Dreaming big and making it happen

Published On: September 27, 2019 10:39 AM NPT By: SITU MANANDHAR

He was always a shy kid who never really thought he could muster up the guts to get up on stage, much less participate in a national event. 20-year-old Ojash Joshi, the Under 21 Mr Kathmandu 2019, has proven himself wrong and how. Joshi, who is a fitness trainer at Gymkhana Muay Thai, says that his decision to join a gym was the turning point in his life.

“It wasn’t easy though. I had to coax and convince myself,” says Joshi adding that in 2016, after finishing his +2 exams, he decided to work on his body and be fit. He started researching about gyms in Nepal to find one suitable for him. Luckily, around the same time, he says, he got a chance to intern at The Physique Workshop (TPW) in Kamaladi, Kathmandu. Joshi says it was this place that actually groomed him and got him even more interested in fitness. 

“I’m an introvert but working at TPW I had to talk to clients which helped me build my confidence,” he says adding that he also had the chance to get into fitness himself and soon enough the management found him worthy enough to become a trainer at TPW’s new branch in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu. 

His life took another turn when he had the opportunity to attend Mr Kathmandu 2018. Sitting in the audience, Joshi found himself wishing he could be like the participants of the show. He also felt that if he trained hard enough he could build his physique to match theirs. His passion for fitness had met its purpose. 

“But I knew it was going to be hard. And though I had started training I didn’t really know how to go about it,” he says. Fortunately, a friend introduced him to Dr Mohit Karki, who is currently his coach, and it was him who had an important role to play in his ultimately winning the Under 21 Mr Kathmandu 2019 title.  

Joshi joined Gymkhana Muay Thai and started training for the competition of Under 21 Mr Kathmandu 2019. His training program was now modified keeping the competition in mind. He had to work on reducing his weight to get stage ready. Joshi says he also had to maintain his diet and make sure he ate just right. A week before the competition he had to cut carbs from his diet and stop training all together.  

“Preparing for the competition was tough but it was worth it. I believe the discipline would have been worth it even if I hadn’t won,” he says. At the competition, he was up against 21 participants and he made it to the top five. He says that, on the final day, he chose to focus on himself because he felt he would lose confidence otherwise. “The other participants were brilliant and had I started paying them too much attention, I would have been anxious and nervous,” he says. 

Joshi recalls the name of the runners up being announced and slowly realizing that he had won the competition as his competitors got called one by one. He confesses he went to claim the title even before his own name was announced as the winner. All he could remember, he says, was that day one year ago when he was sitting among the audience. 

“My hard work had paid off and I couldn’t be happier. The trophy sort of cemented my belief in myself and that with determination one can do anything,” he says adding that he was also blessed with supportive family and friends throughout his journey. From friends not eating ‘indulgent’ food in front of him to words of comfort from his family members and coach, he believes his win was a culmination of it all. 

But Joshi isn’t going to let the win get to his head. Of that, he is sure. Even today, he says, he knows he is just starting out and does his best to stay disciplined and humble. His daily routine comprises of intensive training because, he believes, in fitness consistency is key. Fitness, says Joshi, isn’t also just a one-time thing – something you do and get done with. It’s an investment you make for a better life. 

“Besides my coach, I’m inspired by bodybuilder Chris Bumstead, and fitness and lifestyle blogger Steve Cook. These are the people I look up to and whose lifestyle I want to emulate,” he says adding that whenever he feels down and uninspired, he only has to turn to them to get reminded of his purpose and goals. 

In the future, Joshi wants to represent Nepal in international tournaments. He also hopes to build better facilities for bodybuilding in the country to encourage those who want to take up this sport to do so without any hesitation whatsoever. “Lack of good facilities and equipment sometimes make it hard for bodybuilders to train well and I hope to be able to change that,” he concludes. 

(Situ Manandhar)

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