When Pratik Vitthal Mohite was born, his hands and feet were incredibly small, and doctors told his parents that he would not ever be able to walk or even move by himself, and he would need constant help and support in life. Now an adult, he has just been named the world’s shortest bodybuilder and earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, at 3 feet 4 inches.
Mohite, who lives in Maharashtra in India, first gained an interest in fitness as a teenager after watching his uncle working out, and started going to the gym—but faced ridicule from naysayers. He soon developed a strict routine consisting of a 30-minute runs every morning, and 2-hour workouts in the gym every evening.
“When I started working out, I got lots of friends and village people dissing me, and they said ‘you won’t be able to make it,'” he says. “But I gave myself a challenge and made myself show the world. I kept working out and motivating myself to one day get a world record in bodybuilding.”
Since then, Mohite has gone on to take part in more than 40 bodybuilding competitions, at a district, state, and national level. When he participates in competitions, he says that the other bodybuilders are frequently “shocked” to see him, but he is undeterred. He hopes to encourage and inspire other people who are short and have faced similar difficulties.
“Though our height is short, our dreams should be big,” he says. “There is nothing ‘impossible’ in the world. If we work hard with dedication we can change ‘impossible’ to ‘possible’.”