Endurance Cyclist | Deepa Chaithanyan

I'm Deepa Chaithanyan, based in Chennai.

I'm a recreational endurance cyclist and a mother of an 11 year old kiddo.

When did your Cycling/Running/Tri journey begin?

I've been riding for around 6 years now.

Being a full-time working mother, trying to divide attention between family and work, I felt I missed creating moments for myself. I got stuck in a routine and I hardly got ‘ME-TIME’ to recharge myself.

A friend of mine advised me to take up cycling to keep my mind and body healthy. And yeah, age is just a number and I started riding again at the age of 32 with a rental cycle. I bought a new bicycle when I learned to manage my time and became consistent with my rides. I also became a member of a local cycling group called WCCG (We are Chennai Cycling Group).

These small steps in the right direction ended up being the best decisions of my life. After doing multiple 100 plus and 200 plus km rides I got smitten by the bug of long distance cycling. Few of my major rides include

1. SR series ( all four Brevets 200km, 300 km, 400 km and 600 km)

2. Self- supported ride Chennai-Bangalore-Chennai covering 700 km.

3. Chennai- Dhanushkodi

How do you make time to pursue your sport.?

If there's something that's really important to us, we shouldn't use lack of time as an excuse not to get to work on it. Yes,it is not as easy as it sounds! Every time when I lose my track, I reshift my focus on what is important and stop letting any negative emotions get in the way. I also learnt to negotiate on my time, say 'NO' politely whenever required.

How has cycling changed your health and life style?

The only way of overcoming fear is to face it and cycling made me strong inside out. I learnt to face my inner demons and enjoy the freedom cycling provides. It gives me a chance to think, reduce anxiety, clear my mind and feel good about myself. Special thanks to my cycling buddies who are my biggest support system.

What is your most memorable Cycling/Running incident/ride?

Chennai-Bangalore-Chennai - I was the only female rider in the group but I never felt unsafe throughout the ride.

What's your message to every women out there who want to pursue Cycling/Running/Triathlon?

In the process of putting so much effort into caring for others, we women often end up neglecting ourselves. Exercise is forgotten, healthy eating is off the menu. We lose strength and our health deteriorates. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Self-care isn’t selfish. “Put your own oxygen mask on first.” We can’t take care of others if we are running out of air ourselves.

Be fierce, Be fabulous.!!!

Happy Women's day ladies!!!