Youth in Action
One Step at a Time
Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra
Great things can be achieved with a little bit of inspiration and a tonne of hard work. Historically, Bangladeshis have shared this ideology which has enabled them to reach great heights. Tahsin Imtiaz Alam, a graduate from Bates College, United States of America, in Political Science, Economics and Theatre, never quite imagined himself to be an athlete. Being in his early thirties and fairly overweight and out of shape he took it up on himself to make a new year's resolution to eat healthy and exercise for a year. Fortunately this was the point of initiation for him on a long road to success.
In 2010, he ran his first race, a five kilometer run, and enjoyed the competitive atmosphere. He did not get into triathlons until 2011 for one big reason -- he had never swum before then! As they say, practice makes a man perfect; Tahsin decided that he would race in two more five kilometer and one ten kilometer running races, two half marathons, four long distance bike races of over 80 kilometer each, three duathlons, six sprint triathlons, two Olympic triathlons and two half Ironman triathlons. This extensive preparation only geared him up for what he really wanted to achieve -- a successful finish in a full distance Ironman triathlon.
However, the triathlon was no piece of cake. It required one to master three different sports. Tahsin always had an appropriate combination of strengths which made him a natural biker, but he was not a good runner and didn't know how to swim! Nevertheless, it was also his inherent desire to push himself in areas where he did not excel. A triathlon is extremely demanding in terms of time and body. The competition to beat one's competitors is addictive. Therefore as Tahsin learned quickly, he was asked to join an elite-amateur triathlon team in the US by his mentors.
The training for the Ironman alone was strenuous. It was two workouts of two hours every day of the week. The workout often left his body in pain which was difficult for him to bear with. In the process, Tahsin had many injuries as well; stress fractures in his legs from running, several bike accidents and torn muscles. But, Tahsin trained non stop for two years to be ready for the Ironman. Around four hours of training everyday from Monday to Friday, then seven hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. His coaches gave him one day off each month. Otherwise it was non stop!
Additionally, when asked about his feelings prior to the triathlon, he modestly stated that, for the longest time he was just happy to finish. Not finishing last was his expectation! But, by the time he started training for the Ironman, he had to be faster since there are time cut offs. He expected to be weak at swimming, but strong at biking and running. Much to his surprise, it was quite the contrary as his swimming saw the most improvement in two years.
Soon Tahsin's long journey came to an end. The training and the long sessions of rigorous exercise saw its outcome on the day of the triathlon. As he would like to explain, it was probably one of the greatest moments of his life. At the beginning and through most of the race, he was one of 3,100 athletes. Starting a swim with 3,100 other swimmers next to him was unbelievable, exciting and dangerous all in one. He excelled in swimming while, at the same time, the biking session was equally enjoyable. The cycling section lasted just over eight hours through strikingly beautiful and rocky hills. It was only in the last part of his journey, when he was approaching the finish line with the flag of Bangladesh that he realised what a big achievement this was going to be for his country. He was proud to show the world that Bangladeshis have incredible intellectual, physical and endurance capacity.
For Tahsin and many others alike, it is just the beginning of an epic journey to wave the flag of our country high in the midst of millions. They might not be winning Olympic gold medals yet, but that day of glory is not far away for them either!
DID YOU KNOW?
Magician and Illusionist David Copperfield was born David Seth Kotkin in Metuchen, New Jersey, on September 16, 1956 (today is his 56th birthday). Copperfield's mother was born in Jerusalem, while his paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from USSR (present-day Ukraine). In 1974 Copperfield graduated from Metuchen High School. When Copperfield was 10, he began practicing magic as "Davino the Boy Magician" in his neighborhood, and at the age of 12, became the youngest person ever admitted to the Society of American Magicians. Shy and a loner, the young Copperfield saw magic as a way of fitting in and, later, as a way to get girls. As a teenager, Copperfield became fascinated with Broadway and frequently snuck into shows, especially musicals featuring Stephen Sondheim or Bob Fosse. By age 16, he was teaching a course in magic at New York University. At age 18, he enrolled at Fordham University, and was cast in the lead role of the Chicago-based musical The Magic Man (written by Barbara D'Amato and directed by Holland, MI's John Tamimi) three weeks into his freshman year, adopting his new stage name "David Copperfield" from the famous Charles Dickens novel. At age 19, he was headlining at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. Copperfield's career in television began in earnest when he was discovered by Joseph Cates, a producer of Broadway shows and television specials. Cates produced a magic special in 1977 on ABC called "The Magic of ABC" hosted by Copperfield, as well as several of "The Magic of David Copperfield" specials on CBS between 1978 and 1998. There have been 20 Copperfield TV specials between 1977 and 2001.
Information Source: Internet