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If we minutely look around us, we might be able to find out many inspiring human narratives that are no less than a saga of sheer determination and mental strength. Geeta Rao's (40) story is one of such exemplary accounts that is moulded with the fervour of never giving up. She braved her disability to pursue extraordinary dreams. She stayed focussed in pursuing her goal and earned several medals on her way. Disaster had struck Geeta when she was just three years old. Following a couple of weeks of high fever, she was diagnosed with polio that had infected her entire body. Doctors had said she might never be able to walk. Almost three decades later, Geeta pedalled her way to register her name in the Limca Book of Records by becoming India’s first differently-abled cyclist to complete the Super Randonneur in December 2017, an unbelievable 1,500-kilometres in 43 days. Super Randonneur is the title earned by any rider who completes a series of brevets (200, 300, 400, and 600 KM) in one Audax Calendar Year. While recalling about her formative years, Geeta gives credit to her family for raising her similar to her siblings without giving her any special treatment. "I am glad that my parents didn't treat me differently which has made me independent today. They all wanted me to stand on my own feet and could everything on my own. It was my determination to pursue goals, which has taken me here," said Geeta to The Bridge. Due to her illness, Geeta could not ride a bicycle in her childhood. In February 2016, she was first introduced to cycling. She started practising on the bicycle gifted to her seven-year-old nephew. In her initial days, she couldn't even cycle for 200 metres. But she didn't let failure to come in her way. Within a week she managed to handle the cycle of her own and she completed her first cycling event, a 14-kilometre green ride at a cyclothon.
"While riding the bicycle, I came across many athletes. I knew quite well about the technical aspect of my game. People advised me to try some special nutritional requirement for athletes apart from the regular home-cooked food I had. I started using Fast&Up products for their nutritional values. I used their products during my training as well as my cycling days. I found it suits my body pretty well. The products have been beneficial in my journey," said Geeta. Geeta is presently preparing to participate in one of her dream long-distance cycling event – The Paris Brest Paris (PBP-1200KM), a quadrennial event held in France. This year the event will take place in August. Geeta harbours the dream to represent India at the 2020 Paralympics in Japan. She said, "My ultimate goal is representing India in the Paralympics games. I am actively looking for sponsorship." The wheels have given wings to Geeta and every passing year; she aims to fly to greater heights.
Geeta, who knew all the technical aspects of cycling, says she owes a lot to the brand, Fast&Up India which offers products that caters all the nutritional needs of athletes.