A 70-year-old man, born in Punjab and based in Ireland for more than 40 years, applied for a Guinness World Record after completing what he called the Earth Walk covering more than 40,075 kilometers or equivalent to around the Earth under 1,500 days without leaving its home city of Limerick.
Vinod Bajaj began his journey in August 2016 with a humble goal of losing weight and becoming better.
As he poured the kilo, his walking enthusiasm only increased and led him to chart various routes, including indoor malls to overcome weather barriers.
In the first three months of my walk seven days a week, I lost 8 kg by having a deficit of 700 calories per day. Over the next six months I lost an additional 12 kg. Losing weight is mostly due to walking and I do not have to change many of my eating habits, Mr. Bajaj said.
Usually, I start walking early in the morning and complete almost everything in two intervals, the first always lasting longer. Many times I did the whole walk in a single attempt. Getting started early allows me to finish at dawn, which gives me plenty of time to do things like shopping, bank work, housework and gardening, he said.
The retired engineer and business consultant grew up in Chennai and moved to Scotland in 1975 for a Master’s in Management from Glasgow before he was offered a job in the Republic of Ireland 43 years ago, where he lived with his family in Castletroy, a suburb of Limerick, for 36 years.
This is the local Irish and world news that keeps him company while he is on a long walk, which falls within a 10 km radius of Castletroy.
He also downloaded the Pacer activity tracker app on his smartphone to keep a complete track of his steps and its records flagged his major milestones along the way.
By the end of the first year I had traveled 7,600 km and to my surprise I had in fact walked to India from Ireland. I continued walking and at the end of two years, I walked a total of 15,200 km and I found out in fact I walked more than the full moon (10,921 km). It motivated me even more and I decided to walk around Mars (21,344 km), he recalls.
The difference between Mars Walk and Earth Walk is approximately 19,000 km and I know it will not be easy. I continued walking with a goal to complete my real goal, he said, referring to his Earth Walk, which he completed on September 21st.
His application to the Guinness World Record is currently in process as they assess whether his walk covering the equivalent of the Earth’s circle in 1,496 days and 54,633,135 steps reduces.
Meanwhile, his mission continued to walk despite the COVID-19 lockdown barriers, which meant he had to repeat his routes several times a day to meet his daily walking goals.
He also keeps himself head of almonds, cashews, walnuts and bananas to maintain energy levels on walks.
My wife and siblings were not surprised at first because they all felt I was walking too much and it would affect my health. Eventually they backed away and now hoped I would slow down my pace and not try the second Earth Walk, against the left, he joked.
As he awaits a response to his potential world record, Mr. Bajaj enthusiastically spread the message that walking is the best form of exercise for all ages “better than running or jogging and it’s free “.
Having by 12 pairs of shoes, on an average of three per year, during his Earth Walk, his central advice is to invest in a good pair of walking shoes and socks.
His other advice for fellow travelers: Loneliness will be the biggest walking challenge and can be partially overcome by listening to music or podcasts. Make your best friend’s umbrella so that weather does not upset your walking plan and self-motivation, discipline, consistency and time management are key.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)