May the fastest sperm win

16 kms/hour. That is the minimum speed entrepreneurs and CEOs ought to be able to run at to stay on top

Dr. Rajat Chauhan

"If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes." ~ Albert Einstein.

I simply love this statement because it applies to everything in life. That is also why, sport, exercise, and physical activity is important. Allow me explain.

The problem is we aren’t performing at our optimum. And we aren't asking why. Think about it for a moment. Why is it that globally, all CEOs are not just on top of their game at work, but are exercise fanatics?

Let’s go back in time. In the scientific community, there is consensus that approximately 13.5 billion years ago matter, energy, time and space came into being. As much as conventional wisdom would have you believe that life forms were destined to happen, and everything is created for human beings, it actually happened more by accident. It took another 10 billion years after the Big Bang that the first life form came into being. This happened because molecules moved randomly to eventually form organisms.

But there was a method in that randomness as well. Because after that first life form came into existence, there was no looking back. Scientific evidence indicates humans have walked on Planet Earth for over 2.5 million years now.

Before humans moved, sperms moved. Then evolution demanded it move a little more and search for an egg to lodge itself. The search morphed into a race to get to the egg. The sperm that finally fertilized the egg had to swim faster and longer.

Each one of you reading this, had to run to be born - or rather had to swim like hell to get to life. Each of you as a sperm was a leader, or an entrepreneur if you will, who believed you were the chosen from among 300 million other sperms. But that self-belief only became reality because you moved like you never did before.

While I am it, allow me throw some more data at you. When a man ejaculates, sperm travels at approximately 10 miles an hour, or 16 kilometers to the hour. How many of us have managed to move unassisted at that speed after we were born?

As luck would have it, besides other skills, a very high number of CEOs can actually run at that speed. If not run, they excel at other sports and adventure activities that relate to 16 kmph. The point being, they are fit and very competitive.

For over 2.5 million years, the ones who managed to stay ahead of the pack came into being. Until about 30,000 to 70,000 years ago, our species was just another species. Then we started to think and communicate differently. We deployed our brains differently from other species'.

The modern brain is twice as large as that of the earliest human. Even when it is at rest, our brain uses up a quarter of the energy of what our entire body does when it is at rest. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this big brain of ours that drains us of energy is primarily not there to think. Prof Daniel Wolpert, a neuroscientist argues the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control grace and agility of complex human movements.

My point is, to become leaders, you need the right mix of brains and brawn. It's a shame when I see otherwise very successful people falling apart because they don’t work out. Remember, all you sperms beat all the odds by being unconventional and moving even before you were born. It's an integral part of being human. You just need to do more of what comes naturally to you.


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About the author

Dr. Rajat Chauhan
Dr. Rajat Chauhan



Rajat is an ultra marathon runner who thought up La Ultra (, perhaps the toughest run in the world. He is one of the rare doctors in India who specializes in the whole spectrum of conservative management of musculo-skeletal pain, esp. back pain. He believes that educating the person with pain, is the most empowering tool.

He is also an Associate Editor of British Journal of Sports Medicine, one of the most respected Sports Medicine and science journals in the world.

He got introduced to pain management 28+ years ago when he started running, because to run faster, you need to understand your body better. It also makes you understand that pain isn't necessarily your enemy. 'Pain is simply a messenger, you appreciate it, understand it, and then move on', those were pearls of wisdom of Dr Roderic Macdonald, former President of British Institute of Musculo-Skeletal Medicine.

After MBBS, Rajat went on to specialize in Sports – Exercise Medicine from Nottingham University, UK, where he realized that 'Exercise as Medicine' is a very powerful tool, which has been understood very little by both the 'medical' and 'fitness' industry. Another thing that struck him was that doctors are ill-equipped when it comes to understanding patients with back pain, because the text-book of medicine spent less than a page on it, even though 80% of the population would experience back at some stage of life.

In mid 2008, he started Back 2 Fitness, first in Bangalore and then moved to Delhi in 2009. The approach we have towards patients and clients at 'Back 2 Fitness' is pioneering work in the field of 'Healthcare Industry', where patient / client is yet again, put at the centre

Also by me

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