If you're born into an conservative Indian setup, chances are that your career or profession has been pre-decided by your parents. And as statistics have it, boys must become engineers, and girls should be doctors. Such was also the fate of Gurmanprit, who had to fight many battles before embracing her one true love - boxing.
Despite all odds, she has made it as a successful boxing trainer and national gold medalist today. Here's a look at Gurmanprit's inspiring journey to a successful boxing coach at cult.fit.
From Family Battles to Self-Doubt - She overcame it all
Born in a middle-class home, Gurmanprit was hardly the odd one out. In fact, she fit the bill just right when it came to being the 'perfect' daughter. She outdid herself in academics and even topped her school. However, as destiny had it, she soon took a liking towards sports and dived right into it!
With an ardent love for boxing, Gurmanprit began shuffling between studies and sports from a young age. Once done with school, she'd head straight to the stadium to train for 3 to 4 hours and quickly head home to finish homework. This became her routine – one that she loved!
Although her parents were reluctant at first, they eventually came around and supported her boxing dreams as well. However, on one condition – that she must continue to score good grades and excel at studies. A dip in academics could mean a halt for her boxing goals, Gurmanprit gathered.
Societal pressures and thriving in a conservative society
After completing her schooling, Gurmanprit got admitted to Delhi University and played boxing at the National level. She even served as a Games Captain & Sports President of Delhi University South Campus.
However, despite her many achievements, she continued to be critiqued for choosing a 'masculine' sport. On several occasions, she was told off by relatives and neighbors that she was rather ‘feminine’ and that she didn’t look like a 'boxer.'
But determined to prove them all wrong, Gurmanprit kept at it. She went on to become a Delhi State Champion in boxing, all while keeping her promise of completing her formal education. She went on to get a master's in psychology and continued to hone her love for the sport simultaneously.
With a strong inclination towards sports psychology, Gurmanprit co-authored a few research papers on boxing as well. One of her research projects, titled 'How Boxing can help our psychological well-being,' even got published in well-known national and international journals. Gradually, it dawned upon her that boxing was her true calling in life!
Do what you love, and the world will follow
As a young girl whose family wasn't entirely convinced of their daughter's love for boxing, it took Gurmanprit a lot of courage to keep going. She was lucky to get the support of her grandfather and father, who in turn convinced Gurmanprit's mother of her boxing dreams.
And although her family stood by her, many amongst the society continued to mock her for pursuing the sport. 'Who will marry you as a boxer?' and 'You will scar your face with all these boxing tricks' were comments that became commonplace in Gurmanprit's life.
She was hardly deterred by them and owned them as compliments instead. She took it upon herself to set a testament to breaking the notion of beauty in the sport – one she continues to live by even today.
Soon, influenced by her achievements, many of Gurmanprit's relatives who initially criticized her started taking pride in knowing her. Many who mocked her started referring to her as a 'National Level Boxing Champion' As they say, do what you love, and the world will follow!
Taking the fitness legacy forward
As of today, Gurmanprit is one of the top-rated boxing trainers at cult.fit, an opportunity she bagged while still pursuing her post-graduation studies. While she initially joined as a part-time trainer, she soon realized that her true potential lies in coaching others and instilling a love for fitness in all.
Only a few months in, Gurmanprit joined Cult as a full-time employee and a lead trainer. Not only did she receive practical exposure in the field, but she also got umpteen opportunities to improve her personal skills. From being camera shy to recording video sessions and classes in full swing, she sure has come a long way!
Stand up for yourself
Looking back, Gurmanprit holds no regrets in her heart. Today, she conducts sessions and is making her parents proud with each passing day. While dismissing the criticism that comes her way, she affirms that her actions alone can prove her worth and that no one can stop her from achieving her dreams.
On a signing note, here's what Gurmanprit has to say with much grit and a smile on her face.
"You are the only one who knows what is best suited for you. Only you can stand up for yourself, and you must do so at any cost!"