Rajiv - The Dancer

I’ve known Rajiv ever since I arrived in France, some more than 8 years ago now.
I initially wanted to write about how we became friends, how he discovered his passion for traditional indian dancing and how I helped my friend improve his physical conditioning and overall body ‘sculpting’ for an activity where the men must often be bear chested in front of hundreds of spectators.

I have however chosen not to do so. Why ? Because often times we don’t realize the true role that we ‘occupy’ in our close ones’ lives.
Rajiv is one of (my closest) friends that has pleasantly surprised me with his (different) perspective on our ‘journey’. And so, I’ve decided to share it in it’s entirety. Enjoy 🙂

What Rajiv ‘had to say’

I’ve never been an active guy, in my adolescence or my twenties.

I have had however a good morphology right about my 25-26 years of age (regular guy, without a belly). I did use to run with more ‘athletic’ friends, go swimming, etc; but it was never something more than something ‘to do together’.

After my 26th anniversary, I’ve started to gain some belly fat. The good restaurants, the parties and all the social ‘interactions’ didn’t help with the scale either. I’ve slowly gained 10Kgs in the years that followed. Friends were telling me I ‘put on a few’ but it never really bothered me because I was still relatively ‘proportioned’.

However, at about the 32-32 year old ‘mark’, I started noticing that climbing the stairs, or running for the bus, left me gasping for air. I had also noticed that my muscle mass was slowly ‘going away’.

All this made me realize that I needed to get back in shape. But as you can probably guess, since I’ve never really worked out before, I was missing some good advice. I started to hard, I tried to do as many things as I could, like abs, push-ups (if we could’ve called them that) and running without preparation or clear objective. So that didn’t last for long. I was quickly tired and discouraged because I wanted a quick result that wasn’t ‘coming’.

Years passed, and I’ve abandoned the idea of ‘taking care of my body’, until one day I met Ionel. He proposed a few training sessions together, but since I was now convinced that I would never ‘get there’, I was always trying to tell him ‘later..some other time..soon..etc..’

In the meantime I also started a classe of classical indian dancing that has become my real passion. It is a very physical dance that demands a lot of technique and riguer, endurance and also esthetiques.

It was at this now that I told myself it was time to start for my health but also go get better and stronger with my dancing.

I eventually wrote to Ionel. He came to my place and after assessing my current level gave me just a little training program. It was a really small one too, with half push-ups (on the knees) and some small ab work.

At first I thought he was kind of making fun of me with his exercises and sets that did not surpass 3 or 4 repetitions. But two of the things that he thought me is that you should always start ‘low’ in order to create something that can last ‘the test of time’; and that quality of movement comes before quantity.
Today, after 2 years of following his training programs and nutrition advice, I’ve lost 11Kgs, I’ve found the form I had when I was a young 17 year old guy and.
What’s also certain is that I will never regain that weight again because he taught me to adopt working out and having a healthy lifestyle.

Merci Buckets Ionel

My dear friend Rajiv

— Mission accomplished.