NANITA MAHARJAN BAJRACHARYA: NEPAL’S FIRST FEMALE BODYBUILDER
Although the scope of sports is emerging in Nepal, it is still a field people don’t readily associate with actual professions. A stigma still surrounds it, saying that it’s something done for leisure, or as a mere hobby, especially when it comes to body building. This couldn’t be any further from the truth as it is a promising field. Then again, it is as promising as the people supporting it want it to be; which is quite low at the moment. Therefore, anyone working in this area has to go through a lot of struggle.
This struggle escalates to a whole new level when the athlete is a woman. But despite the glass ceiling, there are women who have shattered it and moved on to prosperity. One of such examples is Mrs. Nanita Maharjan Bajracharya, Nepal’s first female bodybuilder, who lets us in on how she started her journey into fitness. In addition to that, she has also come up with a full body prep-phase workout so that you too can get into shape and work on gaining strength.HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU STARTED WORKING OUT?
I have been working out for roughly 4 years now. I used to have migraine and my husband had suggested me to work out as a cure for it. Initially, I was only into fitness and I used to do Zumba and aerobics more as a stress reliever. Then I gradually moved on to lifting weights and started my bodybuilding journey 2 years ago.HOW HAS YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY BEEN?
I used to workout out at Divine Physical fitness and the instructor there, Mr. Ruzesh Shahi, had seen my enthusiasm for fitness. During that time, the first Kathmandu Bodybuilding Competition was being organized and they even had a women’s league in which the instructor selected me to compete in it. That’s when I started getting into bodybuilding and eventually became the first Women’s Fitness Champion. Thereafter, Nepal Bodybuilding association chose me to represent Nepal internationally. And that’s how my journey has been going on till now.DURING THIS TIME SPAN, HOW MANY COMPETITIONS HAVE YOU BEEN A PART OF AND WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS HAVE YOU MANAGED TO GAIN?
Altogether, I have taken part in three bodybuilding competitions; one national and two International. The first one was Women’s Fitness in Kathmandu Bodybuilding Championship organized by KBBFA (Kathmandu Bodybuilding and Fitness Association). There I managed to bag the gold medal. After that I have represented Nepal in the 8th and 9th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship which was held in Bangkok in 2016 and Mongolia in 2017. I came in third place in the 8th championship and second in the 9th championship. Now I plan to get the gold medal for my country in the 10th which will be in December 2018.
EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A LOT OF PASSION FOR PHYSICAL FITNESS AND BODYBUILDING, IT’S NOT ENOUGH. IT IS A VERY EXPENSIVE SPORT; PROBABLY THE MOST EXPENSIVE IF I HAVE TO SAY. THERE ISN’T MUCH RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT FROM SPORT ASSOCIATIONS AND THE GOVERNMENT.
AS SOMEONE SO PASSIONATE ABOUT FITNESS, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN MANAGING YOUR SCHEDULES?
I’m a married woman so I need to think about my family as well. I have a son who is 9 years of age so it’s really important for me to spend time at home as well. Usually, during off seasons like right now, I work out on a daily basis every morning from 9 AM for about two hours and spend the rest of my day at home with my family. But it is difficult during competitions as I will have to devote myself completely and I would be working out twice every day and I won’t be able to spend as much time with my family.WHAT ARE THE STRUGGLES OF BEING A BODYBUILDER, THAT TOO A FEMALE ONE, IN NEPAL?
Even though I have a lot of passion for physical fitness and bodybuilding, it’s not enough. It is a very expensive sport; probably the most expensive if I have to say. There isn’t much recognition and support from sport associations and the government.
Furthermore, there are even more struggles for women if you look at it from a social view. Because the sport requires you to showcase your body, it is far more difficult for women than it is for men. Bodybuilding is just not recognized as a sport in Nepal. Even though I have represented Nepal in two international competitions, there has never been any kind of financial nor any support from the government. So, I have to say that being a pro-athlete in Nepal isn’t easy regardless of the sex; it requires a lot of struggle with no guarantee of a proper fruit.IS THERE ANY MESSAGE THAT YOU WANT TO GIVE TO THE PEOPLE LOOKING TO GET INTO BODYBUILDING AND FITNESS?
I would like to suggest anyone and everyone to get into any kind of fitness sport. Looking at the present environmental context, people really need to start working out, or at least do something that keeps them moving. Even if you’re not doing it for passion or profession, do it to stay healthy.
Words: Prashant Manandhar| Photos: Gaurav Xhompate Sunuwar| Location: Paradise Fitness