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.
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!
Meet Mdm Hayati, 52, homemaker, mother of 3 (23, 22 and 16). I love her bubbly-ness! There was never a dull moment when 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.
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.
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.