AFTER developing a running habit over the past 12 months, Desan Padayachee decided it was time to work your upper body.
âMy end goal is to be built like Terry Crews,â Desan smiles.
Last year, at age 42, he received the wake up the call of a lifetime when diagnosed with diabetes.
Tipping the scales at 120kg, he decided it was time to focus on his health, and so, for the first time in his life, he started running every morning.
âI got in shape because of the diabetes diagnosis on July 7, 2019,â he said.
“I tried hard to run further, to break personal bests and to feel better.”
Shrinking down and locked into the new habit, Desan began to have the idea of ââvarying his fitness program to include strength training.
Just at the right time, a nomination came in to attempt the 25 Day Push Up Challenge, in which nominees are required to post a Facebook video of themselves doing 25 push-ups per day for 25 days, to help raise awareness of the disorder. from post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.
âNormally I just read past these emails and challenges,â he said.
âBut I saw a few people take on the push-up challenge and when the nomination came from a friend, given that fitness is my new hobby and for a good cause of mental health, I thought about why not.
âI needed a kick from the back to start the strength work because I was really addicted to running.
“But as soon as I started the push-ups I felt the muscles get stronger.”
Like running 12 months earlier, it was a completely new concept for Desan, and the last painful push-ups from day one are almost painful to watch.
âThe first few days I rested, but then I started to feel stronger and see the time reduce.â
Desan is well known in Grafton as a charismatic artist who has little trouble making audiences laugh either as actor on stage, humorist, MC for Queen Jacaranda’s annual coronation ceremony, or just in casual conversation.
So it was no surprise that, in typical community spirit, his daily pushups quickly took their life, turning into a scenic tour of Grafton, incorporated into his morning walks with his wife Misty, daughter Paisley and two boxers who cheered him. on, each time signed with his infectious flashy smile.
âThe first couple I did in the living room. But every morning (after the race) I take the dogs for a walk with the family, and my wife Misty actually said why not do it here at the bridge?
âEvery day we started doing it in a different place and friends started commenting on it.
âShe wouldn’t have seen the new bridge, so we figured we needed to do one at the Clock Tower.
âWe were at the skate park and the sun was barely rising, and we thought about ‘silhouette push ups.’ These are actually my favorite because they look like one handed.
“Then I started doing it outside of some of my favorite stores that I have a connection with.”
During her 25-day challenge, Desan achieved a milestone – a total weight loss of 40 kilograms.
âA year to the day, up to 80 kg,â he said. âI have no more drugs and according to the blood levels, I am no longer in the category of diabetics.
“A week ago I went down from 79.6 and Misty said that was ridiculous, now you’re scaring me.”
Desan might start to struggle to stay below the magic 80-kilo bar as he steps up his new weight training regimen launched by the push up challenge.
âI even cut back on running every other day and off days to do strength work.
âI started off weightless just to get a feel for the technique and use some new muscles.
“My end goal is to be built like Terry Crews.”
Meanwhile, the daily push up tour may well become a permanent thing too.
Not only did Desan crack on the 25th, but he did so three days earlier than he realized. Some surveys on his Facebook page revealed that he doubled down on days 11, 12 and 21.
As Vice-president of the Jacaranda Festival, it was fitting that he completed the challenge outside of Jaca’s HQ in Prince St. However, it was actually day 28, and day 25 arrived at the new exercise equipment at Ellem Oval.
âI remember voting online for this equipment, with the parts less moving and less likely to be vandalized,â said Desan, who hinted at a future in local politics.
Since then, Desan has ticked off Ellem Oval with his father, the Daily Examiner parking lot and among the breakers on the Yamba rocks.
âI could just go on,â he said.
Where will Desan appear next?