There is a saying that ‘Age is just a number’, but as soon as you cross 80 or even say 70, the moment makes you realize that you are no longer young. But the 86-year-old Bylahalli Raghunath Janardan, through his determination, has shown that age indeed is just a number.
A retired railway employee, he was diagnosed with epilepsy (a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed) in 1995 at 62 years of age. While doctors told him that he would have to rely on lifelong medication for his survival, Janardhan completely altered his lifestyle by involving himself in various physical activities. In an interview with The Better India, he remembered the moment when he was told about the disease.
“My mother lived till 103. When I was told that I would have to pop pills for the rest of my life, that I couldn’t be left alone at home, or be allowed to step out on my own, I was shattered,” he said.
He traded luxurious rides (rickshaw, cars and taxis) for cycling at the age of 64 years and has cycled almost 4,00,000 km distance so far. If cycling wasn’t enough, he started trekking after just four years( 68 years). Till date, he has scaled mountain peaks and trekked the Himalayas about 20 times. By the time he had turned 72, he had started running marathons and till date he has completed over 16 full marathons, 64 half-marathons and 60 running events of 10km.
Janardhan also took part in stair-racing, which is also known as vertical runs where the participants have to scale multi-story buildings in record time. He has so far climbed 32 floors four times, 52 floors once and 64 floors once. The man from Bengaluru was bestowed with the Kempegowda Award by the Karnataka government two years ago. Also, the Jayanagar post office released a special commemorative stamp bearing his image.
Inspite of such medical condition, Janardhan did manage to show that when things are against you, determination, hard work and the madness to achieve the glory can help you reach your goals.