• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Sandip Prahlad Joshi: Long distance runner

BySportingEncounter

Apr 7, 2022
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Sandip Pralhad Joshi, fondly calls himself a common man who loves to run. Sandip Prahlad Joshi the man who dared to bare his comfort zone purely to fulfil his passion for running.

Who is Sandip Prahlad Joshi? Why are you reading about him?

Sandip Joshi is the founder of Nagar Rising Marathon in Ahmednagar.

Was he a born runner? I guess you have to read ahead to find out.

Have you heard about someone who quit his job and the comforts of living in the big city to pursue his love for running? That is Sandip Joshi. And we are here to find out how did he do it?

He is neither Baba Amte nor Mahatma Gandhi. But he has achieved some great feats in life which I don’t think even he visualised.

He is one of the people who dared to bare and bear it all to achieve his goal.

Now would you like to meet Mr Sandip Prahlad Joshi?

If not please do not read ahead this blog is not for you.

Hello, I am Sandip Joshi the madman from Ahmednagar, who loves to run and make others follow suit

Worked for 20 years, spent almost 10 years in Multinational Company. 

Currently working on own diversified business Units which include Event Management, Tourism, Sports Consultancy and Management including marathon training

I am a certified Marathon Trainer, from the American College of Sports Medicine(ASCM), and Exercise Science Academy.

 I used to play Kho-Kho and participate in 5K athletic events during school and college days. Those golden years of my life actually shaped my future into what I am today. 

Once you step into the real world you start running a different race.

Redefining Goals

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I ran that race too and did what others did, climbed the corporate ladder.

Once I changed my track slowly my interest in sports slowly fizzled ut because now it was a race to achieve a good life. The job was a priority. Slowly life happened to grow on me.

Priorities change so, did I?

I was working almost 20-22 hours a day, with no schedule for breakfast, lunch, dinners, no proper sleep, rest etc…

Changing tracks

But one day I saw the promotion for one small event which was organized on the eve of 15th August 2013, in which I participated in 5K run and finished it strongly, which refreshed my memory and my potential and interest, also met with enthusiastic, energetic team and coach which brought my life again into the running field. a. After re-starting running with the group, and after systematic training, I was feeling motivated, positive, and energetic throughout the day. 

During these practise sessions I noticed to complete these workouts, it needed a lot of discipline, dedication, and really need to sacrifice unhealthy habits which are the main hurdles of human development.

I met many like-minded people, and every one of them was very unique. This intrigued me more to make new friends so I too could share the positive moments with them.

I can actually call it a major turning point in my life. I began enjoying this new inning in my life.

During my practice session, I realised that if this were to become a part of our culture it could bring about a huge positive revolution in everyone’s lives.

City life is very different from in the villages. This culture never existed in remote villages. Fact remains that people living in the villages are very hardworking and tough. Running could be very effortless for them but knowing the difference it brought in my life I was very keen on trying to introduce it to the native villages as well.

Life as we know it. When life gives you lemons you can decide if you wish to make lemonade and drink it in one go or make a lemon pickle and enjoy it for a longer time.

Emotional Setback

My father was detected with Cancer. It was really a very tough time for me and my family.

My father was like a strong pillar of my family. Being the eldest son I had to step in to take of my beloved father during his final days.

The father I knew who held my hands while crossing the road was holding my hand for support.

Today I may sound very casual about it those days I just couldn’t bear the thought of my hero being so weak.

We underwent mental, physical and financial stress all rolled into one.

Somehow we sailed through the tough time the pain of my father’s passing remained with me forever. It changed me for good.

Taking the leap of faith

Taking the leap of faith

I set my mind to helping people who are undergoing similar situations in life.

As a fond tribute to my father’s pain, I began organising Cancer awareness programs. I even helped people raise money for treatment through crowdfunding.

running has sowed the seeds of change in my mind. I knew that by introducing running culture among people I could run Cancer awareness Programs thus in reverse giving back to the community what I had received from running.

This was when I changed my tracks again. From a Corporate Geek to a Running Coach. The journey was painful. Change is never easy. How could it be any different for me?

But it was a much-required journey and I enjoyed every moment of it. I was sleeping better. I was feeling lighter. I was happier. I was ever less stressed.

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Watching the storm breaking its barriers.

I was loving this feeling. I didn’t know where I was headed, but I was very keen to know how this journey would proceed.

I began travelling to various cities across India to participate in Marathons. I soon decided to organise a marathon in my hometown Ahmednagar.

I began planning the same. Soon I realised it’s not easy organising a marathon on my own. So I began getting people on board as a team.

I started socialising with many people for sponsorship and participation. Initially, everyone laughed at me. I was expecting that obviously they had never seen or heard of such a thing. They didn’t know what I knew. As Ratan Tata Fondly said, “Your idea is not big enough if it is not mocked by 10 thousand people”. I knew I had found my audience. I knew that the day I score a point over these people they would be eating their words.

At the end of 1 year, I stood firm on my ground. One fine day Dr V. N. Deshpande a very close family friend of mine introduced me to Dr Satish Sonavane an oncologist, Cancer surgeon.

Dr Satish Sonavane showed keen interest in my project, he is my pillar of support to date. Soon many other doctors like Dr Shan Tarde Pediatric doctor, Adv. Gaurav Mirikar joined us. This was that moment where I saw the transformation of ” I ” becoming “WE”. I call it my Jai Ho moment.

The change wasn’t easy, that is the fact, but is it not impossible either. I saw my dreams shaping up.

Initial Struggles

Life does not make things easier for you. Organising a marathon requires huge funds in the form of sponsorship and financial support.

That was when I met Mr Narendra Firodia, a philanthropist, and a well-known businessman.

Surprisingly he very openly took to the concept and even extended financial support for it. This association helped us grow in a very different way. Thanks to Mr Narendra Firodia’s philanthropy experience we decided to form a Foundation under the charitable trust and we fondly named it “Nagar Rising Foundation.

On a personal level, I was still working for a multinational Company ZS Associates in Magarpatta city, Pune. Big companies come with big responsibilities we all know that. My office timings were 01:00 pm to 10:00 Pm.

Somewhere I could feel my dad showering his blessings from heaven because without that it would have been impossible to have come this far with just a concept in my mind.

In a nutshell, I was actively working on a huge project in Ahmednagar while I was working full-time in Magarpatta, Pune.

Today when I look back it actually feels impossible even to me although I lived those days myself.

Ha! Ha!

Announcing the first City Run.

I used to travel from Pune to Ahmednagar and then start my travel back at 4:00 to 5:00 am meet people in the City then get back to the office. I would drive close to 240 KM every day for a few months. Some commitment I had back then. But my hard work truly paid off. After a year of living like a Gypsy by God’s grace and the prayers of my father and all the good wishes of my family, I met the right person who helped me declare our pilot event.

I had a serious slipped disc issue doctors even suggested an operation. God alone knows how in the world did I ever get through those tough times. Those were the days when I realised the real meaning of the saying “tough seas make a strong sailor”. with all the energy we had, we announced our pilot city run in Ahmednagar.

After having tasted the sweet nectar of success. I had a different struggle in stock for me up to my sleeve.

My Eureka Moment.

Initially, I was struggling to explain the concept of running, why it is important for everyone Blah! Blah! Now I was facing the exact opposite problem. I was having a tough time stabilizing the event and the runner’s community. People’s reactions. Up and downs and turned our worlds topsy-turvey.

Once this tide passed I took a moment to recollect what just happened, I smiled to myself saying yeah we have arrived someplace different and there seems to be no looking back. That was my Eureka moment.

Initially struggled to explain this concept to new people, but when somehow they accept it and start enjoying it, the next struggle started to stabilize the event and runner’s community, people’s behaviour, up and downs are always there, without it you can reach to the ultimate goal.

Raising the Bar real High

Consistency, dedication, hard work, honesty and a deep-rooted farsighted approach can truly propel you towards your goal.

Having a deep vision, your mission and constant follow-ups are the key parameters to your success. Even to date I and the other trustees are still on it.

I totally dedicate my success to the runner’s community around me which keeps me inspired and keeps me on the edge which forces me to get better with time. I personally like to thank my coach Utpal Burman, for the Pune running team, the Nagar Rising Team, members of the SPJ Sports Club.

Consistency, dedication, hard work, honesty towards your goal, constant follow-ups and focused on the values and vision are the only key parameters to your success, and till date me and our other trustees are still on it. a. Special thanks to the runner’s community around me, which keeps inspiring me to move ahead and get better with time.

Climbing down the Corporate ladder

While I was still basking in my newfound glory, there was a little change awaiting me right by my side.

My boss offered me a promotion which meant I had to pack my bags and move abroad with a big pay packet in dollars.

Only an absolute idiot would not jump at this offer.

I jumped too, sorry to disappoint you I jumped the gun and right out of the Corporate job. I put down my papers.

It was not an easy decision to make. I was just married and my wife was pursuing a 2 years Yoga therapist Course From Kabirbag Yog Sanstha.

I had actually jumped my life from a cosy luxurious life straight to the valley with no idea what lay beneath.

Thankfully my wife was very accomodating, she mutually decided to move to a hostel while I moved to Ahmednagar.

While we were just about to get started with our newfound life there came an army of relatives who were not as understanding as my wife. Somehow we managed it together.

Although we were living in two different cities which were merely 100 km away the cultural and psychological differences between these cities were absolutely unbelievable.

Watching the Rising Sun after long darkness.

On a personal and financial level, it was a huge setback. I had just resigned from an absolutely great Job. I had sent my wife off to live in a hostel in Pune while I was playing house at Ahmednagar.

Something within me told me it’s just a matter of time, this too shall pass. I concentrated on planning for the future.

I was on a mission to sell Ice to the Eskimos obviously I couldn’t achieve it without any opposition and not to mention public ridicule.

I just kept calm and concentrated on the one job I knew I was born to do.

We successfully organised 6 editions of the Nagar Rising Half Marathon before the corona Pandemic hit.

We are planning a huge comeback this year.

Running had changed my life 360 degrees. It was a tough journey but a very interesting one. I realised I was a true warrior of sorts. I realised I was a risk-taker, my life abounds with confidence, willpower and a very clear view of life.

It’s good to have leadership qualities. It comes with a lot of responsibilities, struggles and opposition and over a period of time you get stronger with every passing moment.

Consistency is King

My journey may not have been an easy one, but I would not have had it any other way.

I have faced almost every possible emotion during this journey. I have broken many barriers, mental as well as physical. But what I have not broken is consistency.

I have seen the change in the emotions of people. I have seen mockery turn into appreciation and opposition to felicitations.

Life is full of problems. It’s just a matter of time till you see your problems as opportunities. I have earned the respect and appreciation of the runners community.

I have received a lot of love from the runner’s community. I have got tremendous help from various levels. It has always been my ultimate mission in life. Inculcating healthy habits and growing this community.

Although cycling is a good physical exercise, I prefer to limit myself to running as I am a hardcore runner.

Sandip Joshi on Benefits of Joining the 5:00 am Club.

Running is not an exercise, it’s a lifestyle. You eat you sleep you run. It’s also rightfully called a mindset as well. I love to run hence I continue to run.

There are other forms of exercise please feel free to follow what you like. But the idea is to follow some routine in life this will transform you in a very positive way.

For me, running has changed my entire being. I have learned to break barriers physical as well as mental. It kind of builds a confidence in you that you never knew existed.

It has actually helped me unleash the storm within my soul. Although I strongly regret having jumped into the fire without a backup plan. The only regret I have is I never secured myself financially before taking the plunge. That is a life lesson, do not make this mistake.

My passion has brought about a lot of positive changes in my system. I began waking up early, this keeps me fresh and energetic all day.

I feel motivated and full of positivity throughout the day.

I have lost a lot of weight. I even look a lot younger than my school friends. One thing I truly pride myself upon. It’s not just about looks even my energy levels are up like a person half my age.

It has made me very disciplined. I got an opportunity to travel across the globe and interact with many interesting people.

My views towards patriotism improved.

I no longer fear being challenged. I am a very confident person today. Challenges don’t bother me, in fact, I look forward to them as an opportunity. I somehow feel no matter what life is not impossible

I am more organised and plan my day well in advance.

I watch what I eat. I avoid outside junk food as far as possible. This has helped me improve my quality of life. My trips to the doctor don’t worry me. I go to sleep early.

Being a peoples person myself I have learned to deal with people of different kinds. My work excites me and I look forward to working.

I am very confident with my team. We run together and work together for a single goal of being fit and spreading the message of being Fit.

My biggest source of strength is my family. I am a role model for my daughter. I am really proud of that title.

The only regret I carrying my heart which I intend to heal soon is my family had to sacrifice a lot of good times due to my inability to plan my finances better. I am confident I will break that barrier soon.

As a dedicated runner and coach, I suggest every runner find a good coach who understands their energy levels they will help you achieve your fitness goals in a more technical and safe way.

Do not get excited or be in a hurry. Set short term goals but don’t be in a hurry, take your time train well, refuel right and rest well.

Never compete with others. It is always better to compete with yourself. This way you never lose.

Always ask yourself Why, where, and for whom am I doing it. Trust me this will always guide you right.

Always be positive and enjoy every moment of your journey.

Running has given me the power to change my world for the better. It has given me a lot of respect.

Who is Sandip Prahlad Joshi as of today?

I began my life from truly humble beginnings. It’s been a 20 years journey.

Here is a glimpse of my last 20 years: 20 Years of Journey Sandip Pralhad Joshi to SPJ 2000-2005 Newspaper Distribution Boy- Ahmednagar, Office Cleaner, Boy- Bharatiya Janata Party, Ahmednagar

• Recovery Boy at S Motilal Plywood House- Ahmednagar

• Office Boy cum accounts associate at Hemant Kale & Associates, Chartered Accountant Firm, Ahmednagar 2006-2010

• Mutual Fund Marketing Executive at Integrated Enterprises India Pvt Ltd. Pune

• Accountant executive at WNS- Marsh & McLennan Corporation MMC, Pune 2011-2015 • Account Analyst at WNS-Sony, Pune • Account Analyst at WNS- Sony, Romania

• VAT Analyst at Sony- Weybridge, United Kindom

• VAT Analyst at WNS-Sony, Pune • Finance Associate at ZS Associate, Pune

• Founder, Nagar Rising Foundation 2016-2020

• Finance Associate at ZS Associate, Pune

• Till 31st December 2016.

• CEO-Maximus Sports Academy, an Initiative of Shantikumarji Firodia Memorial Foundation

• 1st January 2017- 31st July 2020

• Founder, CEO-Nagar Rising Foundation

• Founder, Principal Owner: o SPJ Event Management o SPJ Real Estate o SPJ Tourism o SPJ Sports Management & Consultancy Dream to become a Successful Entrepreneur and Philanthropist: Why Entrepreneur: I almost spent 20 years in service, started my career, when I was 15, and just school passed out. I have seen people ordering and using you, and have seen many up and downs in the service industry, so was always dreaming to become an entrepreneur and doing something on my own. Where I can create my own venture and can give a chance and better platform to talented candidates. Off course, this is a pure commercial dream as, like others.

I wish to see myself with successful people and give a proud, comfortable and secure life to my family.

Why Philanthropist: While working with WNS, got a chance to visit one of the mentally not stable or dumped girls’ schools in shirt, who have been leaving there since their childhood without their parents. This scene truly moved my mind. It completely changed my view towards society, and since then started participating in small activities to help needy people.

In the meantime, my father was detected with liver cancer, and when he was admitted to the hospital, see the pain and conditions of the patients and their relatives, which shook my mind deeply, since then decided to do something which will help in health awareness, funds collection and utilizing it for the betterment of the society, after joining ZS Associates got connected with Marathon culture, which inspires me to initiate a Nagar Rising Marathon in Ahmednagar.

While working in ZS got a big opportunity to work on the CSR projects, where we used to sponsor / or take responsibility for talented but underprivileged students of COEP, Army Institute of Technology and other engineering institutes.

Since then my journey in social activities continues, however, while doing it, it is very important to have a strong financial background, so my next focus will be to set up my own ventures, and while earning money, allocate some portion of it for the betterment of the society.

Connect Runner, Connect India, Connect-World, Connect Human a. “Sports have the Power to Change the World, where the rules of the game are the same for everyone, and behaviour is guided by fair play and good sportsmanship. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people, and in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.” Nelson M b. “Create Runner, Connect Runner, Connect-World, Connect Human and Humanity” – Sandip Joshi(Myself) a. My personal running goal, focus on my 42K Performance and prepare for the next Comrade Event.

To inculcate this running culture in other cities also where this culture doesn’t exist. a. There is a lot which cannot be expressed, but in the next edition will surely write it:

11 thoughts on “Sandip Prahlad Joshi: Long distance runner”
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