Chitharesh Natesan

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A brief biography

As in 2019

Amin Ali, Dec 16, 2019 Times of India

Chitharesh Natesan, As in 2019
From: Amin Ali, Dec 16, 2019 Times of India

Life took a new turn last month for Chitharesh Natesan. He now has a busy calendar of inaugurating stores and other public appearances. He is also discussing offers for movie roles. He wasn’t used to this life in the limelight until November 10 when he became the first Indian to win the Mr Universe title at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship in South Korea.

It is a pleasant change because Chithu, as Natesan is called by his friends, has been training tirelessly for a decade, exercising 3-4 hours a day, while working as personal trainer to be able to manage his diet and other requirements. And while he might already have the Mr India and Mr Asia titles under his belt, it took a global feat and congratulatory tweets from sports stars such as Sachin Tendulkar to bring his talent into national consciousness.

It has been a long journey from Kochi to Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education in Thiruvananthapuram, where he loved hockey, to being a world icon in the body culture. For support, he only had his college friend-turnedcoach Sagar M P, his parents and two sisters and some friends, especially in Rejuvenation Fitness Group in Delhi, where he had landed a personal trainer’s job.

At RFG, Natesan found toning his body turning into a passion. Six years ago, he appointed Sagar as his personal instructor. Sagar ironically did not know much about training a professional body builder for international competitions, but says he went online to learn how to get the best out of his ward. The two worked together, reading about the right diet and best workouts and watching videos online, searching for gyms with machines and weights to work specific body parts, and coming up with innovations to achieve their goal of a world title.

Natesan terms his campaign as one of sacrifices. Sagar and he gave up potential earnings by devoting time to workouts rather than to training others. “The more people demotivated me, the stronger was my resolve to achieve my goal,” he recalls. It also meant investing a lot of money. His average spend

per month on building his physique was over Rs 1 lakh every month. That’s where family and friends chipped in. There were a few who sponsored Natesan, while others loaned him the money to pursue his dream.

It was in this process that he also met Nasiba, an Uzbek. In 2014, while recuperating from a shoulder injury, he decided to join dance classes to stay fit. The two met in this manner and instantly clicked, marrying a couple of years later. She seemed to bring him luck, for he secured third position in the Mr Delhi competition and got entry to the Mr India competition, which he won.

As the 2019 Mr Universe competition approached, Natesan started working out rigorously. For seven months, he exerted himself twice a day at the gym. “He was so focused on his goal that he forgot everything else, including my birthday,” quips Nasiba. On November 10, in South Korea’s Jeju Island, the strenuous efforts bore fruit.

His triumphant return was emotional for him. “When I arrived, I saw the 200 trainers from RFG at the airport. My ride home was a procession with flags and placards. It was very touching,” he says. The news of his win brought a flurry of celebrity tweets and congratulatory messages. He became an overnight star in Kochi. Everyone wanted him to be the chief guest at their function. He also earned the right to charge big amounts to those seeking to consult him on fitness.

Right now he is living every moment of his fame while on a three-month break from the gym to fulfil the social commitments that the title brought. Natesan, however, remains as humble as he has been all these years, says J K Francis, the man behind RFG. He adds that Natesan need government support to bag more titles.

Natesan says his only advice to youngsters is not to search for shortcuts to accomplishments. “My title is a result of 10 years of working out under the right guidance. People should always have the right coach and be willing to slog,” he smiles.

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