Featuring Prasanthi Manoranjan
What are you currently doing (job/study)? your interests?
I'm working in VLSI design for a company called Microchip. I'm into outdoors and fitness, traveling, navigation and visiting new places. Apart from that I like to read and occasionally do some sketching and painting.
When & How did you get started CTC?
I started in Jun 2012 when I participated in the annual Chennai Coastal Cleanup. I was pretty new to the city and came to know about the Cleanup through a friend. After that I signed up for the CTC mails. By Nov 2012 I did my first trek to Venkatagiri... it was an experience that changed me, first time in the outdoors,first time climbing up the hills, first time camping... I was so happy that I did it. Since then my life has been a series of adventures and I love it.
What are the activities of CTC that you are involved in?
I take part in trekking regularly. Apart from that I participate in running events, hill cycling, coastal cleanup and other volunteering works.
What will you say has been your biggest achievement when it comes along with CTC?
From treks I have learnt to push myself. Even when there are times when I feel worn out and want to give up, it has taught me how to conquer my weaknesses and achieve anything that you set your mind on. This philosophy can be applied to any aspect of life, but CTC made me realize it practically. It made me from a wimp to a trekker!
Anything else you might want to add?
There are a lot of opportunities around us, it is up to us to take it or leave it... and when we start trying, we will be surprised by things that we can do. The main part is to start! Start exploring, set foot outdoors and push yourself until you reach your goal.
Share any one of the CTC Best moments you had !
There are a lot of great moments in CTC.. finishing some of the most difficult treks, especially when I have been the only girl in the group. The members have been so forthcoming in accommodating me in those treks and constantly motivating, that has given me some of the best times to cherish.
How do you manage your work life balance ?
I personally feel work life balance is the key to a happy healthy life. When we are young, we tend to take our health for granted. But without regular fitness regime the health deteriorates gradually, not to mention the stress sucks our life out slowly. For me, CTC is the window to recharge... Every morning I set aside at-least an hour for outdoor activities like run/swim/cycle, its the boost for me start the day with josh and helps me keep the enthusiasm throughout the day.
I set aside the weekends and holidays, for treks and out of station trips.
Any specific goals/dream that you are working on ?
I have a long list of things I want to do... races to finish, places to see, mountains to climb, paths to travel. I take life as it comes, try to do my best to realize my dreams.
How has your life changed after joining this CTC ?
CTC has created awareness about a lot of things.. Apart from the obvious fitness and outdoor benefits, it is has many impacts on how I carry on day-to-day life... conservation of the environment, respecting and co-existing with nature... I have made a lot of lifestyle changes after CTC, which I wouldn't have realized earlier.
Share some of your cycling that you did in the CTC ?
I have participated in hill cycling with Peter to Munnar hills, Meghamalai, Kodaikanal, Nagala, Nagari, Kalrayan hills, Yercaud and Javvadhu.
My most memorable one will be doing the Annapurna Circuit and crossing the Thorang La Pass (5416m) on my MTB.
We have seen you in leading many of volunteering and how does this helps you outside CTC ?
Every event in CTC is a learning experience for me. Organizing a trek involves planning, managing a bunch of people, develops a spirit of camaraderie and most importantly leadership skills... like handling situations, decision making, inspire the fellow trekkers and to hold the team together. It has also given me this great opportunity to meet like-minded souls and spread my passion for trekking and nature to them.