The USA may have its Ironman played by the charismatic Robert Downey Jr. but at the end of the day, he’s fictional. Our homegrown Ironman, on the other hand, is real and so are his achievements. Introducing Divyam Singh, who recently completed the Ironman Triathlon, one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. The competition requires the participant to complete a 3.8 km swim, 180.2 km cycling and a 42.2 km run, in that order, within a time span of 15 hrs 30 mins.
Divyam emerged as the fastest Indian in the race with a finish time of 12 hrs 54 mins and was among the only seven Indians to do so. He accomplished this remarkable feat even though he has been managing a demanding corporate job. Today, we delve deeper into the many ups and downs in this journey, starting from losing himself in the abyss of depression, to weight gain, to finally triumphing over all of it to fulfill this dream.
It all began in 2015 when renowned Indian actor, Milind Soman completed the Ironman race. Divyam became deeply fascinated by the physical, mental, and spiritual demands of the grueling Ironman race. He developed an unwavering determination to experience it firsthand and earn the esteemed title. His journey of endurance and self-discovery unfolded over the next eight years, marked by key events that shaped his path to becoming an Ironman.
During the golden years of 2015 to early 2018, Divyam focused on building his endurance foundation. He achieved multiple podium finishes in cycling, conquered several half marathons, and honed his long-distance swimming abilities, laying the groundwork for future triumphs. However, late 2018 brought a severe blow to his progress as Divyam was diagnosed with clinical depression. Weight gain, loss of interest in fitness and daily activities, and an internal struggle characterized this challenging period.
In March 2019, Divyam achieved a significant milestone despite wrestling with his ailing mental health journey. He completed his first Half Ironman race, surpassing the daunting distances of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km cycling, and 21.1 km running. September 2019 marked a turning point as Divyam emerged as an Ultra distance swimmer, conquering a remarkable 10 km swim and securing a third-place finish.
However, increased dependency on medication, slowed metabolism, and weight gain in February 2020 compelled Divyam to seek alternative paths. He reinvested in meditation and yoga as potent countermeasures to medication. Additionally, his marriage to the love of his life became a catalyst, pushing him to new heights and deepening his understanding of his own capabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to June 2022 rekindled Divyam's interest in fitness and nutrition. Alongside shifting his dependency from anti-depressants to yoga and meditation, he also embarked on a vegan lifestyle for two years, embodying a holistic approach to well-being.
June 2022 dealt a devastating blow as Divyam was diagnosed with COVID-19, significantly diminishing his endurance. However, his unwavering determination pushed him forward, and he began preparing for his triumphant return to the Half Ironman race. Self-designing his training plan and nutrition, Divyam embraced his unique circumstances, driving himself closer to his ultimate goal. In November 2022, Divyam finished his second Half Ironman race, surpassing his previous timing and experiencing an emotional reconnection with his triathlon life.
Determined to achieve his dream, Divyam commenced his preparation for the Full Ironman race, scheduled for June 4th, 2023. From January to mid-April 2023, he meticulously scaled his training plan and nutrition, focusing solely on improving his fitness and inadvertently shedding weight. However, just one month prior to the grand event, Divyam was diagnosed with COVID, for the second time. He did not allow it to be a major setback and against all odds, he acted swiftly to preserve his endurance, facing the psychological challenge head-on. In the remaining weeks leading up to the event, he tirelessly pushed himself to regain his strength, although his threshold endurance had slightly diminished.
On June 4th, 2023, in the vibrant city of Hamburg, Germany, Divyam Singh accomplished what he had set out to achieve: he became a Indian Ironman. His personal target of a 12-13-hour finish was achieved, solidifying his status as an Ironman.
Divyam's unwavering commitment and consistent dedication serve as a testament to the extraordinary heights that can be reached when someone truly puts their mind to something. Divyam’s remarkable feat was not just a result of his daily, structured fitness routine but also his sheer mental strength, which propelled him to push the boundaries of his body. When our minds and body are in cohesion, we are capable of great things.
Divyam, through his incredible journey, hopes to inspire others to embrace a lifestyle of consistent fitness and unlock their own potential for greatness. As he continues to pursue his passion for fitness as an Ironman, he stands as a symbol that proves how determination and perseverance can conquer even the most difficult battles.
If you enjoyed reading this, here's more from Homegrown: