'Failure fuels my drive. It pushes me further'
This father of two, through sheer grit, determination and a never-give-up attitude has ensured that his fitness has grown in leaps and bounds in the 7 years since he started his journey. Here’s a brief look at the chat we had with Kuldeep about his fitness regime, motivation, accomplishments and more…
Kuldeep, tell us about some of the highlights of your journey.
I was a national level swimmer in school, so the journey started early for me. In 2004, I completed a full marathon (42.2 kms) in 3 hrs 12 mins in the Bangalore International Full Marathon and came 10th. In 2013, I completed an Olympic distance triathlon (1.5km sea swim – 40 km cycling – 10k run) in the International Singapore Triathlon and was one of the top 30 triathletes in Asia.
In 2014, I won the bronze for India in the National Triathlon and was the first to break the record set by Army personnel in the past. And in 2016, I completed IRONMAN San Diego Oceanside.
What does your fitness regime look like?
My day starts at 3:30 a.m. Then this is how it goes: half an hour of meditation followed by stretches and warm-up, then I swim for 2 to 3 kms, have some low GI (glycemic index) food, run 10 to 12k, and then cycle about 15 to 20k after shooting some liquid carbs. I get done with my workouts by 8:30 a.m. I burn about 6,000 calories per day, so I keep eating plenty of dry fruits and eggs throughout.
On weekends I run 50k and cycle 100k.
That’s some serious training! How do you manage to stay motivated?
It’s a journey full of ups and downs, but I keep my eyes on the prize, which is the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving my goals. I’m always competing against myself, trying to be better than I was. Failure fuels my drive, it pushes me further. I also try to balance training with fun. I train 3 quarters a year and for the other three months, I let loose. I do everything I can’t when I’m training – meet my friends regularly, eat whatever I want, party a lot, sleep more than I usually do, travel with my family. It’s my fun time!”
We’ve heard you help others get fit as well. Tell us a bit about that.
After joining Amazon, I created an invite-only coaching group which consists of about 30 colleagues now. I’m a certified swimming, running, cycling, strength & conditioning and triathlon coach, and a certified personal trainer as well. But what I do for my colleagues is free of cost. Everyone in the group is driven about getting fitter, and they have to fill out a questionnaire before they start. I individually coach each person on exercise and diet, and expect their wholehearted commitment to the plans that I customize for them.
What advice do you have for people trying to get fit?
Don’t give up. Don’t debate with yourself too much when you don’t feel like working out. Go for it. Life is too short. Don’t go after money, prioritize health over money.
What made you join Amazon?
The level of innovation here is very high. A lot of companies innovate but Amazon stands apart. Amazon solves real customer problems. Being a deeply tech-oriented person, Amazon fulfills all my desires.