“My blade are my wings to fly”- My Take by Sajesh Krishnan, Kerala’s first blade runner
In My Take this week, we have Kerala’s first blade runner Sajesh Krishnan, a 31-year-old engineer and avid marathoner.
As a teenager, I was never interested in sports. I was just like any other person who wanted to live life to the fullest with friends and family. In 2005, while pursuing my B.Tech, I met with a bike accident and had to amputate my left limb. My life changed after that. But I must say that it changed for the best.
I hail from Payyannur, a small town in Kerala. After the accident, I was hospitalised for over five months. But after days in the hospital, I got back to college using an artificial limb and completed my B.Tech course. I also worked with a few companies in Bengaluru, New Delhi, Salem and even Himachal Pradesh. While in Bengaluru, I got introduced to a social media group called Team Challenging Ones. The group had many amputees from across India. They shared details about how they were all an active part of marathons. That inspired me. I thought I should start doing it too.
Reading the experience of each amputee who participated in marathons truly inspired me. I knew that this was the ideal platform to boost my confidence and self-esteem. I did not look any further. I started exploring different options to how I can be a good runner. I kept reading online material and watched a lot of videos. Even now, I do not have a guide or mentor. I participate in runs and am an integral part of runners groups. I get tips from experts there. But I believe in self-training and I have been doing just that- Sajesh Krishnan
Life brings a lot of challenges with it. It all depends on how you make use out of it. I’am glad that I chose running because it has helped me become a stronger person. Today, I make sure that I run at least 10 kms everyday. Apart from the physical health, running has helped in my mental well-being as well. I have done 13 marathons till date.
A passionate runner
My first marathon was in the year 2015. The Spice Coast Marathon that was held in Kochi was exclusively for amputees with over 18 participants. I was the only person from Kerala who participated in the event, and I also became the first person to run with an artificial limb. I did not even tell my family that I’am participating in it because I did not want them to worry. It was a 5 kms run and I must say that it was a mind-boggling experience for me.
In 2006, I participated in the Calicut Marathon and started to take up marathons seriously. In 2017, I took part in the marathon organised by the Vascular Society of India. The marathon titled Run for your legs was organised for a cause to promote awareness on diabetes. They invited me to promote the cause which was a 10 kms run. I ran on artificial limbs. Soon after the marathon got over, they sponsored blade for me. In December 2017, I did my first marathon with blade. The event was organised by the Indian Naval Academy and I became the first blade runner in Kerala.
Blade is ideal for people who are involved in running because it is specially designed for sport activities. It does not have a heel and has a curved surface. Hence, you feel more energetic and strong to keep moving forward. That is precisely the reason you cannot use blade in daily life. Blade is expensive and can cost up to Rs 6 lakh. I feel that is the reason most sportspersons do not use it. You can run up to 23 kms with a blade and still not feel tired!
I was working when I got an offer to work with a renowned company in Oman. But due to medical reasons, the offer got rejected. So I decided to take up teaching. I was working with a college as their Information Technology Professor but I quit the job last month. Currently, I’am focussing completely on running.
I want to finish a 50 kms run which is known as the ultra marathon. I’am training my mind and body for it. I know it is not an easy task and I do not have a time limit. Once I’am ready, I will participate in it.
I have a lot of support from my friends and family. Running and marathons were never in my cards. But each time I run, I feel I’am doing it better. I chose this and I want to make full use of it.
My blade is my wings to fly high. Keep pushing yourself to be the best with hard work and determination. Rest everything will fall in place. I hope I can inspire more people to take up running.