Ben Thapa is a professional opera singer. You might recognise him from X-Factor or if you’re based in the South West of London, pounding the tarmac on his morning runs. He’s also overcome COVID-19 which he says messed with his lungs and he’s maintained mental health despite it all. Running and staying active, a love for good food, blogging about gin and insufferably feeding his passion for fashion is helping him enormously build his strength, stamina and self-esteem, along with Totum Sport. Here’s his inspiring story.
I was formerly one quarter of the classical crossover group G4, runners up on the first series of ITV’s the X Factor. I now work for most of the major UK opera companies and have performed as a soloist in nearly all the iconic UK concert venues, and many abroad. From a sporting perspective I have so far hobbled around 15 full marathons and countless halves too.
As I get older, I was searching for a product that would aid recovery time to enable me to spend more time on the tarmac. Thank you, Totum Sport, for helping me do just that. I suffer less from cramps and can overcome muscle soreness far quicker.
Who am I? I grew up in a Cambridge and I currently live in South West London. My father is Nepalese, and I have family all over. And yes, I make a mean curry. I’m an opera singer, cricket loving, gin blogging, 100mph life lover. I once even dropped a caught and bowled chance in a cricket match off Alistair Cook. I am also a lifetime undefeated champion at thumb war.
In case you didn't notice, gin is a big passion of my mine and I co-author a blog called High Ginx. Good food and excellent gins don’t necessarily work with my other love, good clothing. I like my whacky sense of style and like to do it justice by keeping my waistline, heart and circulation in check. So, I need some training goals to balance out the 200 gins on my shelf! I love cooking and my body loves eating high protein meals.
I’m keen on being the best version of myself I can be. I like to challenge myself and I love the sense of achievement and self-worth I get from improving my health. This is what running and leading an active lifestyle provides me.
Currently my training spans the roads of South West London and its parks including Battersea, Clapham, Putney, Wimbledon, Richmond, Wandsworth, you name it. I try my best to train most days in some guise. My first marathon was in 2006 and I’ve drifted in and out of the scene since then but I’m on it now! I love going out first thing in the morning because then I feel better all day. There is something to be said about the sustained release of endorphins, the mental clarity, sense of achievement and raising of the metabolism that early morning runs deliver. And of course, the numerous benefits that Totum Sport also provides me throughout the day.
Running forms the core but I do like a weights session in the gym. In a world where the gyms are open, I get to work early and build in a gym session or a run that way. I’m a single Pringle so I don’t have to worry about fitting it in around family life…yet. Getting back into my running. I contracted COVID and it really messed with my lungs; I’ve had to go back to scratch. As Buddha would approve of, I’ve let the past go and tried to make the best of where I am today.
I get a good sweat on so probably don’t hug me mid race! But through this, I also learnt that hydration is about more than just consuming water or colourful sugar-filled juices. The body does indeed need water as well as 78 trace elements and minerals to stay properly hydrated and this is another reason why I use Totum Sport.
If you’re just starting out or wanting to get fitter, running is an inexpensive and great sport to do just that. All you’ll need is a pair of good running shoes, socks, running shorts and vest. The track is provided right at your front door, regardless of where you’re based. Remember to be happy with small victories. Five minutes of exercise is better than none. Try not to look up or down on the ladder, it does no good at all. Just focus on doing the best you can today. Five minutes today. Six minutes tomorrow, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the freedom that running provides.
Buddha was quoted once as saying “Forgiveness is A gift to yourself”. I like the fact that, if bad things happen, we can empower ourselves to move on. And, sometimes we all have off days or even weeks. If you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon, give yourself break. Get back up. Dust yourself off. Forgive yourself and simply start again. It’s your journey.
I’ve suffered from mental health issues in the past and so running the London Marathon for the Mental Health Foundation is an awesome way of me giving back. They do fantastic research into the inextricable links between exercise and mental health. If you’d like to find out more about this initiative, checkout https://justgiving.com/fundraising/benthapa2020