As part of our endeavour to identify and share some of the unique and compelling stories from India and around the world, we invited Deepika Lalwani for an interview with us to understand more about her inspiring journey so far. She is a Fitness Trainer, Model, Influencer, Nutritionist, Corporate Wellness Coach and Celebrity Trainer. Let’s learn more about her journey and advice for our growing community!
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Deepika:
Talk us through your background and your journey, please;
With a master’s degree in biotechnology, I got a good job at the beginning of my career itself but soon I got bored and tired. That’s when I started looking around for my true calling. I tried various other fields but it seemed like nothing’s working.
In the meantime, I conceived and then my search for the perfect career took a backseat. I became a mother in 2010 and I gained 20 kilos in those 9 months. When I hit the gym for the first time after childbirth, I couldn’t do a single squat. Then came the realisation that I have become supremely unfit!
So what started as a journey towards my own fitness, slowly took shape of my occupation over a period of one year. Within this year I not only lost all that weight but also gained the required knowledge to help people in their fitness journeys. I started coaching at a small gym in a basement in Gurgaon and I kept working on my skill set. And I’m really grateful that all that hard work paid off and slowly and gradually my fitness classes became more and more popular.
And then there was a big bump. One fine day, while doing deadlifts, I broke my back, literally! With a double-disc bulge I was advised bed rest, but let me tell you not even once did I give up hope! I wore the lumbar support and soon I was back in the gym.
Recovery took time but honestly, I learnt so much about injuries and rehab that it won’t be wrong to say that the broken back was a blessing in disguise. In fact, I did my YTT after I realised that going forward, yoga is the way for me.
Since then I have worked with people from all walks of life and helped them recover from their injuries through yoga. I have also helped people with depression and anxiety by teaching them meditation and self-hypnosis.
Every day I feel more and more satisfied and happy for having chosen this path (or thankful that this path chose me)
How do you manage to keep going despite the challenges? What drives you?
There are a lot of things that motivate me but the most important is always client feedback. When they tell me that they feel stronger or happier or healthier or lighter or that they are able to breathe better or that their pain is gone it makes me feel that I am doing the right thing and it keeps me going.
Who do you believe has been the biggest source of motivation in your daily life?
My very own husband 😁
He is the one who pushed me to go to the gym after pregnancy, he is the one who saw the potential in me and in the fitness industry and encouraged me to pick fitness as a career.
He is the one who gets our kid up and ready for school so that I can continue to conduct my morning sessions without the hassle and he is the one who doesn’t skip his workouts even when we have partied till late in the night 😊
What are some of the strategies that you believe have helped you grow as a person?
I am a true believer that knowledge is the key to success and I keep updating my knowledge base. Never stop learning, that’s my motto.
You are always positive and motivated, what keeps you going?
Firstly the credit goes to my mother. She is a very positive person and I have learnt so much from her. Secondly, every day I spend 30 to 45 minutes praying and meditating. This makes me calm, clears the clutter from my head, and I am able to understand my priorities in life.
In your opinion, what are the keys to success?
Knowledge and Hardwork are the only two keys to success. And without each other they are incomplete.
What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?
If you wish to make a successful career in fitness first invest time and money in learning how to teach. A lot of times I have seen people choose this profession because they think it’s easy and to a certain extent glamorous.
But if you want success and fame in this field you have to have the inclination to help people who are struggling with their fitness or health or people who are in pain. Very rarely will you come across clients who don’t have any issues with their bodies?
Also as a coach, it’s your job to push your client but you should also know when to stop pushing and start listening.
Lastly, always take the feedback positively and work on improving the teaching skills.