CTC Personalities – Varatha Raja

When we have all known about Vasool Raja this cover story brings us to know about an amazing Human being , Trekker, Cyclist, Tri-athlete,Volunteer and recently into ultra-running and its our one and only  Varatha Raja.
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How did you start with Chennai  Trekking Club ?
I started with CTC from the 2015 Chennai Floods. I was involved actively in rescue and immediate relief in quite a few places in and outside the city. During the course of this I heard about CTC and its work and joined them on Jan 1st 2016 early morning 5.30Am at Kotturpuram Nizhal Tree Park for a cleanup.
Share us your first event with CTC.
The need to begin a new year with something more satisfying than a drink and 12 hours sleep was the best decision I have ever taken in my life so far.
Believe me when I say, the experience was totally unbelievable. I loved each and every minute of it. The dirt, the plastics, the waste, the actual koovam, we were amidst everything and reeked of mild to moderately disgusting smells of various stages of decomposition even before the tea break.
The volunteers are the true pillars of CTC, the way they handled themselves and gave room for newbies to become a part of them was the turning point.
By the end of that day, we had cleaned the park, made the gutter flow without any block, emptied litres of tea and juice and made a bunch of new friends.
How did you move to the Fitness Activities?
CTC, apart from being a life changer in not only the civic sense, but also is physically enduring.
I was keenly involved in cleanups and sapling maintenance. Then slowly I began to notice that the volunteers who come for cleanups and maintenance also take part in many other activities like running, swimming, trekking, and ultra hill running and cycling .
Now, all these concepts were totally new to me, yes I do knew about them, but to get involved in them? No way!
But life plays games on us all… the need to be a part of it arose in me seeing my friends actively participating in it. Especially Ahamed Haniffa, one of the few whom I look up to and admire since my first day in CTC.
He is an avid runner, trekked, ultra hill runner, cyclist, and most importantly a bloody amazing friend.
So, thus came my first step into physical activity. Ahamed knew I would take the bait easily if it was anything related to water. So, he took me to my first session at ottiyambakkam open waters after a tiring Clean up under the harsh sun in the marshland of Pallikaranai.
That’s it, I totally fell in love with the quarry then and there.
Since then we are regulars and more than regulars there.
I am not a good swimmer, but I am decent enough to handle myself.
How did you land in doing Triathlon?
In march of 2016, CTC conducted its full iron triathlon and i was a volunteer for the swim rescue team. I was speechless looking at athletes participating in the tri event so confidently and gracefully. It ignited a spark somewhere within me and I started pestering my all time torture partner Ahamed about what’s it take to do the event.
Thus started my cycling and running(walking fast) in order to participate in the next triathlon.
In between all this I started going to weekday camps, blood donation camps, CCC7 awareness programme, and trekking with CTC.
What started as a serious practice for triathlon lost its momentum among so many other activities and the practice was just 1% when finally the day came.
I participated in the Sprint level Triathlon and completed only because of the push and boost of all my friends. It was such a rush to have your friends along when yo complete something that so many people told impossible for a guy weighing 170kg. Yes, I do weigh 169kg.
I make four times the effort a guy with regular weight does. Yes, swimming, cycling, running, trekking everything is that much hard for me, I feel sad about it, but when I am among all these wonderful people I have no problem… because they support me, push me, help me in any way they can and I love each and everyone boundless.

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What is that you dream to achieve?
My biggest achievement is CTC.
My biggest achievement in CTC is my FRIENDS.
Yes, I have a very silly goal in my mind.
I would love to win a medal in all four categories for the triathlon, sprint, Olympic, half and full.
It’s still a long way to go… but I will.
So much of motivation and support from the CTC family is such a blessing and to top it all Peter encourages me every time, everywhere, and gives me an opportunity to grow as a person and perform even among such hardcore ultra hill runners and cyclists.
Now, what more do I need to live among nature with so many thrilling and adventurous activities performed so close to nature along with like minded friends !
How do you do a work life balance?

Hi, jobs have never been my forte, since my college days I have always had an eye of business and took it up seriously. I am an freelance SEO analyst and this gives me flexible working hours and ample time to engage in all my other interests which I totally love about my life now.
About the Author:
Satheesh works as Supply Chain Consultant in Leading IT company. He loves outdoor with intrests in running,photography & farming.You can follow his work on http://hummingbirdd.blogspot.in/

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