The 70-year-old, who was born in Punjab and has lived in Ireland for more than 40 years, has applied for the Guinness Book of World Records after concluding that his earth walk is more than 40,075 kilometers or the circumference of the earth. 1,500 days without leaving his hometown of Limerick.
Vinod Bajaj started his journey in August 2016 with a humble goal of losing his weight and getting fitter.
As he shed kilograms, his enthusiasm for the walk increased and led him to list various routes, including through indoor malls, to overcome weather obstacles.
During the first three months of walking I lost 8 kilos seven days a week, deficient in 700 calories a day. I lost another 12 kg over the next six months. Mr Bajaj said the weight loss was almost due to walking and I did not have to change my eating habits.
Usually, I started walking in the early morning, often finishing at two intervals, the first one was always longer. I did the whole attempt several times in a single attempt. That allowed me to start early and finish by the afternoon, which gave me a lot of time to do shopping, banking, house and garden work, he said.
Growing up in Chennai as a retired engineer and business consultant, he moved from Glasgow to Scotland in 1975 for senior management. Before moving to the Republic of Ireland 43 years ago, he lived with his family in the suburbs of Castletroy. Limerick, for 36 years.
Only local Irish and world news kept him company during his long trek, which came within 10 km of Castletroy.
He also downloaded the Pacer Activity Tracker app on his smartphone to fully track his steps, and its records flagged his major milestones along the way.
At the end of the first year I walked 7,600km and to my surprise I actually walked from Ireland to India. I continued walking, and by the end of the second month, I had walked a total of 15,200 km, in fact I found myself walking more than the circumference of the moon (10,921 km). This further motivated me, I decided to walk the circumference of Mars (21,344 km), he recalled.
The difference between a Mars walk and an Earth walk is about 19,000 km and I know it will not be easy. I continued to walk with the intention of completing my ultimate goal, he mentions his earth walk, which he completed on September 21st.
His application is currently in process with the Guinness Book of World Records for estimating that his gait equals the circumference of the earth in 1,496 days and is reduced by 54,633,135 steps.
Meanwhile, his walking continues despite COVID-19 locking obstacles, which means he has to redo his routes a few times a day to reach his daily walking goal.
He is topped with apricots, cashews, walnuts and bananas.
My wife and siblings were not initially impressed as I walked more and they all felt that my health would be affected. Eventually they came around reluctantly, and now I hope to cut my walk and not try for a second earth walk, anti-clockwise, he jokes.
While he waits for an answer to his potential world record, Mr Bajaj is eager to spread the message that walking is the best exercise for all ages, “better than running or jogging, it’s free”.
Since he runs an average of three to 12 pairs of shoes a year during his earth walk, his core advice is to invest in a good pair of walking shoes and socks.
His other advice to fellow walkers: Loneliness can be a huge walking challenge, and can be overcome to some extent by listening to music or podcasts. Make the umbrella your best friend so that no weather can upset your walking plan and self-motivation, discipline, consistency and time management are important.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff, it is published from an integrated feed.)