Bengaluru resident Shreyas Karnad, who went from being 120 kg to 62 kg in three years, dedicates his accomplishment to clean eating habits and running. Here’s how he quit his job to turn into a coach with his initiative, Runners 360.
In 2012, Shreyas Karnad had a startling revelation one morning when he weighed himself. The scale indicated he was 62 kg. This was a milestone accomplishment for the then 25-year-old who, just three years ago, weighed 120 kg.
While he was thrilled at the weight transformation, he decided not to stop working on himself and transform his life with exercise and clean eating habits.
While Shreyas says running was something that greatly contributed to his weight management, he says he found a kind of solace in the sport.
“I loved running and would often think of how nice it would be to turn it into a profession,” he recounts in conversation with The Better India. Today, ten years later, Bengaluru-based Shreyas is living the dream.
Through ‘Runners 360’ — the initiative Shreyas started to coach people, of all ages and backgrounds, in running and fitness — he is making his contribution to the world.
‘I always wanted to be a coach’
As Shreyas recounts, he fell in love with running once he started. At the time, he was working in Singapore and would often visit a few running coaching classes.
“The beauty of these classes was that irrespective of the ages and backgrounds of the people who came here, everyone ran together. There were no barriers; people would just run. That’s when it hit me that the sport was beautiful and that it brought people together. I wanted to do something like this,” he says.
That same year, Shreyas returned to India and began working with a content development firm. He continued to run on the side.
“In 2015, I remember doing a 700 km bicycle trip cycling from Bengaluru to Mysuru, an activity that Isha Vidhya set up to raise funds for education in rural India. Later that year, they asked me to come to Coimbatore and train the monks associated with Isha Foundation in running and fitness. I agreed,” notes Shreyas.
However, following this, he met with a bike accident and was confined to his bed for months on end — a period that he recalls as being one of the toughest. He had severe pain and back issues.
“I began doing a lot of thinking during this time. The time I spent in my bed gave me space to think that if I hadn’t survived the accident, would I have been content with the life that I had lived? Had I harnessed my uniqueness in the world?”
It was during the same time that Shreyas pondered on how happy running made him, and when he was better, and Isha Foundation was having another event in Bengaluru in 2016, he joined in, taking a sabbatical from work for the same.
“This was where I began coaching people professionally in running, guiding them on how to warm up, how much they needed to run, etc,” he says.
He adds that the next assignment he got was in Karwar, where he had to get 2,000 people to run on the beach. Following the adrenaline of this event, Shreyas was faced with a tough thought, “Did I want to go back to corporate life or continue doing this?”
‘I decided to quit my job’
Shreyas chose the latter.
“I started coaching and travelling across India doing workshops in running and engaging in community building through these workshops. It’s a beautiful feeling,” he says. “To see people’s journeys and their commitment and dedication is amazing. Through my coaching, I have realised that often we have preconceived notions about people. Mindset is all you need to run, there is no age barrier.”
Shreyas elaborates that through Runners 360, they train IAS officers, CFOs, and even people who come from modest backgrounds.
“Over the last seven years, we have coached over 1,000 people. We want to help people run better. We want them to refine their technique and empower them with the right mindset,” he says.
As the 36-year-old looks back on the journey he has had, he says it has been filled with change and positivity.
“The beauty of my journey is that it is not simply a story of losing weight. It is a story of transforming my life and then sharing it with others looking to transform theirs,” he says.
(Edited by Pranita Bhat)