Deepika Padukone, actor, athlete and philanthropist, is a testament of beauty, elegance and grit. The superstar, who flutters a millions hearts, has had an inspiring journey to the top. She has had her highs and lows but resolutely overcame each hurdle to reach where she is today. Ever since her battle with depression, Deepika has relentlessly worked towards de-stigmatising mental illness. She has been creating awareness about the importance of mental health and how depression and anxiety can strike anyone leading a seemingly normal life.
However, she has revealed that being a sportsperson has helped her immensely in her journey. She says, “Being an athlete and playing sport has had a tremendous role in shaping my personality and helping me become the person I am today.” Highlighting the conjoined nature of physical and mental wellness, global sportswear giant Adidas has roped in Deepika Padukone as its global brand ambassador. The two are all set to work closely towards a common goal-- to help people focus both on their physical and emotional fitness.
In a fun tete-a-tete, Deepika answers a few pertinent questions about the brand collaboration, her passion for sport and mental wellness.
Cosmo: Welcome to Team adidas! How do you feel now that the news is officially out?
Deepika Padukone: Adidas has been an integral part of all of our lives. We are all too familiar with its iconic line ‘Impossible Is Nothing’. Having said that, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be partnering with them one day. I must admit that today, I do feel a small sense of achievement.
Cosmo: Was it hard to keep this announcement a secret?
DP: Oh Yes! When I was planning my wedding about three years ago, we kept it a secret for a while.Even that wasn’t as difficult as keeping this announcement a secret! And now that this news is finally out, I do feel relieved.
Cosmo: How has growing up with sport as a mainstay in your life, prepared you for today?
DP: You know it’s interesting how you often don’t realize these things growing up. As a kid playing sport, if someone told me back then that it would change my life forever, I would never have believed or understood it fully.
Sport has taught me some of the most incredible life lessons; dedication, determination, discipline and how to be competitive with the right spirit.More importantly, it’s taught me how to handle success and failure. It has played a tremendous role in shaping my personality and helping me become the person I am today. It has taught me values that no other life experience could have!
Fitness, both physical and emotional, have and will always be an integral part of my lifestyle. Today, when I look back, I cannot even begin to imagine what my life would be without sport! I am an actor by profession, but I approach my life like an athlete, that’s just second nature to me.
Cosmo: How do you think your athletic upbringing influences your family now?
DP: There is no doubt that we will expose and encourage our children to play sport. My husband wasn’t exposed to it as much as I was growing up, but I’m glad we agree that when it comes to our family it is and will continue to play an extremely crucial role.
Cosmo: How do you keep active as a family?
DP: Movement and Fitness have always played a huge role in our lives and in everything we do. As a family, we encourage each other to stay fit always; physically as well as emotionally. On holidays too, we try and be active.Gymming, swimming, playing badminton, tennis and squash, and walking are some of the activities we do together as a family. Not only does it help with stay fit physically and emotionally, it also brings people together and helps nurture relationships.
Cosmo: How do you remain focused on your own health and well-being?
DP: While being an athlete and playing sport has played a tremendous role in shaping my personality and helping me become the person I am today, my experience with mental illness has taught me that there is nothing more important than self-care. Today, I am able to prioritiSe my well-being, both physical and emotional, without any guilt attached to it.
Cosmo: What, if anything would you like to change in sport to ensure sport is for all?
DP: I truly believe if there is one profession in the world that is far more inclusive as compared to any other profession, it would be sport. And that the wealth of a nation is not merely defined by its economic growth and success but also by the champions of sport they are able to produce. Therefore, I believe that supporting our young athletes, creating opportunities and increasing infrastructure could help further the cause of inclusivity as well as nation building.
Cosmo: What advice do you have for anyone looking to get active?
DP: To play sport. For it teaches you life lessons that no other experience would. Sport changed my life; it will change yours too.