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Wisdom Stories Ep.10: Ms. Poonam Chadha

Cultural expectations surrounding the elderly are being challenged today, and with good reason!

While it was the norm to slow down and retreat into a quieter life post-retirement, more men and women are finding purpose and joy in doing the opposite.

WisdomCircle honours such men and women by shining light on their journey through an inspiring series called “Wisdom Stories”. These people have successfully smashed stereotypes, and their stories remind us that life should be lived to the fullest, no matter what age or stage.

“If you love the process, you will enjoy the ride”

“I’m a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to many! Much like most women in our society, I wear various hats and much like them, I’ve lost a bit of myself as I’ve stumbled into these roles. My life changed, mostly for the good, when I got married and moved to Delhi from Mumbai. I had to adjust significantly as my husband was the only anchor that reminded me of my previous life. I became a homemaker first, a mother to two beautiful kids next, and somewhere along the lines, I gave up my dream of becoming a Chef.

“I often find myself drawing strength from my mother” Photo Credits: Poonam Chadha

I won’t pretend that I don’t have my moments of weakness, but I often find myself drawing strength from my mother – she’s had an exceptional life and continues to find joy in little things. She has always pushed me to act and improve my situation. When my kids became teenagers, I was no longer the centre of their lives, and I found myself purposeless. My mother urged me to get into fitness and put myself first. That was the start of my second innings!

“The greatest lesson I’ve learnt is to find one’s purpose”

The greatest lesson I’ve learnt is to find one’s purpose. And it doesn’t need to be monumental. It just needs to be something you can build yourself around. No 10 km run is the same. Some are enjoyable, but most are painful and tiring. But I keep pushing, else I would not feel the joy of accomplishing my goal. 

“Holding the trophy at my age as the fastest team and single runner feels surreal” Photo Credit: Poonam Chadha

My message to the wisdom generation is to never stop believing. Also, don’t be afraid of spending time with yourself – solitude can do wonderful things. Not all stories need to have a fairy tale ending, but if you love the process, you will enjoy the ride. I wouldn’t change anything in my life. After all, it has led me to this moment, where you want to know me and help share my story. I must have done something right and hopefully, I can inspire someone else to break through.

The exhilarating feeling of a podium finish! Photo Credit: Poonam Chadha

Poonam Chadha, Fitness Enthusiast and Marathon Runner

Photo and Interview Credits: Saonli Sen Choudhury of WisdomCircle

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