|SPORTS & WELLNESS|
Have you ever imagined closing your eyes and standing at the edge? A step ahead, and the perfect free fall awaits you. The feeling is of nothingness one moment, and with a blast of air rushing past your body, you hit reality again.
For some this is a
dream, something that doesn’t have a place in their day-to-day lives,
but for some more adventurous souls, the reality is right here:
Welcome to the base from where you can look down to jump off and get the real feel of extreme adventure sport. This awfully risky, but extremely adventurous and a must-try sport is known as BASE jumping, where the BASE refers to buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliff). "I don’t remember being at the edge, but I remember the rush and how I felt like when I was floating during a free fall", says a base jumper after his first experience.
BASE jumping as a sport has evolved in the last few years because of the introduction of special jump suits or wing suits giving a shape of an airfoil to the human body. This helps create an ideal lift and allows the person to travel at outrageous speeds horizontally.
World-famous BASE jumper Miles D. says, "When you get out on the edge of the railing, it won’t be butterflies in your stomach. Those will be BATS, big ones, fluttering around!"
In BASE jumping, the landing part is comparatively technical, and the parachute must open quickly. BASE jumpers can use specially designed harnesses and parachute containers, with extra large pilot chutes.
Also, the venue for the landing is very small and thus, has to be planned accordingly. "Under the canopy, I think about my set up points and how and where to enter the landing pattern and where I want to land. But more than anything I think about how much fun and wonderful this sport is", says a BASE jumper.
If you are thinking that to experience this thrill, you should have been born in some other country, then think again. Adventure lovers are everywhere, and even in India, there are people who are climbing high to fall from anywhere.
One such adventure lover in our proximity is 39-year-old Archana Sardana, who was in Malaysia recently to jump off from the KL Tower, a height of 300 meters (984 feet).
The KL Tower BASE jump International Festival is held every year where BASE jumpers from across the world come to jump off the edge of the tower, groove inside the city and land at the arranged pits. Last week was the 15th anniversary of the tower.
Archana was the only Indian representative at the venue. Wife of Cdr. Rajiv Sardana, an avid mountaineer who is serving in the Indian Navy, Archana was born in Jammu and completed her schooling from Srinagar.
In 1997, she was married into this adventure- loving family in Panchkula, and since then, she has always been inspired by her husband to excel in these exciting sports. She did her Adventure, Basic and Advanced Mountaineering Courses from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi.
Archana has completed 250 jumps from 400-feet-high bridge in Utah, USA, and has successfully qualified for flag jumps. Today she is India’s first woman BASE jumper – a sport that is officially one of the world's riskiest extreme sport and has also registered her name in the Limca’s Book of World Records for creating a national record in BASE jumping.
In October 2010, Archana did 12 BASE jumps from the Towers Menara Alor Setar and Menara, Kuala Lumpur, at the Malaysia International BASE Jump 2010. She was the only Indian representative among 120 participants from 22 countries and was also the sole person to do a flag jump with the Indian flag.
Archana feels it was her family that actually made her take to adventure sport. On her experiences, she says, "The feeling is something that I cannot put in words. More than anything else, it opened up a whole new world in front of me. It now fascinates me to stand there some 400 feet high above the ground and then let myself free and jump. Undoubtedly, the risk is always there, but when you know what you are doing, you keep your focus on the job."
ALL FOR A CAUSE
Recently, Archana has ventured into extreme adventure sports activities to promote the ‘Save the girl child’ cause by creating awareness about female foeticide. Her motto says: Stronger Women - Stronger India. Archana was also awarded Adventurer of the Year Award 2010 that came as an encouragement for her to continue her thrilling moves in this extreme sport.
Getting ready every morning, we see ourselves in the mirror and think of doing something different to break the monotony in our lives. After living in virtually packed schedules and box-type lifestyles, there is a definite need to break free. BASE jumping might just be what you need! Try it out.
They say an Army man’s life is one that you cannot understand unless you have lived it. The sense of pride, the never-say-die attitude and the undying spirit to make the most of everything he lays his sights upon are traits that are generally associated with these real-life heroes of our nation.
So, it comes across as absolutely no surprise that these daredevils are all set to broaden their perspective and add one more feather to their already packed cap ... a dangerous, albeit thrilling ride in the Himalayas. But this is no joy ride, this is time for action. A time that will test all their skills, their temperament and push the strength of their character to its very threshold. This is the time to raid the Himalayas.
The Indian Army’s Adventure wing is again all set to participate in the 13th edition of the great Indian off-road rally known as the Raid de Himalaya.
In less than a week’s time, hundreds of professional and amateur race teams will descend upon the city of Shimla and the Himalayas beyond to try their luck in conquering the most challenging and unforgiving off-road race in India.
The event is known for its metal-cracking tracks and is considered to be among the toughest rallies in the world. Covering a distance of over 2,500 km, the rally will be passing through some of the toughest motorable roads in the world.
The event is scheduled to commence from October 9 and will be inaugurated by chief minister of Himachal Pardesh Prem Kumar Dhumal. And the Army men are all set to make their mark, or rather set the benchmark, as they so often do.
Speaking about the event and their preparation for it, team leader Lt Col H. S. Sidhu says that it is the biggest participation by the Army ever, with a total of 10 of their drivers in the fray for the Raid, thereby making it the biggest team ever. He further adds that the team will be competing with pure spirit and determination in both the X-treme and Adventure Category.
"We are going in with all our effort focussed on doing well. We have high standards to keep and once again the charge is lead by Raiders like Brar, Bajaj, Sidhu, Sohag, Subodh Verma and George," adds Sidhu.
Paris Hilton, who was recently in India to launch her signature collection of affordable luxury handbags and accessories, wowed everyone with her slim and toned figure. Describing her new approach to fitness, the star had sometime back said: "I've been doing pilates to help keep my body toned and cardio in the gym. I'm also eating a lean diet with lots of organic fruits, veggies and vitamin juices. I have so much energy."
Her diet, termed as the bikini diet as she used it to get her body bikini ready, is doing the rounds all around town. It is important for celebrities to look their best and they all rely on their image and their appearance to get work. Constant scrutiny of the media is tough, too. The media and the public are often relentless in their criticism and, as a result, physical appearances take high priority. A very valid example would be Kareena Kapoor’s quest for size zero after facing major criticism for her flab in film Don. To get dramatic results in short periods, celebrities go on extreme diets and fitness schedules.
Celebrity diets are very popular because people see the results the diets have to offer. And we are all obsessed with the quick-fix diets, hoping the secrets of celebrities can transform our figures, too. Celebrity plans have a tendency to promote a very quickfix, which are hard to stick to in the long term, as they are not sustainable.
Also, a lot of people are under the false impression that a large amount of celebrities are genetically endowed with good genes that result in a high metabolism and the ideal body. This is not the case, for what they don't realise is that celebrities generally have to work very hard to get in shape. So, it is not the diet alone but vigorous exercises which keep them in shape.
There are varieties of celebrity diets in the market. We all have heard of Demi Moore’s raw food diet, Reese Witherspoon’s baby food diet, Jennifer Lopez’s grapefruit oil diet, Beyonc`E9 master cleanser or lemonade diet, etc.`A0 But how healthy are these celebrity diets? And how realistic are they? These are questions we all need to ask ourselves before following these diets. Not all celebrity diets are bad, only most cannot be followed for a long term without compromising on macro and micronutrients in your body.
The baby food diet endorsed by Reese Witherspoon replaces two meals with baby food, but one regular meal is allowed. You lose weight fast because you’re eating small portions. However, it can never be a long-term diet as it causes nutritional deficiency, because adults need more vitamins and minerals than babies and eating pureed baby food loses its charm after a while.
The bikini diet endorsed by Paris Hilton seems to have only organic fruits, veggies and vitamin juices. There’s no mention of whole grains, proteins, calcium-rich low-fat dairy food, etc. It can not be a long-term diet.
Kareena Kapoor’s diet by Rujuta Diwekar gave her the much-talked about size zero. This diet is quite similar to Jorge Cruise’s the Three Hour Diet. Here, both portion control and timing are very important. All meals are balanced and around 400 calories each, with two snacks of about 100 calories in between. Her basic principles are eating breakfast within one hour of rising, eating every three hours thereafter and to stop eating three hours before bedtime. It is believed that eating this way increases the basal metabolic rate, increases energy and decreases appetite. Adequate water and nutritional supplements are a must. The problem with this is that it is impractical, as it not is possible to eat every three hours at work or school. Not everyone can control portion size and for him or her eating every three hours can lead to weight gain rather than loss.
Focus on eating nutritious food in the proper amount and at the right time. Any diet, which shuns a food group totally, or asks you to starve, cannot be healthy. Just because someone is a celebrity doesn't mean they know what they are talking about in terms of health. Don’t go in for extreme diets, as they can cause bone loss, hair loss, acidity, indigestion and ill-health.