“Standing at the top of a mountain is an incredible feeling”

Pratap Pat Joshi, Head IT, Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd, talks to us about the exhilaration, joy and sense of achievement trekking brings. By Pooja Paryani

Of the 25 years Pratap Pat Joshi’s been in the IT industry, 21 years have been spent in the automobile vertical. He’s currently the Head of IT at Mercedes Benz India and is responsible for implementing global business and innovation strategies and plans successfully in the region. He was recognised for his work in the field at CIO Power List 2016 as an Automobiles and Auto Ancillaries Icon.

When Pratap is not busy at his desk, you’ll find him in the gym or exercising outdoors. “I am very passionate about health and fitness,” says Pratap. “I follow a fitness regime four days a week, and try to stay fit and healthy. A friend once told me trekking is very adventurous and not everyone can do it. So I took it on as a challenge and decided to go for it. The first trek was a big challenge. I realised that it requires a lot of stamina, and to complete it in the given time is a task. But I also found it thrilling. That was three years ago. Now I have joined few trekking groups and sometimes I take my friends along as well.”

Most memorable treks
“I have done seven treks near Pune, though I wish to go on longer treks. I recently went on the Rajmachi trek and it was one of the best I’ve ever been on. It was stiff and tough, and it took us four hours to reach the top. It rained throughout the trek and the visibility was very hazy because of the fog. Duke’s Nose trek near Lonavala is another exciting trek. The cliff is thrilling and it’s a great feeling when you reach the top. Trekking during the rainy season is really nice as you get to see the beautiful greenery and enjoy the weather. You get to enjoy nature at its best. Winter is also good for trekking. Other seasons are tiring and hot.”

Dream trek
“I dream of doing a Himalayan trek. I would first like to start with the base camp, as that would be a bit easier to achieve. Once I’ve achieved that I would like to go to the later stages as it becomes more and more difficult to trek. Trekking in Kailash Mansarovar is my biggest dream; I’d love to go there. The trek lasts for 25 days so you need a lot of energy and stamina.”

Benefits of trekking
Increase in stamina
“To trek you need to have stamina, but it’s also obviously hard to climb those big hills with forests in which you could get lost. But when you start trekking it is thrilling, and after you reach the top you feel a big sense of achievement. By the time you’ve climbed down you’ve boosted your stamina. So each trek increases your stamina.”

Better physical fitness
“Trekking isn’t all fun. It requires a lot of physical fitness as well as you use all your muscles. I workout anyway, but if I’m trekking I put in more effort to stay fit. If you are fit you can go for trek or if you want to trek you have be fit, it works both ways.”

Chance to breathe fresh oxygen
“When you climb above ground level there are no vehicles and greenery all around. Fog is like a cloud around you that you can touch. The air is full of fresh oxygen along the way and on the top. This oxygen is very essential and beneficial for health. Fresh oxygen and soothing greenery helps your heart remain healthy. We live in a world full of pollution so this intake of fresh oxygen is important for good health. I feel refresh at the top when I inhale the pollution free oxygen.”

It helps you challenge yourself
“In life you would have challenged several people at different levels but challenging yourself is harder, because if you fail it will hurt your ego. So trekking itself is a challenge, and it gradually becomes more challenging in terms of mental and physical stamina and health. As adventurous and enjoyable as it looks it is also dangerous and life threatening. So to finish a trek is your biggest achievement. After reaching the top your confidence gets a huge boost and your self belief also increases.”

You meet new, interesting people
“We are also so tied up with work and other responsibilities that we hardly manage any time for friends and family or to make new friends. So an activity like this gives you a chance to meet people from different backgrounds who share the same passion. You cannot trek alone. Joining trekking groups has helped me meet several people and I’ve made some good friends too. Friends are important; as you can’t trek alone so too you can’t live life alone.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Health & Fitness


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