From bar to gym, his wife shows the way for this Kerala bodybuilder

Aparna and Sivakumar with his trophy. Sivakumar joined a gym to overcome alcoholism. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kochi: When Aparna, a Haritha Karma sena worker from Chottanikara realized her husband Sivakumar had become an alcoholic, she thought of an unusual remedy. It wasn't the de-addiction centre or a religious offering. She prodded him to join a gymnasium and even pawned her gold to ensure money never came in the way of his regimen. Sivakumar joined a gym in June 2023 and started intense workouts in September. He participated in the Mr. Ernakulam competition held in January where he bagged the first prize. This strengthened his resolve to join in the Mr. Kerala competitions held in Wayanad later that month. He became  Mr. Kerala in the Masters category. In February, he was placed second in the Mr. Kerala Seniors category competition in Kannur. 

'' I got into drinking quite early. I did painting jobs and would go drinking with the workers from there. It was difficult to stop. I give full credit to my wife for bringing me back. She is my support system,'' says Sivakumar. Aparna had watched her husband work out earlier and she thought getting him to focus on something would deviate him from alcohol. The journey wasn't easy though. Even before our marriage, he had a habit of working out," says Aparna. “But he started to seriously prepare for competitions recently”. Sivakumar used to go to another gym in the beginning where he was told that he had the potential to participate in competitions but only if he gave up drinking. He couldn’t stop drinking at the time and was kicked out. He was told that he didn't have the strength to commit to a routine. 

This was the trigger. Sivakumar joined Joby’s Standard Gym in Udayamperoor, he started realizing his goals. “I go to the gym after work and stay there from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm,'' says Sivakumar. His food plan, under the directions of his trainer, is followed strictly. Two chapatis, the egg whites of ten eggs, 100 grams of boiled chicken and cucumber is his diet. He also has a green apple and a robusta banana at 11 am. Sivakumar’s future goal is to become Mr. India. The couple faced many financial difficulties in their journey. Whenever they fell short of money, Aparna pawned her gold to get money for their needs. “We are ordinary people. He goes for painting jobs and also does fishing and I earn from my job as a Haritha Karma Sena worker,'' says Aparna. She has also started going to the gym herself to support him.“I helped him with the food plans that he got from the trainer. I wanted to support him in any way I could,'' she says. The couple had a love marriage in 2007 and have two children.

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