Meet Usman Iqbal - A giant living in disguise in Karachi, Pakistan. He’s a multi-faceted individual who is passionate about football, climbing mountains, marine biology and ocean ecology. Usman’s comical personality is captivating and his energy is contagious - a perfect balance of adventure, intellect and humour.
Who is Usman Iqbal? Give us a little background about yourself and your passions.
I am a sports and science junkie but I am not a professional in either field. I have been playing football for Karachi United since 2002 and I have scored around 120 goals in 370 matches for my club.
I am also part of the Olive Ridley Project. Our aim is to reduce marine pollution and mitigate ghost gear. I get to spend a lot of time by the sea interacting with the ocean and the local fishing community.
My passions are vast and numerous, from playing football, surfing, running marathons to climbing mountains, cycling through valleys and swimming in the ocean. On the other hand, I love interacting with nature and reading up on marine biology and ocean ecology. I spend a good chunk of my time developing IoT solutions to help the environment and I try to create simple robots that can help clean up places.
Share one of your most adventurous/craziest experience in your life?
I trekked to K2 base camp in 2016. Although there have been a number of adventures I have undertaken but the trek by far was the toughest in every sense. It tests the limits of your body and mind. It even tests your preparation.
What inspires you to push yourself and take up challenges?
When my friends see something crazy, they always tell me that I should do it and then I think hey, I can do this! That's where the trouble starts.
A few words of inspiration to encourage people to challenge themselves?
If you don't challenge yourself, you're missing out on all the fun.
Mind vs. Body - Which is more important to you and why?
For me, the body is more important because with time it gets weaker, and that's why you have to take more care of it.
In your opinion, why would you encourage people to visit Pakistan?
For the mountains! Pakistan has more than 100 peaks which are over 7000m. These kind of mountains don’t exist in many parts of the world. And of course the delicious food!
Lastly, as a football fanatic, which team do you support and why?
I support my own club - but from the European leagues I support AC Milan because my favourite player (Andrea Pirlo) used to play there and I watched Milan just to watch Pirlo. Then he went to Juventus but I still supported Milan and watched their matches but I also watched Juventus' matches (it was a confusing time).