#GoSisters to Strengthen Sisterhood

Working out in the gym, running, cycling, swimming or even hiking are activities that require endurance and focus. But that should not stop us to spread positive vibes and smiles when you bump into another sister working out.

1. Smile

Smiles are contagious and let’s be honest. Seeing someone smiling at you when you are struggling to lift extra weights or pushing yourself for better pace gives you a booster!

2. Cheer

You don’t need to know each other to cheer and support one another. When you are tired and battling inner demons while working out or racing, a cheer from anyone would boost your mood and keep your focus. You would definitely benefit from a stranger cheering for you and you’d definitely make a positive impact to another sister you cheer to.

3. Make Friends

You get to meet like-minded people when you workout. When you train, hit the gym, zumba or dance, the people you meet have a common Many friendships are built when you workout.

4. Support Each Other

Working out is not easy for everyone. Every time we train, race or sweat out, be it to improve personal record, relax or simple sweating out, working out itself is not an easy thing to do. Most of us have to fight inner demons every time we need to get ready for training. Supporting each other, it can be as easy as saying #GoSisters

 5. Spread Positivity

No matter how bad your day is, you work out for betterment. Spread positive vibes. Smile, cheer and support each other. Make workout a happy place, no matter where you are. It starts with us.

6. Let’s Be Happy

Working out should increase endorphin release, also referred to as feel-good hormones. No matter how tired or sore your muscles are, remember, the end result is pleasure. So, be happy when you work out, no matter how intense it is.

#GoSisters : Let’s be happy

Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Malaysia Marathon 2019 Race Review

After three weeks of grey clouds hovering the skies in Klang Valley, on the 29th Sept, Kuala Lumpur greeted the runners at the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon with a clear blue sky. It was a great day to run. Although it was drizzling when the full marathon flagged-off at 3:45am, but it quickly subsided about 20 minutes after.

Blue Sky at Dataran Merdeka. Picture by cheery running friend, Farhani

I joined the Half Marathon together with my husband and like previous years, we took the LRT from Bandar Tasek Selatan to Masjid Jamek to get to Dataran Merdeka. The event organiser – Dirigo, without fail, sponsored the LRT rides in Klang Valley for a certain period of time to facilitate runners’ logistic arrangement.

The start and finish area for all categories are not the same. The 5km and 10 km run were held at Sogo area, while the half and full marathon at Dataran Merdeka.

The arrangement to enter runners’ designated pens were well-organised and strict. Pens were used to segregate runners based on targeted timing – fastest being in the one in front and slowest at the back. The Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia, YB Syed Saddiq flagged-off and joined the run. The KL Standard Chartered Run was well organised and I saw a lot of efforts to make the event world-standard. Before the run started, the emcee gave a few safety and running etiquette reminders. For example, he reminded the runners on how to overtake each other by telling the person in front of you that you are over-taking on the right. By virtue of that, if you plan to slow down in the crowd, keep left so that those who wish to go faster than you can do that on the right. He also reminded the runners to run within designated zones to stay safe and smile 😊 for the cameras 📸.

Half Marathon Flag Off 5:30am

Here are our collective reviews from half and full marathon runners about some aspects of the run :

  • Baggage Drop
    👍 – Well-managed
  • Toilets
    👍 – Ample with not many queues. We only saw short queues at early kilometers and after that, hardly any. This was good as runners can achieve better timing.
  • Medical & Paramedics
    👍 Many ambulances were seen patrolling the race routes at the early, middle and later part of the routes. This was really encouraging because I usually see them only at later part of the race.
  • Water Station, Sponges and Muscle Spray
    👍 – Well-organised and well-coordinated by friendly volunteers who understood runners needs.
  • Medal and Finisher Collection Area
    👌 – Fast and well-managed. However, the area where you can enter to collect  the water, 100 plus and medal was lax, loosely-controlled. Anyone can enter the area. Last year, I found the finisher area managed very strictly.  The organiser could consider giving finisher slip or provide medal immediately at the finish line.
  • Road & route management
    👍 Overall, it was good. Most roads were well lighted up except a few areas – dark (at Kampung Baru), wet and needed light before the sun rise. Inevitably, due to the rain earlier, a few corners of the roads were filled with water and runners had to slow down and be extra careful to keep shoes dry. It would be nice if runners get to run more in the city than on the DUKE highway. Or,  get some volunteers to cheer along the long highway. It would also be nice if we run the opposite way of the route, so that runners do not have to go through hills last leg.
  • Surau
    👍  
    Praying areas were well-planned with signage. One water station was used by male runners to pray. I just prayed by the road using raazglove to ‘sujud’ on. I saw a couple of runners praying by the road and the place looked safe and convenient. So, I just followed them.
  • Traffic Control
    👍 Thumbs up for the traffic marshals and volunteers along the race route. They kept the runners on track, friendly and were very strict about the runners path. They were also strict about how you wear the bib – which is in the front!
  • International Participants
    👍 I see more international participation at the KLSCM this year. Running groups and runners from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan were quite visible at the run. Many Indonesian and China supporters were seen cheering at the finish line.
  • Medal & T-shirts
    👍 Medal – Sleek design of medal with difference sizes for different categories. I cannot help but wonder why the Twin Towers on the medal are not the same height? Could it because the perspective or angle of the towers?

    KL Standard Chartered Marathon 2019 Medal Run for a Reason

    The running shirts for the event were by Under Armour and the design was the same as previous years – simple and neat. I love all the colors !
    Running shirt : Electric blue with 2 design options : short sleeves or running vest.
    Extra Shirt for Run for a Reason – Olive color short sleeve shirt
    Full marathon finishers get dark blue finisher short sleeve shirts

    About two weeks before the event, the organiser announced the change of event name to the Kuala Lumpur Standard Charted Marathon (KLSCM) from Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM). It was a last minute change. Therefore, there was no surprise that the merchandises retained the old name : SCKLM.

  • Event Village
    👍 What’s new about the event village was the steel-looking over-head walk-way that goes across the start and finish line. Although it couldn’t accommodate many users, it was useful to facilitate runners and supporters to cross the road. There were many activities to do other than cheering for finishing runners. You could catch up with fellow runners, take pictures, rest and recover or get a massage after the race. I wanted to get leg and back massage after the run, but the set-up was too open. It would be great if the event organiser allocate an area for women who wish not to be visible in the open area. The event emcee kept the mood going with upbeat music running on the background the whole time I was at the village.Another nice thing to have at the village is food and more food. Just get the food trucks there and runners would be so happy to fill up their huge appetite after the run while waiting for fellow friends.

    On the Runners approaching the finish line as I walked over.

  • KLSCM 2019 App
    👌 On the day of the race, many used the app to follow and track their friends.  I too downloaded and used the app to track others who were running. Unfortunately, the updates for live tracking was slow and at times, the info of the runner I followed disappear. The app gave pop-up updates about the runners you follow until they finish. The updates at one point was an hour delay – I received the update about my friend finishing the run, an hour after she finished. Response time certainly needs improvement.
  • Running Participation
    👍  Based on the unofficial info on KLSCM App, less than 10,000 runners of 13,000 registered full marathon runners, while less than 9,500 runners out of 12,500 registered half marathon runners joined the feat. This was about 73%-76% participation rate.

Congrats to Runners
At KLSCM, you see serious and competitive runners. They push you forward. Whether or not you meet your timing goals, what matter is that you finish strong and ethically.  These are Nashata Runners Full Marathon finishers  that I am so proud of : Farhati, Intan Suraya, Intan Siza, Laili Mardziah, Nur Azyan, Siti Nor Aliza, Syariza and Zamzamiah.

Farhati Happy with her 1st Full Marathon.

Intan Suraya, Marshita, Fiza – Full Marathon Finishers

Nor Laili after finishing her 1st Full Marathon

Syariza & Intan Siza after full marathon. Intan Siza pacing Syariza 1st FM as a birthday gift #sisterhood

Full marathon finishers : Syariza, Zamzamiah & friend

Run for a Reason
I was happy to have a rewarding experience raising funds and awareness for the National Cancer Society of Malaysia together with my husband. We collectively raised RM6,720. Although small, we hope our effort contributes to a greater cause. We hope to continue to do this next year.

Half Marathon Finishers – Soy Mokhtar & I

Special Thanks to Volunteers and Cheerers
Friendly and supportive volunteers and cheerers helped runners keep running mood positive and they pushed us going.

Dirigo keeps improving its standards and I appreciate the efforts.  Keep it up!

Review is based on experience by Intan Suraya and I.

Sea Expedition – Kelong Jump & Mangrove Kayaking

It was another great day out at sea ma syaa Allah. This is our 2nd run of Sea Expedition as part of GEMS Movement – Grundy+POPWOW Empowering Me Series. The weather was perfect and the company was simpply AWESOME!

Objectives

  1. Instill confidence in the open water
  2. Learn to work together (kayaking) against the natural elements
  3. Overcome fear of uncertainties (Kelong Jump)
  4. Increase awareness about the importance of affects of pollution in the sea, how kelong works, history of Pulau Ubin

We completed the mission!

We met early morning at Changi Point Ferry Terminal and boarded our chartered boat to Peers Outdoor Kelong. All 14 of us were so nervous yet excited to face the challenges ahead. The refreshing boat ride did calm their nerves as we travelled about 15mins to reach the kelong. We were warmly greeted by Sky and Dini, the intructors in-charge of our fate today hahaha.

Kelong Jump

Our first challenge was Kelong Jump. It didn’t look so scary at first but as one ascend to the top of the platform (about 1.5m above sea) and faces the open water, legs started to feel like jelly. Uncle Lee is ready in the safety boat about 20 metres away. Sky stood by our side to ensure that we adopt the proper jumping position while the rest of us cheered. The motivation and support from everyone definitely helped. The scene is set, we knew what to do, adopted the proper skill, safety measures- personal life jacket, safety boat, safety personnel in pos… all we had to do was tawakkal and take the plunge. A hundred question started to creep into our minds. We didn’t know how deep the water was, what lurks underwater, how strong the current was. Am I going to be swept way? Am I going to drown? While some even thought of sharks and loch ness monsters, i thought about Nemo and Dory and Spongebob hehehe… Some of us took a lil bit longer on the platform to compose ourselves but one by one, all 14 of us took the challenge and battled our fears to jump.  I was so proud of everyone!

Sarah bracing for Kelong Jump

Dini and Sky motivating Nasreen for her jump

Pulau Ubin Mangrove Kayaking 

Next Challenge! Mangrove Kayaking on double kayaks. It was important to delegate the partners correctly according to size and experience. Sky conducted a safety brief and a short lesson on kayaking. We learnt how to paddle, how to communicate with our partners and the whole team with the use of signals by whistle blows and use of paddles. We learnt the jargons – “break raft” and reminded of how to look out for one another. We identified the patners, collected our equipment and head on out to sea.

Kayaking was definitely not as simple and smooth sailing as it seems. There are many elements at play. Cooperation and communication is of utmost importance between partners. While we work together as a duo, we also need to work as a team with other kayaks to ensure that all is present and well. We did a few challenges in the water, kayak along the beautiful mangroves swamps of Pulau Ubin. The tide was going down.It was more difficult to paddle in but the outflow of sea water made it easier for us to glide back out into the sea.

In the midst of the expedition, we mantained  a single file while keeping our silence to enjoy the serenity and to look out for the familiar creatures. We would huddle and Sky would tell us about how the mangrove works, the history of Pulau Ubin and the kelongs. Mangrove forests are an extremely productive ecosystems that provide numerous good and services both to the marine environment and people. Being homes to a large variety of sea creatures, the dense root systems of mangrove forests also trap sediments flowing down rivers and off the land. This helps stabilises the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms.

We kayak from Jelutong Campsite, through the straits of Ketam Island and into RUM Site 2

It took us about 3 hours to finally complete the expedition. We were exhausted but definitely fullfiled and satisfied! Back at the kelong, while drying off, we conductd a post-activity debrief session where every member shared their learning points.

Learning Points – The different elements and how it applies to our daily life

  1. The Tools – In this scenario, the tools we have is the PSD (Personal Safety Device – lifejacket), paddle, kayak and ourselves. These are elements we can control. It is our responsibilities to learn how best to use these tools for our benefits, learn how to manourver, how to work with and not against the tools we have in our lives. We can choose not to adhere to safety regulations and endanger ourselves and others. We can choose to be lazy and let ourselves drift away expecting others to steer the boat for us. We can choose to throw away the paddle and not benefit from it. Or we can ensure our personal safety, work hard and smart to learn to paddle and manouver the boat to get to our destination and benefit from the tools we have and the experience we gained. Like all other tools we have in our lives. The pen and paper, our smartphones, our laptops, our kitchen, our education… we can choose how these tools benefit us. These tools are at our disposal and it is within our control to put in the effort and learn how to use these tools positively.
  2. Forces of Nature – As we kayak, we work with or against the natural elements like the sea, the current and tides, the wind, the weather- rain or shine.  We can predict and forecast but can never control. We can choose to complain, berate and curse at the “bad” weather or lament at every difficulty. Or we can choose to embrace and learn how to work best in any condition. As we paddle upstream against the tide, we paddled harder. It is tough but if we presevere, we will get to our destination and we know at the end of the day, “What doesn’t kill us, just makes us stronger.” We definitely went back with stronger arms and fitter upper bodies! As we went downstream, clouds were coming in, we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves as we went with the tide, light rain cooled us after the harsh heat of the sun and the winds pushed us towards the kelong. “Indeed, With difficulty, there is ease”. Our life is nothing but trials and tribulations. It is through these simulated experiences that we learn to deal and cope with challenges and difficulties. We sometimes land in conditions beyond our control, like the elements we faced today, we can choose to drift away or drown in our own desperation or work hard to overcome the challenge. We can always choose to look at the brighter side of things. As we paddled up, through the heat, our laughter made it easy. The beautiful scenery and awesome sights made it all worth it. We return humbled and full of gratitude.
  3. Social Wellness (Other people) – Social Wellness is the relationship we have with other people. In this case, our kayak partner, other members of the team and our Instructor. This is where effective communication plays an integral part in our safety and well-being. Effective communication includes LISTENING and giving proper instructions where patience, empathy (understanding the emotions) and sense of awareness also plays a role. One steers and one guides. Both paddle left and right together. Keeping in formation. No one left behind. We can choose not to listen to instructions and then panic because we don’t know how to use the paddle and we are not moving in the direction we want. We can choose to be lazy and let our partner do most of the work. We can choose to be selfish and leave others behind. Or we can choose to work together, listen and learn and look out for one another. Like all other relationships we have in our lives. In marriage with our spouses, with neighbbours and colleagues and family members. We can be selfish and excel ourselves or we can work together to ensure the well-being of our society and community is being taken care of. We can learn to listen and be empathetic to preserve our relationships or not. We can help or not. We can be vigilant or ignorant. At the end of the day, we will definitely reap thhe benefits or face the consequences of our choices. If we expect kindness from others, let ourselves be kind.

Effective communication includes LISTENING and giving proper instructions where patience, empathy (understanding the emotions) and sense of awareness also plays a role

Alhamdulillah, at the end of the day, we achieved all the objectives set for this activity. We gained much insights about oursleves, our comrades, the kelongs in Singapore, Pulau Ubin and the mangrove swamps. After the kelong jump, 3hrs of paddling, debrief session, reflections and sharings, we each takeaway some valuable lessons and experience, that we will never gain through books. Parallel life skills, lessons that we hope will benefit them in their daily lives and which will be used to benefit others. In syaa Allah…

 

To more adventures! Look out for our next blog about our Caving Experience and Waterfall Abseiling at Gunung Muntahak.

Love,

Efah Anuar

Get 20% OFF from Nashata Referral Program

Girl pals, We have got more goodies for you! Last year we launched loyalty reward points and we are happy that our lovely customers are making good use of it!

Now, you can enjoy MORE benefits from Nashata Referral Program. You get 20% OFF at nashata.com everytime you sponsor a friend. If your sponsored friend is new  to Nashata.com and registers an account, he or she will get 20% OFF for the first purchase. Your friend will receive an invitation to register an account via email and the 20% vouchercode will be email to him or her upon successful creation of an account.

Sponsor your friends

Here’s how to get started!

  1. Logon into your account at nashata.com
  2. Go you My Account and click Referral Program
  3. Enter the last name, first name and email address of your friends and Click Validate to proceed.
Nashata Referral Program

Go to My Account and look for Nashata Referral Program

Enter name and email addresses of those you wish to sponsor, tick the check box and click validate

Your friend(s) will get email notification as below. He/she needs to sign up at nashata.com. Nashata will email a 20% vouchercode to your friend upon successful creation of account. The voucher code is valid for 1 year.

Your sponsored friend will get an email from Nashata

Once your friend has successfully purchased his or her first item at nashata.com, you will receive a 20% voucher code from Nashata via email and it is valid for one year. Every time a new sponsored friend purchases at nashata.com, you will receive a 20% voucher! It is that easy.

What are you waiting for? Share Nashata awesomeness with your friends! Start sponsoring friends today! You can sponsor as many friends as you want.

Nura Arabi – Nashata Ambassador

Strong yet sweet is who Nura Arabi is. A Canadian of Palestinian/Greek descent who resides in Abu Dhabi, Nura is full of positive energy inside out. This girl has broken many stereotypes. I first met Nura in 2016 when she came to Malaysia for a short visit tail end of Ramadhan. At that point, I admired her bravery for travelling alone from one country to another.

Nura Arabi finds Malaysia just like home.

We met again in Dubai early this year and she gave my daughter and I the best hospitality ever. My daughter will not forget the Camel Cookies she got us and I, on the other hand will never forget healthy meals and freshly-hand-squeezed orange juice she prepared for us while we were in Abu Dhabi.

FITNESS ++

To many, fitness is not just about building strength and ability to do headstands and push ups, but also eating healthy. But for Nura, it is beyond those. Her interest is rooted in research and development. She wants to help people to be better and that is aligned with what we do at Nashata – to empower women to have active lifestyle. A physical education (PE) teacher by profession, Nura instills the importance of discovery and growth as on-going process and she encourages students to see research activities central to daily life. At work, Nura teaches young children PE and swimming and every morning, she gives health tips for kids on Breakfast Club Show,  Pearl FM Radio 102.00, in UAE.

The Strength Within

SHE CARES & SHE SHARES

Strong and progressive, Nura cares a lot about building a healthy nation. She shares her views on how this can be achieved on newspaper, social media sites and podcasts. Her hard work and contribution in health promotion field was recognized and she was named as a Game Changer in GCC in the health promotion field. Hardworking and committed, Nura offers a lot of tips and knowledge to all.

Nurturing & Knowledgeable

Nurturing & Knowledgeable

SHE IS KNOWLEDGEABLE 

Teaching is in Nura’s blood. Her parents were teachers and her mother has been pivotal in her career and interest in fitness and education. After receiving her Masters in Education from Canada, Nura continues to read a lot and conduct researches pertaining to fitness and health.

You will never get tired of Nura.  Now, at 27, she is full of energy and has many fresh ideas. At dinner before she departed to Abu Dhabi, she told me about two things about keeping fit; Having the Knowledge and Willpower. Two of which you don’t hear much from others.

NURA – BREAKING STEREOTYPES

“I have heard about Nashata a while back but was a little skeptical (I have problems with online shopping) But when I checked everything in person, I fell in love. The material is light, breathable and will last you long. The black shirt I am wearing holds up to lulu lemon quality and can cross to a swim wear. ? The best part is the hijab. Fits like a glove around the head, the length stops at the neck ( doesn’t crumble under clothes) and very very light. You can literally take it anywhere and you can fit it in one of those coins purses”, says Nura on her Instagram/_ichallenger/

There will be more takeaways from energetic Nura, InsyaAllah, as she will be sharing her tips here at Nashata ! ?

#NashataRun4Charity for South Africa Children Centre

In March 2017, Fatimah, Intan Suraya, Nahsuhah,  Saamiyah, Zaheda and Zainab (not her real name)  volunteer to run more than 600 km as a team to raise funds for Baitul Aman. For every 1km they run, Nashata will contribute RM1 to Baitul Aman. You can help sponsor them too and make their run worth more for the children at Baitul Aman.

As of 22nd March, the running sisters have ran 457 km. Zaheda tops the team with 124km to date. Make their sweat worth more and more for the children they wish to help. Sponsor at least USD5 to these runners at LaunchGood or RM22 at Nashata

Zaheda runs in niqab and the most in the pack!

Zaheda from Durban runs in niqab and the most in the pack!

Zaheda runs the most and fastest in the pack!

Zainab runs fast and diligently. She keeps us on our toes!

Intan Suraya runs a full marathon and 2 half marathon in March

Intan Suraya runs a full marathon and 2 half marathon in March

Nahsuhah - The fastest and youngest in the team

Nahsuhah – The fastest and youngest in the team

Saamiyah & her running team

Saamiyah in Nashata Azza Toplectic & her running team at her 1st full marathon Oct’16

We update the team everyday and support each other

We update the team everyday and support each other

Why you should sponsor the run?

You can be a part of the cause and help our running sisters make a bigger impact for Baitul Aman. Make their sweat worth more and more for the children they wish to help. Sponsor at least USD5 to these runners at LaunchGood or RM22 at Nashata

Why Baitul Aman, La Mercy?

Our running sisters from South Africa feel strongly about children and education. They collectively chose Baitul Aman to be the recipient of the cause. With the increase of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, the number of abandoned babies and neglected children from diverse backgrounds requires Baitul Aman  to cover conventional child and youth care programme as well as others. The home takes care on average 48 children including abandoned babies.

What is the duration of the fund raising?

Our running sisters started running for Baitul Aman from 1st March ’17 and will stop 31st March ’17. However, the sponsorship continues until 10 April ’17

What happens to the sponsorship?

The amount sponsored via launchgood will be transferred directly to Baitul Aman.  Fatimah, Saamiyah, Zaheda and Zainab (the runners) will visit the center to deliver sponsorship from Nashata at the end of the campaign.

You can be apart of this too. You can :

  • Sponsor the runners at least USD5
  • Virtual run with the runners wherever you are. You can post your runs and use hashtags #nashatavirtualrun4charitySouthAfrica #nashatavirtualrun4charity
  • Follow and support the runners on social media. These are the hashtags for the run #nashatavirtualrun4charitySouthAfrica #nashatavirtualrun4charity

About Nashata Run For Charity

It is a virtual run that aims to raise funds for ‘Charity of Choice’ in a new country every month. Nashata runners together with a group of runners in respective country would run virtually for the whole month. Nashata pays RM1 for every 1 KM each runner’s mileage. Nashata Run for Charity fosters 3 things:-

  • Stronger Sisterhood
  • Strengthen Fitness
  • Support a Cause

Started first in Brunei in Feb ’17, the run gathers four female runners from respective country and two Nashata runners who volunteer to run as much as they could to raise fund for a charity of their cause in the country.

In March’17, six Nashata runners from South Africa & Malaysia pledge to run to raise funds for Baitul Aman Children’s Home in South Africa. Be a part of the cause and help the runners make a bigger impact by sponsoring them with Nashata.

… more countries to be announced soon. If you are interested to participate please email contactus@nashata.com

 

My Inspirations

Assalaamualaikum… I am feeling exceptionally grateful today so I decided to write about my Inspirations.

“Your ONLY limit is YOU”

Like every other souls in this temporary platform, the journey of life has presented itself with trials and challenges as promised. Each with its own uniqueness and timing. And like many others, I am bestowed with gifts at every pitfalls and crossroads (as promised!) and often, it comes in the form of a human being who came to shine light to my darkness. Because sometimes, we only need a little nudge or a hand to hold, to get back up on own feet and continue the run. Someone who inspires you. In my fitness journey, they are my inspirations…

First and foremost, meet mummy dearest. Mdm Mahlia, 62, homemaker, mother of 3 beautiful girls (ahem.. me being the middle child thank you) 41, 37 and 32. As a young girl, i don’t remember Mak ever being involved in sports but she was always busy helping my auntie, baking cakes or at home sewing curtains, clothes and bedsheets and making hand-crafted flowers to decorate our home. Our home is always beautiful and bright. Although not sporty, Mak is very sporting! She loves thrill rides like the Triple Looper @ Genting and banana boat rides (unlike Abah who will graciously decline to participate and volunteer to “jaga” our belongings instead). I know who i inherited my fearlessness from!

As the years passed, Mak put on quite a lot of weight (which she blames me for). When she was diagnosed with Diabetes and Hypertension a few years back, she took it upon herself to opt for a lifestyle change. She did not complain nor lament at her plight. She religiously followed the doctor’s advise, took care of her food intake, put in effort to reduce her weight and started to exercise. She did not really plan a workout schedule but incorporated them in her daily routine. She would sometimes cycle to my sister’s place (10km to and fro) or stop by the Fitness Corner at her neighbourhood for a 20-30mins workout before heading home to continue her duties.

Mak overcame her fear of swimming and joined me for class!

Today, Mak is actively involved in fitness activities organised by the mosques and community centres. She continues her daily routine and has loss nearly 15kg since she started. Her blood pressure and blood sugar level has also improved tremendously. When she got injured and tore a tendon in her right foot, she did not let that injury deter her one bit. We were slightly worried about her safety but I am amazed by her tenacity and determination to recover and get back in shape. I see that in her, all my life. That stubborness and never give up attitude. And it is that strength that got me through adversities and life’s worst moments especially during my time in the armed forces.

Mak… you are always my inspiration!

 

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Our favourite past time – Chilling by the beach. Mak never wasted any opportunity to get wet and enjoy the waves

Meet Mdm Hayati, 52, homemaker, mother of 3 (23, 22 and 16). I love her bubbly-ness! There was never a dull moment when16807477_10155023304164680_982816217414646884_n she is around. Kak B, as we lovingly call her, did not like any sports before. She hates getting sweaty she said but when she sustained a slipped disc and was immobilized for a month, she knew she had to do something.

“I do not want to die like this”.

Upon recovery, Kak B tried slow jogging but found it too strenuous for her due to her health condition. So she tried swimming as recommended by a friend. But she did not know how to swim. I met Kak B at the pool during one of my lessons in 2015. She approached us and requested to join our class. Allah definitely is the Best Planner! I think I learnt more from her than she did, ma shaa Allah. It’s always interesting and beneficial to hear these veterans talk about life and sharing their motherhood experiences. Makes one feel so humble yet excited for what more lies ahead.

“I feel more alive, healthier mentally and physically. Don’t let age be an obstacle for you to be active again. It is never too late to start.”

Today, Kak B swims 30 laps every week. She continues to amaze me with her constant cheerfulness and is always keen to learn more. She diligently listens to my instructions and continues to improve her strokes weekly. She can tread water for more than 5mins without breaking a sweat! I’m dying after just 2mins! Sometimes we had to pull her out of the water because while the rest is pancit after 20 laps, she is still smiling through 30… AMAZING!

Last but certainly not the least, meet my Iron ladies! They say “Friends who work out together, stays together”. And they prove it right. These ladies not only work out together but they eat together, attend religious classes and bakes together.

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Kak Has and Kak Normah were both part of their school’s athletic club (donkey years ago)  but sheepishly admitted that they stopped being active after marriage and having children. By 40, both commented that they became overweight and started to feel the strains due to the weight and inactivity. It was Kak Has who took up the challenge and participated in a “Lose to Win” programme organised by the Health Promotion Board (Singapore). She definitely loss weight but she also rediscovered the zeal of an active life again. Since then, Kak Has remains active with weekly programmes and participating in races. She completed Swissotel Vertical Marathon tau! Something I myself malas nak attempt hehehe… She then encouraged Kak Normah and Kak Mus to join her weekly activities. Kak Mus who has always been active ( you can tell by her sturdy posture and strong look) represented her school in hockey, badminton and softball. She continued being active doing brisk walking during her stint as a bus driver. She says she needs to do this because she wants to be able to keep up with her 11 -year-old daughter.

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Now these iron ladies swims every Tuesdays/ Fridays. They also have Aquarobics on Thursdays and group training on Sundays. POWER kan! Of course, while being active, they never neglect their duties. They attend religious class on every other day and they are wonderful cooks and terrific mums+wives. They are always up and about attending new classes and searching for new makan places. Who dare says that we women cannot do everything?? All 3 agrees that being active makes them feel more energetic unlike their comrades who leads a more sedentary lifestyle. They say they are able to perform their ibadah and daily routines much better with a healthy body and mind.

“People sometimes laugh at us. Maybe they think its funny that we makcik-makcik is exercising. Tak pe…

Instead of talking so much or laughing at us, I think they should join us”  – Kak Mustakizah

These 5 gems have definitely created a great impact in my life. Not only am I inspired to continue this fitness journey till I’m wrinkled and old, I learnt so much from them in other aspects of life  as well, as a mothers, daughter, wife and friend. May Allah bless them with strength and perseverance to continues this journey.

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Sunday Group Training @ Sengkang Park with Coach Hayya (FitFab)

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Paying it Forward : Fund Raising @ TKC Walk-a-Run Carnival

When Lini Kazim and I had breakfast together at the Pullman Hotel in November 2014, she shared with me her new ‘task’ to organise a 5km run for our alma mater. Without any hesitation, I told Lini I would support her indefinitely. I would do anything within my capacity to give back to the school that brought me to greater heights after high school.

TKC Enstek

TKC Enstek, new with barren field

In 2013, Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC) moved from Seremban to Bandar Enstek. The much bigger school needed funds to build proper sports facilities. Lini, the iron lady was brilliant, creative and realistic in putting together the run, that later became a Carnival. She put a lot of thinking and detail into many aspects of the Carnival. Apart from her, the committee members of the TKC Old Girls Association (OGA), led by Datin Norhizan Ibrahim or better known as Kak Suzi, were all out in making the project a success. Everyone put their best effort! It was about raising funds of RM500k for the school and putting together a Carnival for 1,000 people.

Only on the third week of December 2014 did we get confirmation of the dates and venue. That was when the ball started rolling fast. We had two and a half months to work towards the TKC Walk-a-Run Carnival, a costume 5km Walk/Run plus many other sporting activities, scheduled on the 15th February at Putrajaya WaterSports Center, Presint 6.

TKC Walk-a-Run Carnival

TKC Walk-a-Run Carnival Sponsors

Long story cut short, the event was a great success with more than 1,000 registered participants. The Carnival received good response from the all walks of life. In fact, there was a long queue of about 200 people for walk-in-registration from 6:45 am onward at the Carnival.

 

First 1,000 paid participants received Personalised LifelineIDs with TKC OGA logo engraved on it

First 1,000 paid participants received Personalised LifelineIDs with TKC OGA logo engraved on it

It was an amazing experience for many as some walk or run with their batch mates, family members and school friends. We get to witness all sorts of creativity from participants dressing up in their favorite characters and themes. In fact, there was a batch of 20 sisters who dressed up in hand-made tutu and tiaras. The scenic route started from the main event venue around Putrajaya International Convention Center to  Seri Gemilang Bridge and back to the event venue around the lake passing by the new Heriot-Watt University and Pullman Hotel. There were school girls from TKC band performing at certain locations along the route. It was just amazingly colorful and exciting!

Costume Run

Scenic Run in All sorts of Costume

The Carnival was not just about the 5km walk/run. There were many other exciting activities for participants after the run. There was zumba, insanity aerobics and KJ Basketball Challenge at the main event venue. We had sporting First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin participating and  inaugurating the Carnival.

Datin Seri Rosmah giving away prizes to winners

Datin Seri Rosmah giving away prize to a winner, witnessed by Khairy Jamaluddin, Tan Sri Rafiah Salim and Pn. Mariam Tun Sulaiman

Alhamdullillah, at the Carnival, it was reported that the OGA raised about RM300k. InsyaAllah, with strong determination, team work and strong sisterhood, the school will get its sports facility taking its shape soon. As for me, I was happy to be given the opportunity to pay it forward. I thank Lini and the TKC OGA Committee members for giving me a small role at the Carnival.

Here’s a good overview of the event as captured by Astro Awani

For more information about TKC Walk-a-Run Carnival, visit their facebook page or website. The TKC OGA is still collecting donations, so please feel free to contact them and help the current and future students at Tunku Kurshiah College have proper sports facilities.

 

Lastly, here’s a special picture of Ida Bakar, Nashata’s Lead Designer and her team : “Run like the RomanCinta Team, Run like a Gypsy”

RomanCinta the Gypsy

Run like the RomanCinta, Run like a Gypsy