A Year In Hijab

I knew I embraced the hijab early last year because I remember my first ‘holiday in hijab’ – Abu Dhabi, March 2013. But, I wasn’t sure exactly when I began to wear the hijab. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I got an email reminder yesterday telling me that today was to be the anniversary of performing Umrah and deciding – this is it – I want to wear a hijab. My past self must have sensed this was a momentous decision and worth recording for the benefit of her future self. I’m glad she did this for me. Continue reading “A Year In Hijab”

Dear Diary

Dear Diary

My friend gave me a beautiful notebook – around the time I started to seriously write my novel. It turned into a ‘diary’ for my novel…. some days I wrote what was going on personally or why I hadn’t written in my novel since the last time…

But every time I sat to write, I wrote the minimum of:
– date
– words written that day
– total word count so far Continue reading “Dear Diary”

Small Achievements vs Big Achievements

The euphoria you experience by attaining something quickly and easily lasts a mere moment compared to something attained through hardship and determined perseverance.

So stop focusing on small hills to climb when your ambition is that mountain beyond the hills.  For all the time and effort you spent on the easier shorter tasks, you could have been standing at the highest summit at this very moment.

Train your mind to stop procrastinating and start climbing that mountain today.

© Rabia Bashir 2013

Can Fat Be Fit?

I managed to swim thirty lengths yesterday – the most I’ve ever swum in my life.

It made me remember the school swimming gala I took part in when I was approximately twelve years old.  I was representing my class in the front crawl race.  But before I continue – a little background information – I’ve always carried a little (and sometimes a lot) of extra weight compared to my peers.  My brother, who was sat in the spectators’ area on the first floor, told me over dinner that evening about what had happened to him when I stepped forward to the edge of the pool.

“Oh my God Juned – is that your fat sister?!” His ‘friends’ pointed down and laughed.  I imagine he shrivelled back in his seat and waited for me to come in last.

Thank God the laughter and cruel words didn’t reach me as I focused on my lane of water.  The whistle blew, I swam with all my might and the race ended.  I came in second place.  The boys stopped laughing and my brother sat forward with surprise and pride (I imagine).

“I didn’t know you were a good swimmer Afa,” he beamed over dinner.

Like any school kid or person, I had my weaknesses of course – long distance running was (and still isn’t) my thing.  I used to dread the yearly cross country runs (which only really involved running around the school grounds but it seemed an enormous task for an overweight teen like myself!).  And don’t get me started on hurdles – the shame I felt at needing to be carried off by 2 students and a teacher after crashing into a hurdle still haunts me when I think about it!

But I did go on to come in second (or third – I can’t recall exactly) in a discus throwing competition during a Sports Day.  Also, I was a Captain and led my netball team to victory in an intra-school tournament a few years later.

I still appear a little overweight than my peers but one thing never left my side – stamina.  As an adult I can dance vigorously for hours as well as train in the gym with mighty force.

Moral of the story?

Do not assume that a person carrying extra flesh is lazy, unfit or unsupple.  They may just be able to swim, walk, jog or run that extra mile more than you.

© Rabia Bashir 2013

 

 

Climbing A Mountain – Literally

Climbing A Mountain – Literally

That’s the beautiful sunrise which greeted us as we approached the summit of Mount Batur. And that’s me celebrating with a well-earned cup of complimentary tea served from a shack which sits on the slope. As the sun rose, the number of climbers grew, and so did the number of monkeys.

The whole thing had been a surprise arranged by my husband. We’re not climbers and I could have killed him for planning the activity as we took each step. My thighs throbbed and the sweat danced down my back. But of course, my feelings for him changed when we finally reached the tea shack.

Looking back now, it was one of the most exhilarating holiday experiences – because we achieved something that we thought impossible at the start.

© Rabia Bashir June 2013