is a Kargil war survivor, India’s first amputee marathon runner and holds several Limca records to his name. The story of Major DP Singh, also known as India’s first Blade Runner, is one that inspires. Protima Tiwary shares inspiring anecdotes through this interview.
A handful of Limca Records that include the Limca Record for being 1st Amputee of India to start running half marathons (21KMs), Ambassador for the ‘Year of Disabled’ celebration of Indian Army, 2018, a National Award by the Govt of India for being a role model (2018), CavinKare Ability Mastery award in excellence against odds (2019), the 1st disabled solo Skydiver of India in 2019 are just some of the achievements that Major DP Singh has won in the last few years. Despite being 100% disabled, he has pledged his body parts for donation. “Running makes me happy. The fact that others get inspired by me is a by-product. I am providing others with the attitude to beat the odds” says Major DP Singh, a Kargil war survivor and India’s first amputee marathon runner who has been running marathons even after suffering an injury that left him with only one leg. As he bravely fought in Kargil, 80mt away from the enemy post, a bomb exploded nearby, leaving him miraculously alive, but with severe injuries to his leg. Gangrene made it necessary for an amputation, even after which Major D P Singh didn’t give up hope. Taking this as a challenge, he decided to win at life. And winning he is!
What inspired you to keep going?
Major Singh – Life. It’s a beautiful gift from the almighty and I should enjoy it to the hilt, and it can’t be enjoyed until I do not have good health. Now, good health in my case is a tricky one to answer, because of various injuries I have all over my body which medically term me as 100% disabled. These injuries ensure I get demotivated time and again, but that is where my attitude helps me. If I have to live, I will live like a king.
As a runner, what is the one quality that defines you?
Major Singh- I have an NGO, The Challenging Ones (TCO), in which I motivate Amputees to use sports and running to explore their abilities by pushing their limits. I have made an anthem for TCO, “I might be slow, but I will keep my flow. I won’t stop, till I reach the top”, I prefer to get defined by the same.
What according to you is fitness?
Major Singh- Fitness to me is simple: you need to have control of your body and mind as per your choice, and not let it be the other way around.
You’ve been running for quite some time now. What has been your biggest learning in your running career?
Major Singh- No matter what happens, keep going. Let it end with life only, the finish line.
Do you have a training regime?
Major Singh- Yes, I do. I adapt it as per my need and situation. I am a freelance motivational speaker, so I travel a lot. But come what may, I make it a point to exercise at least once a day (if not twice) Depending upon how close the running event is, I set my focus on clocking good time during my runs. Otherwise, my focus is on everything- stretching, strength training, breathing and diet.
What do you think the youth today needs to know about well-being?
Major Singh- They need to learn how to get out of their comfort zones. While self-care is important, it is also important to realise that growth is also a part of self-care and there are some things that you need to do outside your safe zone to grow! You stay in your zone, you get redundant, stale and shunted out. I personally feel the youth are aware of this for their professional need, but it is important they should follow the same for their health and personal growth too.
We’re letting stress dominate our lives, and people don’t even have 15 minutes to spare for a good workout. What would you say to this?
Major Singh- You are right, and the reason is, as my grandpa use to say, “Jiska kaam chale yun, woh kheti kare kyun” It means that if things are getting done without looking into the fitness and health, then everything is fine, and should continue as is. It’s only when something bad happens do they realise that they need to wake up. There’s not much to say other than “Take charge, today!” – 15min of working out daily can change your life.
For more inspiration log on to Major D P Singh