Fr Carlos Luis SAC
Adarsh Kalekar from Sao Jose de Areal began learning karate when he was 10 years old, discontinuing it after receiving a black belt. In an effort to keep himself strong and healthy through similar means, he says, “I indulged in home workouts through certain apps and YouTube. One day I came across callisthenics on YouTube, and I immediately said that this I what I'm going to do my entire life! So I told my father to install a bar, and the very next day, I started training by myself.” He started practising callisthenics in 2017. And after four years, on 19th October 2021, he began Goa’s first callisthenics gym and park called Genesis Calisthenics Park in Margao.
For Adarsh, watching callisthenics sensations like Chris Heria, the Bar Brothers, Andrea Larosa, Simonster, Valentine and so on is inspiring. But he confirms, “Throughout these years, I have found that I am the biggest inspiration for myself because when there wasn’t a callisthenics or street workout scene in Goa, I started it all on my own and never gave up.”
While training himself, the one piece of advice that he has received from his parents all along, especially his father, who has helped him immensely throughout his journey, is “Beat your last result!" It keeps ringing in Adarsh’s ears and makes him stay motivated.
Callisthenics is a form of strength training that is intended to increase an individual’s strength, flexibility and fitness. Goa has many gyms, but a callisthenics gym is what it was missing.
Adarsh recollects why he began the gym, “Firstly, it was for me and some of my friends. But then people started messaging me, saying that they also wanted to learn this art. So I decided to start coaching people around me and share my knowledge with them. The desire of a lot of people wanting to learn callisthenics motivated me and made me start my very own callisthenics gym.”
Adarsh respects all forms of training, and every type of training, he says, has its advantages and disadvantages, or rather an ease or difficulty level. In callisthenics, Adarsh states, “Planche is the hardest skill to master. But to overcome a weak mindset, saying “yes, you can do this” and to believe in yourself in every possible way, is a hard skill to master, and it comes through consistency. For me, that is a mental exercise.”
He adds, “If you do callisthenics and you have never had an injury, then you are not a true callisthenics athlete. I had injuries most of the time during my journey, and those injuries still haunt me, so that's why I try to be safe all the time.”
Adarsh loves facing challenges and being tough every single day. Confidently, he narrates, “We plan every night to tackle problems or difficulties and that is a great experience we acquire every day. In the beginning, I started with 5-6 students, and currently, I have 50 students and have taught almost 800-1000 students in the past. We love how it is going, and difficult roads only make you stronger!”
Adarsh is currently mastering certain bodyweight skills like the planche, front lever pull-ups and freestyle skills. He also plans on opening a second Genesis Calisthenics branch in Goa.
(Carlos Luis is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic
Apostolate (Pallottine) and is currently the mission secretary of the
ABVM Province, Bangalore. He comments on literature and films that