Tough times are inevitable in life. But how we manage ourselves during these times not only defines our spirit but our future too. Though many of us tend to blame our circumstances, few gather the courage to fight those circumstances for their dreams. And, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is one such brave soul. Irrespective of her tough financial background, this inspiring soul has shown the world that nothing is impossible.
Recently, when Saikhom Mirabai Chanu scripted history by winning India’s first medal in the Tokyo Olympics, claiming silver in the women’s 49kg weightlifting, she made the whole country proud. Miarabai’s motivational journey from lifting heavy firewood, to Silver medal at Olympics is a reminder is the perfect inspiration that we need during these testing times.
While sharing her inspiring story with HoB, Mirabai mentioned:
One day, my brother and I were collecting firewood from a nearby hill–he looked exhausted. I told him, ‘Let me carry it.’ He couldn’t believe I said that. So I showed him I could by picking it up! His jaw dropped when he saw me, a 12-year-old girl, lift heavy firewood. As we neared home, a crowd gathered around me; they asked, ‘Did you carry this all the way?’ and I proudly replied, ‘Yes!’ I heard someone say, ‘She should take up weightlifting.’
Mummy would wake me up on cold mornings and get me ready for practice. My siblings would travel with me to the centre. I’d travel almost 50 kilometres everyday and just make it on time for school after. I’d often fall asleep in class; I was always exhausted.
I worked harder everyday–I’d have 2 hour training sessions 3 times a day. And it paid off–I was selected to represent India in international competitions and I won gold at the Commonwealth Games! I was confident that I’d win a medal at the Rio Olympics too but on D-day, I froze, and didn’t perform well.
I was so upset that I contemplated quitting weightlifting. That’s when Mummy told me, ‘It’s easy to give up! Are you going to quit what you’ve worked so hard for?’ She helped me get back to the gym again.
Thankfully my coach took me abroad to treat me, and I returned stronger. I ended up breaking the world record at the Asian Championships after being out of the sport for a year!
And today, I really believe anything is possible and I’m taking that mindset to the Tokyo Olympics! Some are born strong but I’ve made myself strong because of my circumstances. And I’m going to lift with the same confidence that I did as a 12-year-old, knowing that if I have the willpower I can, and I will, make history!”
At IFORHER, we salute Mirabai’s determination, courage, and hard work. How she fought against her life circumstances to create a dignified life for herself is quite inspiring. We feel her story is an inspiration for thousands of parents and kids, who are struggling with their life challenges to turn their dreams into reality.