Usha Medappa

Usha Medappa is a homemaker, environmentalist and fitness enthusiast. She is an inspiration to many,

especially those at Namma CrossFit where she is fondly known as Lady Rambo. This grandmother of two, squats, deadlifts (with weights!), runs and shatters every stereotype there is. Aside from smashing the daily workouts with ease, she is admired for her gentle, elegant and youthful spirit.

“I had my third child at the age of 39 after a long gap. I felt I was too old to be a mom again, but you know how God has his intentions. About 9 years later I hit menopause, which was a very hard time for me. I really struggled for close to 5 years. In hindsight I should have consulted a doctor. It was at that time when I felt that no matter what exercise I did, it was just not enough.

I had never ignored my health and always maintained my weight within a comfortable range. I was an athlete growing up, with a strong inclination towards basketball and athletics during my student years. Even after getting married and having children, I used to walk, jog and do yoga. So in my early 50s, when I found that I needed to do something more, a friend introduced me to StreetFit. It just clicked for me. Here was something that I could do and wanted to do. I was always there, promptly in the morning. I felt better both mentally and physically. I felt so much more positive about life.

When they started CrossFit, I found it very enjoyable. I don’t lift very heavy anymore, but I do their daily workouts well and feel good. It’s like going to a temple to pray and you come out feeling so good! If I miss a day I feel incomplete. It’s become a small family there and the atmosphere is electric with so many youngsters.

Through CrossFit, I started going to Cubbon Park twice a week for their outdoor workouts. One day, I decided to do a long run with my CrossFit friends. I managed 3 Km and felt another kind of happiness. I started to run regularly and participated in my first 10 Km run, organised by Namma CrossFit. Now I’m better trained and have learnt to pace myself. Last year at the Bengaluru 10K I won first place and this year I won third place in my age bracket. It felt good!

Why do I do this? I do this for my health. I like to see that I’m well. I felt like I had a tendency towards arthritis, but with CrossFit I’ve managed to keep it at bay. It’s been a good thing for me.

I’ve always had good eating habits. I indulge once in a way but I don’t eat excessively. I’m a very slow eater, always last at the table because I chew my food thoroughly. I enjoy my food and believe in taking less and relishing it. I start my day with green tea, lime or ginger and half a banana. Post workout I eat a little fruit, ragi or oats porridge, one egg and a little dal with chapati. I enjoy my mid-morning cup of tea. Lunch is usually chapati, rice, lots of vegetables, a fresh salad and some curds. Evening tea is with a fruit or some snack. Dinner is soup, chapati and dal. I avoid packaged foods, it’s got nothing in it. There is nothing better than home cooked Indian food.

I eat basic but healthy meals. Taking care of what you eat and watching your weight, especially after the age of 50 is very important. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.

I’m involved in the micro segregation of garbage in my area, so that takes up some of my time during the day. Also, with the Ugly Indian, I’ve helped clean up a street in my area. It’s such an accomplishment.

I hope to continue my routine and maintain some balance. I want to continue for as long as I can and enjoy it. You feel so much brighter and so much more positive. My whole outlook has changed. It’s like the body is shaken up every morning. An active life also keeps you mentally active.

Start exercising tomorrow and make it a habit. Everyone should exercise and it should be part of their daily routine. If you give it as much importance as your work, you will do it. It’s a question of mind over matter.”

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