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Creating a better self in the Coronavirus lockdown

Khyati Mehta

Can you imagine an athlete who right now walks 11 minutes per kilometer was at once upon a time not able to even walk for 1 km without pain?

I was born without joints inhands and legs. This condition needed me to undergo operations when I was just four months old! The first operation wasn’t a success and one of my legs had to be amputated. The operation on the second leg was fortunately successful.

With a supporting family and determination, I completed my schooling. At 15, I decided to for a lower limb prosthesis from the famed Jaipur Foot that would help me walk. With it started my journey towards mobility as I explored the country and world.

The mobility that the prothesis, or artificial legs as they are called popularly, came at the price constant pain and discomfort as my skin developed burses and sores. It wasn’t uncommon for them to get infected with pus formation. But this did not stop me from visiting 15 states in India and over 12 countries.

During my travel to Scandinavia, a subregion in Northern Europe, things took a turn for worst as I struggled to walk on the snow

Scandinavia, I faced huge trouble in walking on snow. I was skidding all the time as my high shoes were not holding on to the snow. This trip ended up aggravating my years old hip Bursitis and I could not move much after this.

I researched and upgraded my prosthesis from Ottobock.  Despite the change I continued to face several challenges and discomfort, especially with my calf. I want to share that a prosthesis fitting is not a one-time job. There is no perfect fitting. It is just a comfortable fitting. With diet, exercises, routine life there is constant muscle volume fluctuations to deal with. So again, I do get rashes or pus in stump, but it is lesser in frequency.

My way of dealing with challenges is to set targets for improvement and turn them into opportunities for creating a better version of myself.

In December 2019, I decided that I will get fitter no matter what. I started participation in marathons as they gave me a difficult goal. I started with the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020. As of today, I have completed nine marathons!

During the ongoing lockdown, I am doing more stretches and trying various Yoga routines. I find my way to excel in everything I do and focus on it every moment. I used to walk with the speed of a kilometer in 15 minutes but now I have come to 11 mins per kilometer speed. I aim to walk at 8 mins per kilometer. I have a goal to become the fastest walking marathon participant in the world.

I find this lockdown a moment to aim towards my dream of getting fitter and fitter each day. I am feel unstoppable and an inspiration for my own self.

About the Author

Khyati Mehta
Khyati Mehta

I am an athlete with disability who is aiming to do impossible stretches and wishes to walk at 8 mins per kilometer pace to become the fastest walking marathon contestant. I am a traveler by passion and that also is my profession as I am travel and visa consultant by profession having my own company by the name of Dream Holiday.