Sunday, November 20, 2016

Breaking a Guinness World Record with #PumaWomen. #DoYou

My Zumba instructor Radha had posted a message on our group about registering for the #DoYou planking attempt to break a world record. Fortunately, I know what planks are and the correct way to do them, because my Zumba instructor would occasionally make us do them in our class. But I was very skeptical about pulling it off for 60+ seconds. The best I had done till now was 30-40 seconds, that itself took a lot of efforts.

What is a plank? (As stated in Wikipedia)

The plank (also called a front holdhover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.

The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. The arms should be directly under the shoulders, with the entire body in a straight line (from toes to head) and the back completely flat, neither arched nor rounded. Many variations exist such as the side plank and the reverse plank.The plank is commonly practiced in pilates and yoga, and by those training for boxing and other sports.

So basically, since your whole body's weight is borne on your forearms, elbows and toes; I believe that the heavier you are, the more difficult it is initially. And post delivery, I have not really managed to lose much weight. Hence planking has been a challenge.

I was not going to go, since I thought I could not attempt. Then I got invited to cover the event as a blogger/influencer, this was a sign, that I had to go. We did a couple of practice sessions at Zumba, and I managed 50s. Your whole body vibrates as a process of strengthening your core.

On the day of the attempt, we reached the venue - Jio Garden, BKC around 1.30pm. I had taken my sister-in-law along with me, since she is into fitness and is a huge fan of Jacqueline  Fernandis, who was supposed to be there. 4 of my Zumba peeps, along with my instructor were also there. We got a tank top upon registering (I got my media badge in addition), and there was to be a screening test next.

It was a smart thing, screen first so that while the actual attempt happens, there aren't too many disqualifications. I was a little nervous, but nevertheless went for the screening. Surprisingly, I completed the 60s test easily, without too much of an effort. I don't know if it was the adrenaline rush, the vibe of the place or the determination that I had to be a part of the attempt that made me push my limits.

We got our 'golden band' and proceeded further. There was a photo-booth which we queued up for, but after waiting for almost an our we reached and they shut it down because it was almost time to start gathering for the 1st attempt. :(

It was crazy, all of us excited and nervous...there were small girls and there were old ladies, all taking part, it was commendable! We had a lot of celebs amongst us - RJ Malishka & VJ Anusha were hosts for the day. We had Sakshi Malik, Kalki Koechlin, Jacqueline Fernandis, Tashi & Nungshi Malik - first twins to climb the everest, Ujwala Raut, Anushka Manchanda and Sucheta Pal, to name a few.

We soon took our positions and they counted the total people and gave us instructions for the attempt. If at all we failed the first attempt for any reason, we would get a second chance. The previous record was set in HongKong where around 1400 people (men and women) had taken the challenge. It was a proud feeling that we were all women attempting this.

The moment was here and I was very queasy. Because I wanted to pee, and because I was hungry (had a late breakfast and no lunch) and I was nervous ofcourse. We all attempted, it was a sight to see - the sea of tangerines. Honestly, it was very tough for me. I wanted to give up, fall down, I kept telling myself that I could not disappoint everyone now, I could not disappoint myself, my Zumba instructor now. And then they announced that the time was up. We were all pretty thrilled, we were positive that we must have done it and there wouldn't be any need for a 2nd attempt. Honestly, I wasn't so sure if I could survive a second attempt. I should not have exerted myself earlier.

In the interim while the Guinness team scrutinised their recorded videos and we waited for the outcome, we had a Zumba session by Sucheta Pal. I was really hungry, but did not eat because what if there was one more attempt to be done?

After around 45 minutes, it was time to know how did we fare. The minute the Guinness representative announced we had broken the record, everyone literally ran towards the certificate collection point. We were 1623 people, after around 76 disqualifications It took some time, depending on your initial. Finally we had our certificate, collected our bags from the baggage counter and left to go grab a decent meal after the tiring yet awesome day.

The event was very well organized by the Puma team, it must be difficult to manage around 2000 women! I now know the importance and benefits of planking, and have vowed to get better with a target of being able to pull it off for 2-3 minutes eventually.

On 11th October’16, on the occasion of International Girl Child Day, PUMA had launched DO YOU – a movement with women at the core of it. Launched internationally last month, the campaign aimed to inspire confidence in women across the Globe to do what they want to do. “#DOYOU” is all about expressing your core strength that stems from your inherent beliefs and individuality. Through this campaign PUMA encouraged women to follow their instincts and find their best self, to DO YOU and be who YOU are, unapologetically. 

Follow @PUMAWomen and @PUMA for the latest news on the campaign. 💜

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