“Keep digging life’s tunnel with hard work and one day, the bright light will illuminate your whole life”- Ritu Medtwal

“Keep digging life’s tunnel with hard work and one day, the bright light will illuminate your whole life”- Ritu Medtwal

अगर आप इसे हिंदी में पढ़ना चाहते है

 

Hey stubborn army!!!

We are back once again with another glorious tale which is filled with moments of unimaginable strength, unbelievable hard work and above all out of the world stubbornness. 

We are talking about once of the known faces in the Indian Fitness Industry, a national Powerlifting Champ and a Bokwa Master Trainer. She has been through tones and tones of hard work to reach the shining pedestal. 

Her tale begins from being the typical Indian ‘Do Chotti Girl’ and becomes a never ending tale of constant will to work hard to be the best in everything. Whatever she has taken on she has turned it into gold, through her burning desire to learn. She is the perfect example of the quote -“ Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

So come with us, on the journey in the life of a small town shy girl, Ritu Medtwal. She will tell us her tale as she goes through the enormous pains and the glorious victories, the falling down and rising ups and the sadness valleys to the happy peaks ….

A Childhood Within the Four Walls of Home

College - Journey of discovering myself

The day finally came when I first stepped in college. A nice campus with departments scattered around and lush green lawns and playgrounds in between. It was a mystic place, which felt like a dream for a girl from such a small town and conservative background.

What was more mystic than college ? The Hostel !!!

The first night in the hostel is something that I would never forget in my whole life. I was standing amidst around thirty other girls , all wearing Salwar Suits and having “Do Choti” as the hairstyle. Before us stood the final year seniors of our college. 

It was our first “CALL”. That’s What ragging was called at that time. I was standing there trying to hide somewhere in the crowd so that I don’t have to speak something before so many people.

One of my super seniors noticed me and asked me “What is your hobby? ” I replied in a stuttering voice “Dancing.” They got a chance for entertainment and why would they miss out on such an opportunity, so they asked me to dance. They played a song randomly and I still remember it was ‘Twist’ from the movie ‘Love Aaj Kal ’. I danced and that’s where my journey in dance began.

Seniors liked my dance a lot and then I became famous as a good dancer in my hostel and then eventually in college. My dance then got a stage, when I started participating in college dance competitions. I started winning those competitions, then got to participate at inter college level and eventually at inter university level and I came out on top in all the competitions.

My journey as a dancer just kicked off but I never knew that one day I will have a career in this. 

Then I got to meet the mentor Ms. Neetu Chopra (Free Flying Eagle as known on social media

She was the ‘Miss fresher’ of her batch & super active in college in every co-curricular activity. During preparations for the ‘Miss Freshers Competition’ and motivated me a lot. Although I didn’t win the competition but it was ok because more important was that, I  got a good senior junior bond with her. She was the one who saw potential in me and made every effort that can help me grow. Her guidance was with me in a very long phase of my life. 

When I came to college, I used to stutter even when talking to girls and talking to boys was out of the question. You know what, Neetu di did to help me with this phobia, She prepared me for a university level debate competition. Every paragraph used to take hours and hours to understand. My hard work paid off and I won the university level debate competition.

That’s how my years in the college were passing by…

Marching on the RajPath

In freshman year, I joined the NCC(National Cadet Corps) Air Wing. NCC was where I learnt virtues like discipline, confidence, teamwork and many more that have been with me ever since.

When I first started to attend the NCC training, it was due to interest but I don’t know when it turned into a passion. I worked hard day in day out to become the best at marching. My marching skills became of the highest quality in my whole unit.

Even my CO sir used to appreciate my hard work and you know how difficult it is to get appreciated by an army officer. I even used to march in the hostel corridors so that marching becomes my second nature. I was eventually given the post of Cadet Warrant Officer. 

Then came a I won’t say golden rather a diamond opportunity came in the form of the RDC ( Republic Day Camp). It is the highest possible training for a NCC cadet as this is a 6 month long camp where you attend back to back training at many places. Then comes a final camp in New Delhi, after which students are selected for marching on the prestigious Rajpath on 

26th of January.

It was the opportunity of a lifetime and I was ready to give it everything I got. To attend RDC, I had to give up a semester in college. When I asked the college authorities, they just said a two letter word NO! 

It was a back and forth struggle and then eventually we managed to convince the authorities to let me give the semester exams in the next semester. 

I went through the rigorous training at every level and gave it my 100%. I was one of the few ones who were chosen for the New Delhi camp. That camp was for a month but that month was actually longer than years because of the immense training.

We were taken out for practice drills at 2 AM in the morning, then we used to train for about ten hours a day. Then when we were finally allowed to sleep, we used to sleep with the army boots on and rifles near us because we again have to go for training in a few hours.

Two times in that training my nails just got extirpated from my feet and even today they are not normal. 

After every pain and hardship, the day for the final selection came. My chances were so slim that if we see it in percentage it would be 0.00000000001% . In my life I have realised that ‘Whenever I put in my 100% then I achieve whatever I want to but even if I go to 99% then I won’t get it’ 

As this fortunately I had put in a 100, I got selected for marching on Republic Day in front of The Prime Minister, The President and other huge diganatories.

On 26th January 2011, there I was in the NCC unit, saluting to people on the highest pedestal in our country. With shimmering eyes but confident expressions and flawless march I went past one of the most proud moments in my life…

On just the next day, 27th January. I was given another honor. I led Rajasthan team holding the prestigious uit flag in the mesmerizing PM rally. It was also an experience that echoes in my heart whenever I am low. 

Tackling the Financial Bull

After the RDC, when I came back to college. I got a call from my home. The message for me was that the financial crisis of my family had worsened. Now I had two options 

 

  • Quit education and go home. Get married and live life like it was never yours.

 

  • Support myself financially and continue education.

 

 

Option one was never really an option because I never wanted to live the “Shadi Bche Paisa” life. I am not saying it’s wrong but it was never meant for me. So now comes the real deal, now I have to support myself financially .

I was very afraid and I just thought that I had come to a dead end because I had never worked to earn. I even cried out aloud after thinking about this but my batch mates and seniors motivated me. 

Neetu di came forward as she had been in the same situation so she motivated me and We both started to do a part time job. We used to work on an Ice Cream Parlour from evening 6 to morning 12 and then there was college from 10 to 5.

I had to leave the hostel as there was no entry after 6 PM. 

We started the job and it was full of challenges. Everything in life is not always positive, sometimes you have to face what you never wanted to. We were looked down upon by the customers there as we were working as servers. At 12 AM we used to be two girls alone on the streets and we used to take huge risks by taking lifts. Neetu was so good at this that it was sometimes hilarious.

That’s how I earned the first Rs. 3000 of my life. Then we went from job to job just to survive. There were days when we used to eat a plate of ‘Pani Puri ’ and half a plate of ‘Pulav’ the whole day and yet saved money just to survive. We were so strict on savings that we used to save Rs.2000 from the mere Rs 3000 we earned. We started to put that money in a RD (Regular Deposit) and RD after RD we saved money that can support us in any unfavourable condition.

Dancing the way out

In between these back to back jobs. I started to feel gravitated to learn to dance.  When I first went to learn dancing. My teacher was so impressed by my hard work that he didn’t charge me the fee in my initial months.

I remember when I first started to learn dancing just to win a college competition “Kahta hai mera ye dil piya “ from choreographer Godwil sir. We paid Rs.500 for the classes. Can you guess how much money I made after paying 500? At least Rs. 5000+ by teaching others. This gave me confidence and I turned into a choreographer from a dancer. 

As I grew in dancing, Neetu made a way to make money out of it.She started to take choreography events where I used to be the choreographer. She is one heck of a marketeer. She used to brand me so well that we started making good money.

I started to dance more and more. I changed class after class to learn everything I could. Then I got a proper job of taking aerobics sessions in the morning and evening. The money I earned helped me cope with the expenses.

Also Neetu wanted to create my public face value so she kept insisting on participating in dance competitions. There was always a 500-1000rs fee for auditions but somehow magically She would make ‘Jugaad’ and I would participate in a lot of competitions. One of the most remarkable competitions was the one organised by ‘Rhythm Dance Academy’ which was judged by  Dharmesh Sir.

At that time I was not learning from anyone but through my hard work and some brain tickling ideas by Neetu, I choreographed myself. Magically, I won the third prize in such a huge competition. After this I participated again and again in various competitions by celebrity dancers like Saroj Khan mam, Terrance Luis Sir, Sumit Pandam SIr  Rajeev surti Sir and many more.

I started to get good recognition in Udaipur as a brilliant dancer.So that’s how dance became my way out of all the financial troubles..

This way I came to the final year of my college, struggling here and there and still working hard to achieve and learn more and more. I was not very good at mental things like studying, practical exams etc but Neetu Di helped me a lot. She used to make easy notes for me from those monstrous books. I also used to put in the best I could. This way with our combined efforts I maintained second position in my class till the final year.

One more moment of glory came when I was awarded the Best Outgoing Student Award because of the various co-curricular victories and successes I had achieved.

Also I was awarded with the biggest award of the university. The ‘Ability Award’ for representing my university at the RDC.

This way my college life came to end, but now the way forward was not going to be an easy one…

From Dance to Dancing Fitness

When the degree ended, once again there came two options either go home and again “shadi bache etc” and another one was to do masters. I filled the form for a M.Sc. and somehow managed to pay the fee. 

One day Neetu di asked me “Tujhe sach mai padna hai ?” and that question just penetrated right through my heart and my heart just bursted out “Nahi”, I told her that I wanted to go for Dance as a career

I wanted to live a life where I am known for my dance. I wanted my art to be my identity. At that time I dreamt of becoming a TV Celebrity. I was crazy for Dance India Dance. I had learnt from every dance guru that was there in Udaipur, so we would have to move to somewhere else. 

I participated in a group dance competition where Sumit Pandam Sir was the judge. He was a DID fame & ABCD movie fame, so Neetu contacted his classes from facebook and then we decided to move to Vadodara.

We chose Vadodara, as there were always two or three people from Vadodara who would qualify for national television dance shows. I also wanted to be in them so my training started. I was trained at TANZEN Academy run by Sumit Pendum sir. We used to be trained by celebrity dancers there. It was here when I grew the maximum in dance.

Neetu the marketeer was awakened once again. She used to find events, roadshows and even organised events which became our bread and butter. We were earning quite well but I used to spend everything that I earned in learning something new. 

When I was taking classes at TANZAN, Neetu decided to register her event company. I had one various dance competitions and during classes also I got noticed by celebrity dancers, so Neetu created a portfolio of mine. She had a very unique experience of marketing and business because of the jobs she had done in her past. Once again she wrecked her brain and found out a great idea. She started organising workshops. We did our first workshop in my home land Bhilwara and it was quite successful. During workshops we used to invite celebrities to different places and Neetu made a pattern where I could share the stage with the celebrity dancers.

I shared the stage with krump queen Nidhi Patel, big dancing superstar Sushant Khatri, Altaff,  sir, Hemant Gorkha.  These people were like ‘chandan’ , they always left a fragrance on me behind that’s why I started becoming a celebrity and people would wait for autographs and selfies.

Then came a moment  when I became a judge in  Tap Your Toe organised by Nitanju Events, I auditioned the contestants  and the final judge was Sushant Khatri (Dance plus & Street Dancer Movie fame).

Every year I used to audition for various T.V. shows but T.V. shows don’t only need dance they also need some ‘masala’ story behind it, so I was unfortunately not able to qualify for T.V. appearances.  

My Dance mentor at Tanzan Mr. Santust Kansara offered me a aerobics batch at 360 degree dance fitness. The owner liked my skills and I got continuous batches with a good pay. There  I met Mr Nilesh Fatnani who told me about BOKWA Fitness.

I never knew that Bokwa was going to be the next sun shining upon me… 

Bokwa & Zumba- ‘The Beats of my life’

My zeal to learn something new has always been very strong and when the new thing pulls me out of my comfort zone then that is the best for me. I believe in growing each and every day.

One such thing came in my life, the new way of maintaining fitness through dance Bokwa and Zumba. I started learning these forms just for fun and then I went deeper and deeper.

Then I came to know that there were international certification programmes with higher fees but more exposure. Neetu was my business backbone, she knew how to invest in ourselves & recover the money with perfect calculations. 

We didn’t have sufficient money that time so we used  every possible way, even loans and credit cards. I paid my Zumba certification fees that was around 16000/- after which I went for Bokwa level-1 cert by paying charges of 12600/-. 

After that I almost did every new level of Bokwa that was introduced in India. Level-2, step & up, Tone & core, Punch & strike, Bokwa Ambassadors training with spending almost Rs. 1 lakh. In those days, no one would think about spending such huge amounts for just training but we did. You won’t believe that I accompanied My instructor Nilesh Fatnani sir for three back to back certifications. I became the first official  BT (Bokwa Trainee) to get paid by the brand .

Then we planned fitness workshops in different cities. Monday to Friday I took the regular batches and then Saturday & Sunday I took ‘Master Classes’ at different places and in that one day one hour we used to earn 10-15k, no day was free and we used to have booking schedules for next 2-3 months every time.

We organised Master Classes at Bhilwara, Ajmer, Dungarpur, Bharuch, Vadodara almost everywhere in the country.. 

That was our time, We made  really good money with smart work, our living standards  increased and we became settled & resourceful that time.

I grew more and more in this field and as I used to keep myself updated, so I started to become popular in the fitness community.

I became ‘Bokwa Trainer’ then became ‘Bokwa Ambassador ’ for Rajasthan and Gujarat. I started taking sessions after sessions. Eventually dance started to get sidelined as the new bread and butter were these fitness dances. I used to dance only for my interest. 

Eventually I became a ‘BEST (BOKWA EDUCATION SPECIALIST TRAINER) of Rajasthan & Gujarat State in Bokwa. For the first time when Bokwa Sequence Shoot happened in India, only the best of the best Bokwa instructors were invited. 

Generally they used to take only foreigners to lead the sequence shoots but this time they gave this opportunity to someone ‘Desi’ and I am gald that I was the ‘Desi’ they chose. They said to the Master Trainers to bring their teams to Chennai. It was very difficult to manage the funds for taking instructors to Chennai on our own expenses.

The ideamaker once again, produced a brilliant idea and through sponsorships and preparatory events we were able to manage the funds to go there. I led team Rajasthan and represented our state there. When our team performed the Bokwa team was so impressed that they awarded team Rajasthan with ‘Wall of Fame Award’ and also I was awarded for being the trainer, to have completed the most certifications back to back. 

Then I was chosen to lead for the sequence shoot. I was very nervous and camera fear was striking me once and again. When I just started moving, I came in the moment and forgot everything because Bokwa had become my second heartbeat.

Mr. Paul Mavi, the creator of Bokwa came up to me after the shoot and just said ‘You were the best’. 

The sentence came like 440V of happiness but deep down in my heart I knew that now my life is once again going to take a turn.

Powerlifting Every Rock That Came My Way

After reaching the top of the pedestals of Bokwa, It was time that my inner fire of learning something new came back. This time it was even stronger. I had an athletic physique from the beginning but I never did weight-training.

As I started to get public platforms like ‘Happy Streets’, an initiative by Times of India where we got a chance to perform in front of lakhs of people. I started getting inquiries from home & society’s group training. 

I also got enquiries for personal training and also this field had more scope. I decided to go for a proper course.

I chose one of the best mentors throughout the nation Mr. Jwalant Bhatt , who has worked in the fitness field for 35 years. The way he can teach the basics of fitness and physique building is amazing.

I once again started giving 100% for this. I had to give up some of the sessions to continue weight training, I started becoming more and more concerned of the nutrition and sleep patterns and basically everything that was important for my physique.

One day, when I was taking a Zumba session at a gym. I became late there so I had to do a  work-out there. The owner of the gym saw me and he was very impressed by my exercise form. So he asked me why I don’t do Powerlifting.

As I didn’t know what Powerlifting was, so I asked him to explain to me the sport. He explained how Powerlifting worked. I somehow liked it. So there was a PowerLifting competition in two days. I trained for the competition for just two days.

 

One day, when I was taking a Zumba session at a gym. I became late there so I had to do a  work-out there. The owner of the gym saw me and he was very impressed by my exercise form. So he asked me why I don’t do Powerlifting.

As I didn’t know what Powerlifting was, so I asked him to explain to me the sport. He explained how Powerlifting worked. I somehow liked it. So there was a PowerLifting competition in two days. I trained for the competition for just two days.

When I competed, I won a Silver Medal at a district competition. This made me motivated. I believe that “When You are rewarded for your hard work you feel more and more like doing it” 

I trained day in day out for the competitions. I won medal after medal at the state level. Then came the nationals. When I stepped onto the field to lift, I was very nervous but my hard work was  with me. Eventually I won the Bronze Medal at the nationals. It was a moment where every second that I spent in the gym just came back to me and I felt the happiness of a well deserved victory.

Training Beyond the Country Lands

As they say “Where there is will, there is way” but in my career I have seen that once you start walking on the way of your will then life opens more and more doors in that way. Once you put yourself in it, then destiny also holds your hand and takes you higher and higher.

My destiny gave me such an opportunity. One day I got a call from a gym in Vietnam, they wanted to invite me for a series of workshops at different cities of the country. They got my details from a video that I posted on social media. I was very happy to work on the project as this was going to be an experience of a lifetime.

They offered me a contract for a year and I was really very excited so I agreed to it. I also speculated that once I do this contract I might get contacted for some other international sessions, so I wound up everything. I even sold my stuff that I had here in Vadodara.

Once I took off, I had butterflies in my stomach and a will to shine in a foreign country too. Also I was stepping outside our country for the first time, so I was also not aware of the cultural differences that I might see there.

When the flight landed and I stepped out of the airport, a bunch of people stood there just to welcome me. They drove me through the aesthetically beautiful streets of VIetnam. They organized a welcome party for me and we had a proper inaugural event. 

After the first workshop, I was amazed by a lot of things. The people of Vietnam don’t speak English, they are only comfortable in their mother tongue VIetnamese. Also the food they eat just blew my mind, from bats to snakes, you can find everything hanging on those small stalls by the street.

I completed the session in only 6 months because I was having a little bit of problem managing my  diet there. The food they ate was never meant for me. Throughout the workshops, I got a chance

to catch the glimpse of the beautiful landscapes and the culturally rich streets. The people were really very hospitable.

I also got a bit of time between the day I ended the sessions and the day I was going to fly back to India. I utilised it to stroll around the beautiful cities and to experience Vietnamese culture. THe country was quite inexpensive and yet very beautiful.

When I came back to India , I was back to square one because I had wound up everything before leaving. It took me a few months to settle down again and reach the flow I was at before but once I came in form, everything was just history 

The Love of Fitness

Today, I am so engrossed in fitness that now it has become my work, my passion rather let’s say it is my everything. I am a personal trainer and I also take Zumba and Bokwa sessions at various gyms.

Also for the past one year I have become a Yoga Enthusiast. Yoga has been enriching me this year and made a better person out of me . I have become a ‘patient passionate’.

The Covid Lockdown has now made my phone the gym as I train with my phone and even give training through it only. Now the video calling platforms are the new crossfit.I have also taken a challenge on Instagram, and I put a post daily that is related to fitness and I have been getting a very loveable response on those

What’s Next

I want to be a top quality athlete and that’s why, I have been training day in and day out to reach the physique that could inspire others to take the toil and do something for their bodies.

All in all I am building the road to glory with pure hard work.

A Message for You

I just want to say that, whatever you do, don’t get stuck on something. You should have options open to you. Throughout my career till today I have tried to open doors after doors  without getting stuck to a single thing.

One more thing I would love to add is that do whatever you want but give it 100% and keep giving that effort each and every moment.

Every Athlete has extra expenditure to maintain their diet, physique and this requires a lot of finances. I want to fight & I am sure I will but records and huge events need loads of focus and money.

So I am looking forward to some big brands who can offer me sponsorship so I can go for bigger opportunities and definitely I will create a new chapter in the Indian history.

So stubborn people, this was the journey of Ritu Medtwal from the four walls of her home to reach a global stage today. We should learn from her persistence.

From broken nails to injured back, she went through it all with passion and zeal. Her fire to learn is something that everyone should have. So let’s pledge to learn something every day and drive this lesson home.

We will be back with a new tale that will blow your minds and heighten you heartbeats till then 

Stay Passionate, Stay Stubborn

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