Vikrant Chopra can't remember the last time he got down on all fours to perform push-ups. They hurt, he said, directing the gaze towards the stout yet dodgy left wrist.
The injury led Vikrant to miss a portion of the last season and despite the problem erupting again this year, he has soldiered on.Ask him and he'd tell you how he would love to follow the exacting regimen prescribed by his brother, a Special Forces officer. For him, the best way to stay fit is to add around 25kg to the backpack and run for a good 30km everyday, he smiled.
The pressures of competitive golf may have prevented Vikrant from re-enacting the commando drills, but the younger siblings' fitness mantra has rubbed off on to the 31-year-old. Blessed with a well-toned physique, Vikrant has also taken steps to ensure that his craft gets an overhaul.
Six months ago, he came knocking at Nonita Lall Qureshis door, his putting gone awry. Nothing about it was technically correct, he said, the grip or posture. While working on his short game at the Delhi Golf Club, Nonita has imbibed values that Vikrant hopes will yield long-standing benefits.
The season thus far has been moderate - a fourth finish at the Players Championship in August at the Classic Golf Resort being the best offering. Yet, Vikrant would like to believe that he has stuck to the routine. More process-oriented, the effort is to keep performing without keeping an eye on results, he said after holing a giant 25-footer on the practice area of the Jaypee Greens.
A seven-under 65 at the BILT Open was synonymous with the Day I leader, but rather than the one-shot lead, Vikrant chose to dwell on the intricacies. One of the longer hitters on the domestic circuit, the open stretches here are to his liking. The par-5s suit me, he said, pointing to the eagle on the 15th, which added wings to the campaign.
It wasn't surprising to see his fondness for the conditions. After a share of the lead (with Anirban Lahiri) on the opening day of the 2009 edition, Vikrant had persevered to finish among the top-five. On Wednesday, his hitting and putting coming together to good effect, the results were similar.