My Story: "I Dodged Life's Curve Balls To Become Successful Wheelchair Basketball Player"
One of the best virtues is that of not giving up in the face of adversities. Life will throw curveballs, but what determines one’s worth is how a person reacts to it. Anu Chauhan a.k.a. Geeta Chauhan, an International-level wheelchair basketball player and budding National-level professional Tennis player is one such woman who rose from the gallows of challenges and depression to scale heights. This is her story.
I was born into a middle-class family in Mumbai. All was pretty good till I turned 6-years-old. The dreaded polio disease took me in its grip. I was rendered immobile, unable to walk for life.
However, more than my condition itself, it was the society’s attitude which left me in a lurch. I was denied admission to private schools, I had to get admitted to a government school where I received education till SSC.
I wanted to study further, but my father felt otherwise. He felt that spending on my education would be a waste since I wouldn’t amount to much in future and my future would be just resigned to the four corners of the house.
It was my mother who stood by me like a wall. She was the one who had absolute and complete trust in my abilities and she got me admitted to a college.
Circumstances and lack of constant support from family pushed me to look for a job in the employment newspaper. I appeared in 28 interviews, but was rejected in all. The reason-my disability. After much struggle and dejections, I finally landed a marketing job.
I was happy and self-dependent. But it was Sujit, whom I met in college and fell in love with, who believed that I was made for greater things in life. He pushed me to pursue CA. His enthusiasm inspired me and I gave my all to achieve our shared goal. He supported me both morally and financially.
Sujit had to shift from Mumbai to Bengaluru for a job.
My single-minded dedication helped me to glide through the separation. Just when I thought that my life is shaping up well, another tragedy struck me.
I thought of going to Bengaluru and surprising Sujit, but when I reached, I got to know that he has been hospitalised after an accident. I decided to get Sujit back to Mumbai. Unfortunately, his condition only worsened and he passed away.
I was absolutely shattered. This incident pushed me to dark corners of depression where I lived for five years. My friends helped me come to terms with what had happened and I started accepting the reality.
While life regained its normality, I could still feel the void.
An online acquaintance introduced me to wheelchair basketball. I was looking for a distraction from the void and I readily joined. Slowly, I took a great liking for the sport.
I started performing well and was chosen to play in the National event as part of the Maharashtra wheelchair basketball team in 2017.
Our team won gold at the 6th National Wheelchair Basketball Championship. I am also selected for the national team and have participated in international events.
I slowly also warmed up to Tennis.
I am now practising my game and hoping to participate in the next Olympics.