Featuring Pudhuma Bharathi K
What are you currently doing (job/study)? your interests?
I am currently teaching in School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University.
My interests are varied- I like music, art, nature and travelling.
When & How did you get started CTC?
In my school days I used to skip physical training hours and go for music practice and painting. Sports and I were poles apart. It was only after grad school that I slowly started some outdoor adventure, yoga and ran my first half marathon which I got inspired to participate to raise funds for a grassroots project. I realized the importance of fitness and health and thought yoga would be a good way to start some disciplined practice in my routine.
After relocating back to Chennai I signed up on CTC mailing list, but it was hard getting shortlisted for treks, and I was also very hesitant to go with a group of strangers. Then, Peter introduced the first weekday morning trek to Pallavaram in August 2015 .... it seemed to be my easiest way to start with the group, and I enjoyed it a lot. After that, CTC is part of every weekly or atleast monthly plan.
What are the activities of CTC that you are involved in?
Though when I joined CTC I was mainly interested in trekking only, I discovered other CTC activities which gave me satisfaction of doing something useful and still was fun like clean ups, waste segregation, saplings plantation and maintenance. Volunteering in sports events like Jawadhu ultra and seeing the participants gave me a lot of inspiration. In July 2016 I did my first triathlon sprint here at CTC for which I had to learn swimming and practice in Ottiyambakkam open waters. Friends here at CTC gave great support during training and the event. 2 months later I ran 21km at CTM 2016. I don’t enjoy much running in city roads and prefer running in greener trails. So I started to go for CTC's hill runs.
What will you say has been your biggest achievement when it comes along with CTC?
Getting over the thought that I am too old for sports and adventure :P. It is never too late to start. In CTC you get to meet the most inspiring people who make you believe that nothing is impossible.
Anything else you might want to add?
Like many conservative Indian parents, my family does not like my extracurricular, fitness and outdoor activities. It is very hard to convince them.
Share any one of the CTC Best moments you had !
Completing my first ultra hill run 50x2 at Kalrayan hills!! I had just restarted running 3 months earlier and completed 21K at CTM 2016 when I saw the hill run post and I was very eager to see remote tribal villages and experience real trail running. It was an amazing experience and helped me boost my confidence in running (you can read more about it here: http://www.chennaitrekkers.
org/2016/10/kalrayan-hill- running-2x50-24th-25th.html ). Kolli hill run (50x2) and Meghamalai 3 day hill run were also very unique experiences and helped me understand the potential of mind and body.
How do you manage your work life balance ?
There is never enough time for all that I want to do. I feel sane because I am able to spend time outside of office following my passions. I learn carnatic music and kalaripayattu (traditional martial art) which keep me busy most mornings and evenings. Whenever possible, I try to go for running or open water swimming at Ottiyambakkam . In weekends if I am not at some CTC event, I like to work in our village farm and have some family time back home. I try to go for atleast one volunteering event and one trek or adventure every month.
Any specific goals/dream that you are working on ?
I plan to do CTM full marathon and Olympic/ Half iron triathlon in 2017.
I love to travel and go on backpacking adventures to new places.
How has your life changed after joining this CTC ?
I feel more confident about taking challenges and think I am more fit and active. I am glad to know and work with so many like minded friends here. And there is always some exciting event to look forward every week!!
Share some of your cycling that you did in the CTC?
Honestly, I am not good at cycling or swimming and looking to buy a cycle very soon and practice :P
We have seen you in leading many of volunteering and how does this help you outside CTC
Actually I am not so regular, but whatever volunteering I do, I give my best to it.
In our own campus, we started doing waste segregation and recycling in a small scale with student volunteers and we try to spread awareness amongst students about zero waste.
I always believed in simple and sustainable lifestyle since my childhood (thanks to my upbringing) ... CTC has helped me find like minded people to strengthen these ideas and actually practice it.