January 5th, 2019, 10:00 am: Himanshu waited anxiously for the examination results site to load! The wait was unbearable! He was one of the million odd people who had logged in that morning to check their results. Two months ago Himanshu had appeared for the CAT exam. It was his dream to pursue an MBA from the best college in India! Two months ago, Himanshu had taken another decision - this one was taken in the spurt of the moment! His result in the exam would now decide whether this decision was a wise one or not!
Flashback (November 2018): One year of rigorous studies, coaching classes, mock exams and late night sessions had taken a heavy toll on Himanshu's health. He had been burning the candle from both the ends and also the middle! This was a man who once used to run a half-marathon, who would take his bicycle at 5 am and ride across the length of the city! And now after a year of neglect he had gained weight and lost his fitness streak. Both physically and mentally, he felt rusty! "But that's the price one has to pay, if one has to get into a good B-school", he assured himself. The competition was tough, and a single percentile point could decide your career!
Around the same time, Himanshu came across a post on Facebook by Impact Program Leader, Saima. She had coached Himanshu in the past. The post caught his attention - it mentioned something about a FUN way to lose weight and get fit. "I would love to do this!" he thought, "But let me first get done with the CAT exam! ... January would be a good time!"
So Himanshu paid the deposit to lock his seat. A day later he got the customary welcome call from me. He shared his story with me - of how badly he wanted to do it, but he would want to wait till January!
I paused, reflected and then posed him a question - "But Himanshu, why not now?"
"Now is not the right time, doctor!" he replied.
"There is NEVER a right time!" I said with a smile (and a wink)
"Ok, how about we do this?", I suggested, "Try it out for a week. If you feel it is distracting you, you can quit and take it up in Jan."
It wasn't difficult convincing Himanshu. After all he had been a fitness-freak. It was like offering a chocolate to a kid with a sweet-tooth!
So Himanshu took up the Impact 6 weeks challenge just before his exams ... and (to my surprise) he completed it!
Back to Result day...
Himanshu had entered his ID number and was still waiting for the website to load. While waiting his mind spanned across the 6 weeks of the Impact challenge! He looked at the numbers on his fitness tracker. In that month he had bicycled approximately 320 km and run 120 km. He had won a medal in the 5 km race at the Borivali National Park which he completed in 28 minutes (his best timing). The results were evident - he had lost 4.5 kg. But the best part of all - Himanshu had rediscovered his spark! He had never felt better!
But a doubt still lingered in his mind, "Did I make the right decision by taking up the Impact challenge just before my exams? Was it worth it? All the hours that I spent running and cycling, could they have been better utilized for studying? Will it affect my score?! "
The website finally loaded! Before he looked at his result, Himanshu closed his eyes and told himself, "It's fine! If not now, maybe next year I will do better! I should be happy that I at least regained my health and fitness. MBA can wait ..."
He then opened his eyes and looked at his score ... it was 99.55 percentile! He couldn't believe his eyes! Tears of joy flowed down his cheeks! This was his BEST score ever! More than what he needed to get into a top Business school!
My phone rang. It was Himanshu!
"Doctor, you were right!" he sounded ecstatic, "There NEVER is a right time to regain your health! ... The right time is NOW!"
Update (June 2019): Himanshu started his MBA program at the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, one of the most premiere management schools in India. He also continues to run and bike daily.
Did Himanshu's story inspire you? If yes, do leave a comment below! :)