Introducing Rupa Das, aka Roop, who lost 28kg in two years by taking up running
“If there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY,” goes conventional wisdom. “If there isn’t, MAKE A WAY,” believes Rupa Das, a PR and communications professional who carries Kolkata in her heart. An avid runner and mother of a teenager, Rupa loves to live life one day at a time.
One such day changed Rupa’s life, back in 2017, when a regular medical check-up in office made her realise that she had to lose weight in order to protect her knees. After a few dietary changes and extensive walking, Rupa transitioned into running, eventually losing 28kg in two years besides gaining a passion for life.
For her remarkable tenacity and focus on building a healthier version of herself, Rupa was featured on Star Sports as a Believe Hero during the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K in 2019. Naturally, she became an inspiration for many, alongside commanding more respect from colleagues and friends alike.
“Running has transformed by DNA,” says Rupa, previously accustomed to snoozing her alarm everyday at 8am and looking for a rickshaw even if she had to cover a few metres. For the last few years, Rupa 2.0 has been all about committing herself to a routine. Getting up at 4am to run for four to five days a week has become second nature for Rupa, who particularly enjoys running in Kolkata’s Maidan, Salt Lake and New Town areas.
Rupa receives running motivation from her son (Archisman) as well as support from her mother, who ensures that Rupa is not overburdened with work at home.
When the world shut down due to Covid-19 in March 2020, Rupa’s running did not. She replaced the roads and parks of Kolkata with her terrace, which she would circle religiously during lockdown. However, in August 2020, Rupa was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and several doctors told her to give up running. Stubborn to not give up on her passion, which had also become a lifestyle, Rupa lost all her endurance, but retained her hope and confidence to run again.
Her philosophy of “you versus you” kept her going, and with a regimented recovery set in motion, Rupa began her running journey all over again. Today, Rupa is trying hard to approach to her peak conditioning once more, excited to participate in the Tata Steel Kolkata and relive old thrills.
A lover of “holud biryani”, Rupa is also involved in running an Instagram page called Kolkata Runners since 2020. A platform that was initiated by the hard core KOLKATA lover, trying to break the narrative of Kolkata as “a sleepy, laidback city where not much running happens”. Kolkata Runners page has grown to become one of the most followed fitness pages about amateur athletes in Kolkata. Through the page, Rupa shares inspiring, even audacious, stories of Kolkata’s running community, urging her fellow Kolkatans to celebrate running by embracing a fitter, healthier and happier way of life.
The last five years have been instrumental for Rupa in understanding the value of self-care. Through running, she has not only changed her life for the better, but taken it upon herself to push others, too. “Whenever I see someone struggling with weight issues, I share my transformation story with them, urging them to take up running. People don’t have to run to become professionals or to win the races. They should run to stay fit, understand their bodies better, and of course, have fun,” feels Rupa.
At the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, 2022, Rupa will not just be present as a pacer, but also as an advocate and avid lover of running for whom keeping pace with life is all about keeping pace with oneself.