The urge to touch new heights is strong in some people. The journey towards achieving that goal can be quite an adventure. On September 14, the world celebrated World Pull Ups Day and an intrepid young man decided to do something not done before. Aviral Raj Gurung decided to do 2000 pull-ups in 12 hrs at Miramar beach. He was motivated by a desire to push himself mentally. In many senses, it was like the time when he ran a marathon. It is about battling your inner demons to emerge victorious. Aviral from Saligao is a professional athlete, who represents Goa in Calisthenics and practises every day for four to five hours. Going by the moniker ‘Nuclear’, he does not appear in public without a mask. Devoted to staying physically fit, he has a gymkhana in Aldona and is opening another one in Anjuna by the end of this month and in Siolim by the end of the year. Aviral was joined by friends Roger D’Silva and Jayesh Pednekar who are members of the Goa Calisthenics Movement.
It was quite a journey for Aviral as he went about achieving the target. He started around 8 o'clock in the morning averaging around four pull ups per minute. He maintained this pace for an hour. He had then reduced to three per minute and then increased to four per minute which he maintained till he reached his target.
Aviral said, “I was comfortable till I reached 1000-1500. After that it is all about your mentality. My bone in my shoulder started paining, after doing 20-30 reps; I had to apply pain release spray. Between 1400-1900 reps, my brain had zoned out and that was the battle.” To sustain himself, he kept drinking energy drinks to help his body recover fast, electrolytes for hydration and a lot of water. He and his friend finished 10 litres of water. His friend finished at 1500 reps and gave up. When they started off in the morning there was a bit of a crowd but it was only later in the evening at around 5.30 that friends, rivals came over to encourage him. Everyone did a combined number of approximately 17,000 pull-ups that day. Every year, people do a minimum of around 500 pull-ups that day.
The reaction of his family to the idea was one of surprise and incredulity. His two sisters took a bit of convincing but later were very encouraging. Once the feat was achieved, they were super proud of what he had achieved. As a creator of content on Instagram, he received commendations from his followers. This of course is not the first time has done something like this. He once did 1000 pushups in under 90 minutes. A feat which inspired a lot of people who tagged him.
Aviral says this feat of 2000 pullups was done with the intention of showing the benefit of calisthenics. “It is seen as a form that can have a positive impact on mental health. It is a great way to reduce stress and boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Calisthenics utilises the body's own weight as resistance, and is performed with minimal equipment, making it accessible to people of all fitness levels,” said Aviral. When asked what he intended to do in the future, he laughed and said that he had read that someone in Tamil Nadu has done 3000 pull-ups in one day and he would perhaps go ahead and break that record sometime in the future. Perhaps one can only wish him all the very best for that adventure.