Befriending My Biggest Fear, I Went On To Become The Ironman Of UP

4 min read

The best part about fear is that you are scared of it and at the same time you are trying to over come it.

The young Indian, Abhishek Mishra, was not just another ordinary man afraid of his fears, hiding in isolation hoping they don’t drive him away. Instead, he wore his bravery cape and decided to face his fears with a fierce heart and a mindset of victory against fear.

But it didn’t come that easy to this young Indian. It took him swimming 70 meters into the sea and almost drowning, with his house help just staring at him in utter amusement of what to do. He may have swum for his life that day but did he swim his fears away?

No, not really! But did he succumb to it? Not a chance. Abhishek Mishra not only befriended his biggest fear – water, but also decided to prove to the world and himself that fear is only a fragment of one’s mindset.

But nothing was possible with hard work sweat and tears. He decided to compete on the 26th of September in Spain’s toughest triathlon – The Ironman Lanzarote that consisted of swimming, cycling, and running, rendering it to be the single day toughest endurance sport in the world. In 2015 with 5 months of training in, he knew nothing could stop him from winning the ironman title.

Little did he know what life had planned for him. Abhishek Mishra, the young Indian may have overcome his fear but how would he overcome the rejection of his visa a week before he had to fly out to compete?

Many may argue on how social media is a bane but that day it was his shining armor in disguise. Who knew a heartfelt vent on Facebook could do the impossible, beat the odds and grant him his visa? His post went viral that day and about 150 people including friends, family and acquaintances from different walks of life, figuring out a way to help him reach his destination. From calling the ex-ambassador of Spain to contacting the director of VFS to contacting travel agents to receiving invitation letters from friends of friends staying in Spain that could act as an added reason for Amit to go to Spain.

On returning back to VFS for his second attempt for his visa, with all his hope mustered up into his documents awaiting the approval of his visa, he was welcomed into the office with ‘ It’s very difficult to received the approval of a visa after its been rejected’. The next day he got a call to collect his approved visa.

There he was, the young and inspiring boy from UP, standing at 6a.m. at the beach in Spain waiting for his dream to come true. But the hurdles didn’t stop there. 125 kms into his race, his enthusiasm was shattered when he was stopped from continuing any further because he missed reaching the pit stop by 3-4 minutes than when he had to. Who knew 180 seconds could sabotage 180 days worth of training? But he didn’t give up there. He knew he couldn’t let his dream just slip past him this way. After a lot of convincing, he was allowed to continue the race, not as a participant but as an individual who wanted to do it for himself more than anything else. he wanted to prove to himself what he was capable of. He completed the race and in 14 hours and 15 minutes, but was aware of the fact that he isn’t qualified anymore to be a competitor of the title.

But to his shock the next day he received an email saying – ‘Congratulations Abhishek you are an ironman.’ He not only completed the race but he finished 3 hours prior than the actual time required to complete the race.  But the first thing Abhishek Mishra, India’s very own Ironman did was call his father and tell him ‘Papa, you can now tell the world that your son is an Ironman’.

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