Not until I was preparing for my first full marathon of 42 kms that I heard the name for the right reasons.
Been away from the Television and Movies for some years. I started to hear my friends calling me Milind. “O yea! I know Milind Soman. But that guy is an actor and a supermodel. Is he the same one?”
I recollected one snap of him several years ago in a newspaper promoting running. That time, I was a stranger to running and kilometres away from the sport. I presumed that to be a stupid and some fake gimmick by an actor to promote himself through some reality show.
Only when my friends started to relate to Milind Soman did I realize what they meant. So, one day, I pulled up his details on google and went through several posts on him. I guess my first visit was to his Insta account, “Milind Running”.
Now, he is my role model for sure. I learn a lot from him. I google his name under the news section to follow him up on a regular basis. Milind Usha Soman is my inspiration for several reasons.
So, let me quickly take your through his Bio first:
Mr. Milind Usha Soman is dearly called Milind Soman. Usha is his mom. He wears many hats. A National Level Swimming Champ, A Supermodel, An Actor, a serial entrepreneur and Of course a Runner. Him as a Runner is my favourite and so I wrote this blog!
Born overseas and brought up in Mumbai India, he grew up to like swimming. From a very early age, he was inducted into sports. Initially he hated going for swimming. But overtime, he fell in love with it. He rose to become a national level swimmer who represented the nation at some major international swimming events as well. But, he decided to bring his swimming career to an abrupt end in 1988.
Then, he stepped into modelling by chance. Neat money and just a few hours of work attracted him. Well, he was gifted in his looks and Indian economy was just opening up. He rode the wave and in a few years was India’s Top model. His modelling career reached it Zenith with the Made in India Song Album.
But soon after, he fell into a nationwide controversy for modelling nude for a shoe advertisement. This did some heartbreak for him. He also collaterally moved to do some movies and tv serials.
But, sports stays his number one love in life. A fitness freak who always cared for his body and the mind. Interestingly he left a super hit movie for want of proper fooding arrangement on the sets. In his book he confesses, “ I quit because the crew did not feed me enough”.
TRAIL OF ACHIEVEMENTS
His sporting achievements are incredible. No less than legendary. And the most interesting thing about them is that all of them came at an age when the sports persons hang up their boots.
At age 38, he ran his first half marathon. He could not believe he could do it.
At age 42, he ran his first full marathon. Again surprising himself and of course his peers in the modelling Industry.
A swimmer now took to roads like a fish takes to water.
At 46, now the runner set up another benchmark. He ran barefeet for 1500 km from Delhi to Mumbai. The run was completed in 30 days.
At age 49, Milind Soman turned into an Ironman and bagged the title of swimming, cycling and running for 15 hrs and 19 minutes.
Every year he runs the Tata Mumbai Marathon which is where it all started for him. The memorable CST. I love him more for this reason. I also woke up to the delightful scene of TMM on Jan 19, 2020 and ran the full marathon to bag my TWIN medal. Almost at the same age!
And the list is still not complete.
Now he runs a fitness company – Pinkathon India that organises running and fitness events focussed on women. His another venture, Speaking Minds that I adore and dream to speak for one day.
I have learned a lot from him about fitness and the biggest lesson is: Make Fitness your lifestyle. This is the mantra that he carries wherever he goes.
I have jotted down my lessons in 5 points. I call them the 5 things that you can learn from Ironman Milind Soman. And they are not just about Sports and Fitness.
5 INCREDIBLE THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM MILIND SOMAN
Always keep learning. He says, “Never too late to learn Something new”. He took to Instagram to share his latest skill. Learn to Drive a Car. He goes on to say, “I learned to drive at age 54 what most people learn to do at 18”
Most likely this is the attitude that saw him start with baby steps in running at age 38 and learn to run. Despite having astronomical success in the field of modelling, the ego never got the better of him.
He can be seen talking to common people more than stacked up in the middle of VIPs.
If you wish to do no gym, no funky acts, nothing, that;s all right. Just pull up your Insta and follow him. He says that you don’t need to think extraordinary to be fit.
He focuses on keeping ourselves active and maintaining good health habits. Like Eating food that is good for your body and mind and not to your taste buds. Sleep early and wake up early. Exercise daily.
I mean you know all this. You just need to do one more thing. Convert your knowledge into concrete action. Sounds great. Right!
HIS PASSION FOR RUNNING
Whatever he says about running is damn right! Running opens up our minds. Running is about endurance.
He simply loves to run. He could be seen running everywhere.
He started with training for a half marathon. That’s about 21K. And went on to run the longest 1500 Km so far. Don’t be surprised to see him breaking his own record.
HIS GIVING UP OF SMOKING
The Ironman has done many BIG things in life. But, I consider giving up Smoking to be his incredible achievement. From smoking 30 cigarettes a day to living a saintly life now, he has done something that’s rarest of the rare.
I am yet to meet the first person who has given up on smoking so far. No one does or maybe they can never!
Milind Says on Smoking.
“Smokers: Young enough to think they can. Old enough to think they shouldn’t. Stupid enough to think it anyway”.
Milind is all praise for his Mom – Usha Soman. Culturally, we add our father’s name to our names. Milind’s views on feminism are very balanced. And I am sure he is inspired by the 81 year old Chemistry Professor.
Milind confesses that he has got fitness in his genes from his mom. She is fit enough to push up and trek up to great base camps of Himalayas and Kilimanjaro.
The point that I can see here is that fitness is more about inculcating the right attitude towards our health and the overall well being. And it affects our generations too.
Leaving you with a lasting thougt from the evergreen barefeet runner:
It is sad fact of human existence that 99% are born to die. Be the 1% that’s born to live.
Anything that you wish to share about him or on fitness would be welcomed in the comments. You can follow Milind using Insta handle: Milind Running. And he also tweets at Milind Usha Soman @ Milindrunning
You can check out his autobiography, MADE IN INDIA that recently came out! Personally, I felt it to be an amazing read. In the book, Milind has confessed how he took to smoking and such other vulnerabilities. Through the course of the book, he is seen making efforts to be as bold as he could be. And I think, he has succeeded to a great extent.
For anyone who wants to know themselves so that they can overcome their own selves and find greater fitness of mind and body, then MADE IN INDIA is a must-read.