Nanita Maharjan has learnt an important lesson: being a champion wouldn’t have been possible without support from her family
As soon as she became the first Nepali woman to win a medal in an international bodybuilding competition last month, Nanita Maharjan has learnt an important lesson: being a champion wouldn’t have been possible without support from her family.
Although passionate about bodybuilding, the 31-year-old mother had never imagined that she would win the bronze medal at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship in Thailand last month – turning her into a celebrity overnight and bringing prestige to Nepal.
“There is nothing a woman can’t do and all I needed was my family’s support,” said Maharjan in her three-storey house in Kirtipur, “my husband has been very supportive and my mother-in-law has helped by taking care of my son and managing household chores.”
Maharjan got married at 23 and had her child a year later. After putting on a lot of weight post delivery, she joined a gym to maintain her physical fitness and brought down her weight from 75kg to 53kg.
After she toned her body, Maharjan’s trainer noticed that she had great potential to be a bodybuilder. Her husband and mother-in-law encouraged her to participate in a national-level bodybuilding championship even though both knew she had to don a bikini on stage, and Maharjan says that was the turning point in her career.
Nanita’s passion seems to have rubbed off on husband Rujan Bajracharya, who is also training to participate in a bodybuilding championship next year. “I realised that the scope of bodybuilding was wider for Nanita than it is for me,” he said, “what she wears during the competition wasn’t as important as the game itself.”
After four months of rigorous training and proper diet, Nanita won the Mrs Kathmandu and first ladies fitness championship early this year. She went on to win the bronze in the Women’s Athletic Physique category (up to 165 cm) of the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship in the first week of December in Pattaya, Thailand on 4 December.
Maharjan’s mother-in-law remembers being overwhelmed with joy when she heard the news. “Nanita’s success is a matter of national pride and I will continue to support her in future, and it is important to show that daughters-in-law should not be confined to the home, everyone of us has the right to be free.”
Trainer Ruzesh Shahi is also excited about her medal, and confirms that the win was the culmination of Maharjan’s hard work, dedication and family support. He explains: “It can take bodybuilders years to train their bodies, but Nanita is blessed with strong physique that came into form in no time.”
Maharjan has now set her sights to win the gold medal in next year’s bodybuilding championship in Mongolia, and wants to open her own gym for bodybuilders.
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