Pune based powerlifter Bhavna Tokekar, a 47-year-old mother of two teenagers, says that she looks up to Mary Kom. "She went ahead with marriage, had kids and still competed where people had ruled out that she is finished now. Family first and rest everything later," she says.
Tokekar was born in Vidisha and brought up in Gujarat. She started pursuing her passion for weight training six years ago and has recently won gold medals for the country at the Open Asian Powerlifting Championships of AWPC/ WPC at Chelyabinsk in Russia.
She speaks to SheThePeople.TV about her passion for powerlifting, how society and her family perceive it, the difference it has made to her life and her future plans with powerlifting.
"Powerlifting gives me a high and I feel good"
"I wanted to become fitter, I wanted to be stronger and that's when I started weight training," Tokekar reveals, adding that her decision didn't garner many positive views. Her gym friends told her that she would look masculine. "Some of my female gym friends jokingly call me Bhai," says she. Interestingly, she didn't seek any professional help for the same.
I look upto Mary Kom. She went ahead with marriage, had kids and still competed where people had ruled out that she is finished now.Family first and rest everything later. - Bhavna
However, she bubbles with pride in revealing that her family's reaction has been great. It has been a great pillar of strength for her and now she has their backs.
Talking about the positive impact powerlifting had on her, she said that it has given her a lot of confidence." It gives me a high and I feel good".
There's nothing like pre or post-motherhood
On asked about what advice she would like to give to women who wish to pursue their passion post motherhood, she says, "There is nothing like post or pre-motherhood. Whatever you enjoy, you have to keep doing it without thinking of the benefits. Motherhood isn't something that's forced upon you. It is something you should cherish you should enjoy and be proud of, because you are raising the future of our country. You are bringing a child to this world and you should be proud of it. It should be the priority of all the mothers to raise their children properly."
Motherhood isn't something that's forced upon you. It is something you should cherish you should enjoy and be proud of because you are raising the future of our country. - Bhavna
"I just wanted to be fit so I started it at home. There are ways to do weight training. But if you want to do it professionally, then you have to hire a coach who will properly guide you. It is expensive but if you are doing it to maintain your muscle mass and stay fit, you can do it at home also," she shares.
Talking about her future plans, she says that she is planning to go for World Powerlifting in Moscow in December and is looking for sponsors for that. Her husband has been sponsoring her till now.