It’s fitness time, thought Azeem Panjwani, a young entrepreneur of Nanded. The month was March, a busy month as it was year ending. Life had become routine- business, jamatkhana and home.
Azeem felt a restlessness, an emptiness and a need to keep fit. Hazar Imam’s farmans’ on health did seep into the subconscious and he began discussing this need to be healthy with his doctor friends. They suggested cycling and Azeem took up and embraced this activity in its entirety. His first proud achievement was when he completed a 150 km BRM race. This motivated him to do a 200 km and then a 300 km race. This 300 km Nagpur race increased not only his stamina but also his confidence. The boost given by his peers and friends motivated him to participate in the Nanded Nizamabad 400 km race. Azeem slacked on his practice at the birth of his child Shanaya and to his peril got a lot of cramps and found he could not complete this race. This lesson taught him the importance of continuity, that success needs perseverance and continuous training. It’s about dedication, practice and stamina.
For some time, Azeem felt demotivated but Azeem he was determined he could do it so he restarted the practice “no matter what” a quote he always said to himself “I will do it.”
He started practicing and this time the aim was 600 kms Nanded-Hyderabad-Nanded. The match was a tough one, as weather conditions were not conducive to cycling. Downpour and darkness were his companions to Hyderabad. He drove back to Nanded. He kept calm, worked hard and completed his cycle in 36 hours, lower than the assigned 40 hours. He participated in the Manali-Leh-Ladakh race that was 650 kms, followed by the Goa-Kanyakumari race and the Kanyakumari to vizag Route with his team. He was honoured with an award by Sir Hitendra Mahajan (cyclist who represented India in Race across America with his brother).
In June 2018, his cup of happiness was filled to the brim. Azeem was appointed an officer in Race across America from India.
If you ask him his reason for cycling Azeem would reply
“I don’t ride my cycle to win any races nor do I ride to escape this world. l ride to find peace with myself, I ride to feel free and I ride to feel strong.” I just ride ............
Hyderabad Cyclist, Aman Punjani, an alumnus of the Aga Khan Academy, also pursed incessantly his dream of becoming a cyclist par excellence!
His dedication and hard worked brought him rich dividends as he bagged two gold medals, in the under 23- 40 Km Individual time Trial and 100 Km Mass Start Events. At the 23rd National Road Cycling Championship, Aman has become the first cyclist from the state to have achieved this rare feat in the last quarter of a century.
Aman took his cycling passion to another level with cycling being the topic for his IM MYP Personal Project. He began with writing a book for triathletes. His interest in the sport peaked in no time and he was seen waking up at the crack of dawn for practise in the school track and then on the highways of Hyderabad.
Currently he trains every day covering a whooping 500 kilometres per week. It’s his passion that takes Aman to a higher level of intellectual appreciation of the sport.
Well done Azeem and Aman!
Hard work and practice definitely brings dividends!!