MUMBAI: Co-Founder and CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics, Vineeta Singh, who is seen among the panel of judges on the show `Shark Tank India 2`, is not only an entrepreneur, but also an athlete who participated in a number of marathons and triathlons. Recently, she participated in a triathlon and found it really challenging as she had a panic attack but still she managed to compete race.
In a note about her experience, she said, “I FINISHED LAST. I`ve always struggled with swimming and unfortunately all triathlons start with swims, that too in open waters. Last weekend the Shivaji Triathlon was one of my hardest ever. A windy, choppy lake resulting in a panic attack that lasted almost an hour.”
She continued, “In spite of all the pep talk from Sham and Kaushik, I couldn’t breathe, so I asked them to carry on. I got on the rescue boat and decided to quit. The idea of quitting was painful but Shivaji Lake looked like the kind of beast I had no courage to tackle that morning.”
“As I sat shivering on the boat, I saw an incredible nine-year-old brave her way through the waves. Although I was ready to throw in the towel & made peace with it – this wasn`t a critical race, I hadn`t trained much so it was OK to head back to my children, tell them mama needed to train harder in open water & try next time. But was I ready to get my first DNF? Unlike most triathlons, this one didn`t have a timing cutoff, so what was my excuse? What would it take to somehow stop the negative train of thought & slowly paddle my way through the 1 km?”
Sharing more about the incident and how she was rescued, Vineeta said: “And just like that, I jumped back in. Paddled a bit, tried floating on my back, tried a couple of strokes, then went back to the rescue rope. Repeated this a few hundred times. What`d normally take me 39 mins took me 1.5 hrs. As I finally got out of the water, I looked back and I was absolutely the last one out (much to the relief of the Navy rescue crew). Threw up all that lake water I`d drunk & just sat down for a few mins before getting on with the bike and running.
“Had to savour the moment I’d visualised for the last 30 mins. Also, my knees were still wobbly. Looking back, I wasn’t mentally as strong as I could’ve been. Mental strength like other muscles needs regular training. The visualising, the breath-work, the positive thinking could`ve started earlier, but one learns more on tough days & I`m grateful. While most people had finished the race by 10:30 a.m., I was still finishing my run at 12:20 & yet there were 100 Navy soldiers cheering in the heat. God bless the whole unit at INS Shivaji.”
“I came back and told my children: Mama finished last today, but mama didn`t quit,” she concluded.