Today we’d like to introduce you to Manmadh Rebba.
Manmadh, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am an Architect from India and I arrived in the USA in 2004 to further my studies at Clemson University. After graduating with a master’s degree in Construction Science and Management in 2006. I worked hard and found a job in Las Vegas on some major Casino Resort projects.
During the recession, the construction industry slowed, and I ended up moving to Los Angeles in 2008 for access to more opportunities in the industry. Life was really challenging with work, life events, finances, immigration, etc. The only thing an immigrant can do is keep their head above water, take a breath, and proceed one day at a time. I was caught in the hamster wheel of life with my job, the market trends, dealing with external and internal personal challenges, legal battles, and health issues (arthritis), etc. On the outside, everything looked normal, but in truth nothing was normal. I was going through the motions of life but not living it. As an immigrant on a work visa, your life is dictated by your employer, your personal life must work around it.
While working at the Port of Miami Under Ocean Tunnel Project in 2013, a colleague introduced me to a sport called Triathlon. I did not know anything about it until he told me that it is made up of three different disciplines: swim, bike and run. I completed my first 5k run a few months ago. A triathlon with 1k swim, 40k bike and 10k run in August (less than three months away) was something I felt exceeded my capabilities; weighing 210 lb with no swimming experience. Thanks to my coworker Zharel who gave me swim lessons during lunch for one week and a website with swim lessons – I signed up for my first triathlon. I consider this race to be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, given the challenge of overcoming the fear and trauma from almost drowning in water with zero swimming skills to prepare for a triathlon within 2.5 months. The successful completion of this triathlon was the turning point to redesign my life.
I have completed many triathlons and ultra-distance races in the last three years including three UltraMan World Championships races in Hawaii. The UltraMan World Championships race consists of swimming 6.2 miles in the ocean, cycling 261.4 miles with about 16,000 ft of elevation gain, experiencing seven different climate zones then finishing with a 52.4 mile run through scorching hot lava fields back to the start where the swim began; ultimately circumnavigating the Big Island of Hawaii – 320 miles in 3 days with a limited field of 40 invited athletes from all over the world.
It was such an honor to be the first East Indian to compete at the 2017 UltraMan World Championships, Hawaii with some of the top triathletes in the world. An immigrant with a full-time job, new to the sport, (less than four years experience) competing with the best in the world and the first from India – I can live with that.
Has it been a smooth road?
Competing in and completing the three-day UltraMan World Championships in Hawaii Race is easy compared to the multiple challenges I had to endure on my journey to the start of the race. As an immigrant, far from my family’s physical support; I train in isolation, have minimum time off work, no race sponsors and other personal challenges. In 2019, I was invited to compete in UltraMan Canada, a race that is in the British Columbia province of Canada. After much preparation and training, I was forced to decline at the last minute due to the struggles with the immigration system. After dealing with the initial disappointment, I chose to put a smile on my face, re-evaluate my options and proceed one step at a time. I decided to accept an invitation to compete at the UltraMan World Championships in Hawaii for the third consecutive time since traveling from California to Hawaii didn’t involve going through immigration.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Re Design Me story. Tell us more about the business.
Redesign Me is about the transformation I personally experienced redesigning my life: from a 210 lb non-swimming athlete to an UltraMan World Championship Triathlete, while balancing a demanding work schedule and heavy training.
My Re Design Me mission is to offer support to others facing similar life challenges. It is a coaching process about lifestyle and life skills that can potentially liberate a person from the hamster wheel and allow them to live their life to their full potential. We can always do more than what we think we are capable of doing.
I plan to continue my job in the Architecture and Construction Industry while pursuing my passion through Re Design Me and giving back.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In my observation: fitness, health, and emotional balance are disappearing from human life at an alarming rate. The current fast-paced, app-based, ever more isolating life appears to be critically distracting or even robbing us from our human potential. To successfully guide through this mess one needs personalized interaction with a mentor.
- Website: www.manmadh.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/manmadhrebba
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UltraManJourney/
Main photo is taken by Chandra Anantuni
Matthew D Avella, Ardis Bow, Shaeba Matthews