Overcoming Personal Challenges – Varda Harneja

This blog post is written by Varda Harneja, a very enthusiastic runner from Delhi NCR, and now a podium finisher at the NCR running scene. Varda talks about how her life got affected by a rare medical condition, and how she overcame it though running.


Imagine waking up and the only part of you that is working, is your brain! You’d constantly visit docs in search of an answer but you hardly get help, every doctor visited was unable to find the reasons despite extensive tests, as the knowledge of Myasthenia Gravis is very limited.


Yes, that’s the term I got introduced to, back in 2012. It was a jerk of sorts, to my smoothly sailing life. After delivering my daughter in 2010, I started experiencing slight difficulties of sorts in general chores, in handling the child and later in my amateurish jogging too. After about a year, I ended up taking a lot of supplements for strength, as the doctors thought I am going ‘weak’ and thus the limbs don’t ‘function’. None of them realized the alarming situation, despite my constant complaining that it is ‘something else’ that I can feel, till the time I collapsed like a deck of cards, amidst happily playing with my kid. Fortunate if I can say, was that fall that lead us to a neurologist who thus declared it to be this dreadful chronic illness called MG!


Life has never been the same post that day when I completely understood what actually MG was. It took me time to understand, to mentally prepare myself that my muscles will not respond the way I want them to! That may include them not allowing me to get off my bed right in the morning, to not being able to simply comb my hair, or feeling a 50kg weight hanging from my eyelids or even just let me blush or laugh out loud!

No cure, no cause, no reasons, no answers. You’re left on your own, to fight it out! So you chose, you want to be a VICTIM or a FIGHTER!! And do I need to say a hell of a fight it was! It made me realize the importance of a healthy life, my own body, made me a hell lot stronger than I was and changed my entire perspective towards life!


Sometimes MG will go into periods of remission, where the disease lies dormant in your body. This can sometimes last for years but can flare up without any warning at any point. All of a sudden you are on bed just as a body, looking forward for other people for help. At this time, science cannot explain why. All of us hope for remission, few of us experience it. And as I said, I found my miracle . No explanation of how, till when, why… but I am going to live it till it lasts… and making sure it doesn’t have the guts to come back!

Post being in remission, I re-started my amateurish jogging in mid 2014… Just to get my muscle strength back, to fight out for my body and above all fight out for my mind… GET MY SELF TOGETHER! Since then there has been no turning back. Though MG keeps giving me small reminders of the past… but I along with running have managed pretty well in kicking the ass out of MG till now. Every time it reminds me, it makes me tougher. More it attacks, more I start preparing for the next fight. I prepare and I prepare hard as now I know the significance of exercise, muscle strengthening, fitness and LIVING HEALTHY!


Earlier I used to run because I could. Now, I run because everyone, including my own body sometimes tells me I can’t. I chose to run not because it is easy, but because it is hard! I decided that since I cannot do anymore than I’m doing to treat it or prevent worsening, so what else do you do? You live with it and you live your life around it! All I could do was what docs told me, go through treatments, do my own research and work with it.

After almost 2 years of resuming running and more than a month of the 100 day running challenge… all I can say is that if I can’t run, I lose a person who chose a daily sport that rewards you by making you suffer. I would lose a piece of who I have found myself to be as I’ve grown in the past 2 years. It’s not something I really do… It’s become an identity for me. It’s what I talk about to people. I’m sure I drive people crazy. It’s become such a huge part of me. It will really be upsetting if I can’t run. So I’m going to keep doing what I can as MG here messed up with the wrong chick!!

75 thoughts on “Overcoming Personal Challenges – Varda Harneja”

  1. Medical problem when come with unknown reason always challenging and In this situation lots of people loose hope …but you prove that Fight between mind and body…if you work hard you can win…salute to you.

    1. Thnx Christine… N uve always given out positive vibes only…
      Love ur write ups n ur energy when u run! Salute 👐

    1. Thnx Christine… N uve always given out positive vibes only…
      Love ur write ups n ur energy when u run! Salute 👐

  2. Congratulations Varda. Your story is amazing and inspiring. The way you have fought with your medical condition is superb. I too have come out of some medical condition some time back and would share my experience in a separate blog. Though not a great runner still I have taken the 100 days challenge. Keep running and inspiring others. Atay blessed and healthy.

    1. Would love to hear it sir.. N v all r runners.. In every sense of it… I feel v all have our own fight, our own stories,our own paths that v run on!! Write soon..

  3. You’re a true fighter Varda. Family, child, work and ‘MG'(I am reading about it for the first time). Very inspiring write up. Happy running.

  4. Hiiii varda, its really inspiring. I have put l0ads 0f weight and n0w i m thinking t0 start runing. And i will d0 it like u did.

  5. Amazing inspiration varda, I have never heard of this kind of symptom….. Great going gurl… Keep ur spirit high.

  6. Wow so inspiring Varda. Can u add chanting and stick to Alkaline foods as an addition to the already wonderful victory that you are striving for?

  7. I am completely awed by this post. It gave me a lot of insight into your personal journey, and I feel privileged to know about it. Your experience is indeed inspiring. I specially loved the phrase – ‘I chose to run not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard!’ It tells me how we sometimes categorize a certain thing as hard and then it is justified to stop trying to achieve it. But you, have taken a completely different approach to it. You are a true fighter. Keep it going, you are doing great!

  8. Varda harneja ….what an inspiring writeup. surely u r one gutsy person to take on a giant like myasthenia gratis and to defeat it too. It is an honour to have a friend ( u r my running guru afterall ) like u who inspires by example. Thank for taking me along this journey of the 100 day running challenge. …and for introducing me to the glory of passion, determination and triumph. Bravo girl bravo

  9. Varda

    Truly inspiring story. I can totally relate to how you felt after being diagnosed by such a disease. And I absolutely love your fighting spirit. Keep running!

  10. Hi Varda,

    Yours is a truly inspiring story. I have seen you running during past few days and knowing your ailment, I am amazed and in complete awe!! Keep up your efforts in fighting the odds!! May you always be blessed!!

  11. Thanks for sharing. Running is a great way to develop ones spirit, no matter what the circumstances of life are. Keep it up and all the best for the rest of the 100 days and beyond.

  12. Varda..you have shown immense courage to move on…keep up the good work…all the very very best wishes…always remember a healthy mind with a focus alwsys win……..

  13. Varda, Only one who chose to fight odds, will win the battle some day. You chose not to be a person to be felt pity for, we are sooooo proud of you my little girl who can now show us how to get over difficult situations. And the way you wrote your story is truly touching. Keep running and inspiring.

  14. You are truly an inspiration for everyone!! May you be able to run your heart out always:) you re a rockstar😊😊

  15. Varda really u r an inspiration for all…… I always admired your fitness but never knew this disease….. every time we saw u running and fully energetic in park. …keep going…. and a big salute to you….

  16. Wow Varda, what a fightback? May many more people take inspiration from you to see the life the way it should be seen!

    Would love to share your blogpost to my fb page towards sharing a hero story, if you’d let me.

    Thanks and Regards


    1. Hey sanjay…. Rightly said… See life the way it should be seen!!
      Sorry for the late reply, was traveling
      N i wud b glad if u share it on ur wall… thanks a lot for the thought!!!

  17. Hey Varda, dint know about your fight till I came about this post…..you have proved time and again what a strong person you are!! Admire your strength ….Stay blessed

  18. What a write up!! And loved the way you said as it describes you perfectly…”MG here messed up with the wrong chick!!” 😉

  19. You were always a sports person nt because of your skill but will…. all the best and may your strength double each day… all these years never knew what’s happening with you but today I feel proud to know that you were and always will be fighter.

  20. Impressed by your determination. You said it.. MG tried to mess up with the wrong person.. Now start raising the bar so much that MG wont dare to raise its head again.. Keep it up!!!

  21. Your story is amazing and inspiring. Many people normally succumb to the medical condition and fail to come out of it. Your story is a lesson to all of us who does not feel to give up easy. A true Champion you are. Keep running , keep conquering the villain within you …….

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