Imagine an event where each and every person has a unique tale to tell, despite having taken similar paths or adventures. Have you ever gone through it? We’re about to share the experience of Kamal Chandran, Group Head – HR at GOQii, who participated in the GOQii Trail Challenge, in her own words.
Seeking A Challenge
I recently took part in the GOQii Trail Challenge (GTC) Season 3 in December 2022. When I expressed my interest to participate in the trail challenge to my family, their collective reaction was “Are you crazy to walk 50km in 18 hours?”
I was, however, excited to go for it. I was a new employee at GOQii and had heard so much about GTC that I wanted to experience it once. Restarted after a hiatus of two-years due to the pandemic, Season 3 of GTC attracted approx 200 participants. Everyone including the participants was excited.
Since my husband Girish and I have been working very hard on our health objectives for the past two years and are constantly seeking new challenges, we decided to take part in the Trail, moreover, this was our first shot at a trekking challenge.
The Challenge was to walk a distance of 50km within the 18 hour time limit. With absolutely no reference or clue of what was in store for me and how this would change my life, I went ahead with an open mind.
The Journey Begins
The excitement started from the GOQii office on 9th December, a day prior to the challenge. A 6-hour fun bus ride got us talking with several other newbies and old-timers from whom we tried to gather courage and motivation.
On arrival at the basecamp (Blue Green Exotica) at Mandangad, the mood was festive and colourful. The atmosphere was chill with plenty of music & camaraderie accompanied by instructions, route maps, signs and the likes that spruced up my vibes to commit full-on.
More often than not, our inhibitions come into play in such situations. It led me to think “I’ll be happy if I complete the 50K, but even if I don’t, I’ll still enjoy and cherish this unique experience”. After a good ‘Get to know the Trail’ instruction-led session, we retired early to bed only to wake up early and prepare to embark on our 50km trail challenge.
The following day, we started our trek 25 minutes late at 5.25 am as our preparations for the long day of walking had caught us unaware of the timings. This was despite us waking up as early as 3am. We had neatly taped our toes and heels to avoid any blisters, and applied all sorts of skin precautions as recommended by the GOQii team and co-walkers whom we met the previous eve.
We also learnt a lot about the importance of hydration while walking for a long time. Our day packs were filled with all the necessary accompaniments like ORS ( Electrolytes) , dry fruits, various creams, band-aids etc.
The entire route was meditative for me since I was fully present in my body, mind, and soul. We had forgotten to carry a stick that was advised to better navigate the terrain. However, on the way I picked up a suitable bamboo stick that came in handy. From one checkpoint to the next, we enjoyed the journey, terrain and the beautiful nature that surrounded us.
We came across many pasture-like dry river beds, meadows, steep hillocks and scantily populated villages, all surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri mountains that were visible at a distance, its ranges resembling concentric circles and reflecting the sunshine presenting the flora and fauna in vibrant colours.
After encountering multiple challenges and enabling our various faculties and strategies to overcome them, we managed to cover a distance of 40km in 14 hours, quite slowly but successfully.
Lessons Learned At the GOQii Trail Challenge
We had to abandon the trek at Checkpoint 4 as the time required for the next steep climb was too much and the trail only seemed to incline further.
Despite not having completed the trail, as I reflect back, I have the following thoughts which I would like to share with all of you. Here are my learnings from the GOQii Trail Challenge:
- The entire walk was reflective and a repetition of life as an uphill and downhill path. Therefore, we need to be mindful and utilize every chance to enjoy it.
- Keep in mind that time is of the essence, enjoy the diversion but don’t get carried away or distracted
- Teamwork is crucial; we enjoyed supporting one another and getting to know new individuals. Savour the experience. Celebrate the collaborations.
- All obstacles are inside your thoughts, but if you don’t dwell on them and keep moving forward, you may perform extraordinary feats. For example, my friends and family were shocked that I could walk/trek 40km when they had anticipated that I would barely manage 10km
- Pay attention to your body! I was under the impression that I was living a healthy lifestyle until I discovered that I need to have enough rest and the correct nutrients to be successful in challenges of this sort.
- Spending time in nature will improve your physical and mental well-being. While meditating in Mandangad Fort, I felt the sun, wind, and soil coming together. (I spent almost 45 minutes just meditating – which probably explains the delay in reaching check point 3)
- Every second or every step was different, therefore, we had to evolve according to how challenging the terrain and our bodies were. Stop overthinking, just be mindful of each and every step/moment.
The GOQii Trail Challenge will have a lasting impression on me. I’ve heard many tales and learned how people overcame numerous hurdles. We have witnessed the happiness of trekking 50km on one’s 50th birthday and heard tales of pain and mishaps. The trail profoundly affected our body, mind, and soul. The experience was so fantastic that it cannot be adequately described in words; it must be lived.
Work can be worship for some people, while for others it means earning their daily bread. I have observed my transformation from a means to worship over the past 20 years. I have had the good fortune to collaborate with a number of outstanding organisations and executives as I develop into a powerful and ardent HR professional.
Even though I’ve attended and participated in a lot of organisational events and programmes, the GOQii Trail Challenge event which was organised so well by the experts at GOQii stood out in numerous ways. Our commitment to our goal in everything we do, our ability to keep our stakeholders directly involved in it, and the experience we offer to all of our GOQii Players & GOQiites are some of our main differentiators.
I’m happy to be associated with GOQii, whose mission is to inspire people to live healthy lives for which we have developed an ecosystem for preventative healthcare that helps, teaches, and inspires them. I am all geared up for my next experience through GCC event ie. GOQii Corporate Challenge.
K P.S.Kutty says
Great achievement you both,Girish and Kamal.As you mentioned ,you could complete 40K instead of the targeted 50K,I really think this itself is beyond everyone’s imagination considering various factors like age,health and lack of previous experience. I salute you both for achieving such a fantastic feat in your life.Congratulations and continue your journey and do participate in such endeavour in future also.