Never be without remembrance of Him For His remembrance gives strength and wings To the bird of the Spirit.

~ Rumi

Blogging in the time of more Islamophobia + updates + Olympics

Posted by on Aug 14, 2016 in Blog, Competition, News & Updates, Press Coverage | Comments Off on Blogging in the time of more Islamophobia + updates + Olympics

Blogging in the time of more Islamophobia + updates + Olympics

I thought to use a different title vs hello everyone, here is another blog post condensing everything that has happened over the past half year 🙂  This time, only 5 months have passed since the last one in March 2016.

Though the Asian Weightlifting competition did not work out and therefore no Olympic representation, this year in Rio there are some nice stories and diversity.   In some cases, I think, too much emphasis on what a woman is wearing or how she is described, versus her athletic feats and accomplishments, unfortunately.  Some examples Ibtihaj Muhammad, and the Egyptian volleyball team.

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March 2016 Musings & Fundraiser Update

Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on March 2016 Musings & Fundraiser Update

March 2016 Musings & Fundraiser Update

I am sorry and sad to say that it is confirmed that no team of Pakistani women will be registered for the 2016 Asian Weightlifting Championships. Thanks to everyone for the support. I have refunded everyone’s donations. I hope to be able to help in some other capacity with the general issues of women’s empowerment and sports that we still struggle with. There has been improvement, but there is still a long road for more progress and support is always needed, not just monetary. If you are interested in helping out in the future, please let me know, send me your email address, and I can add you to an email list to keep you updated (in addition to the usual social media posts on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and I am also on LinkedIn).

Below is an archive of the fundraiser page I had at I also edited a cool and emotional trailer video for it which you will also see below. The page was active February 2016.

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2015 Highlights & Happy New Year to 2016

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Blog, Competition, News & Updates, Press Coverage | 1 comment

2015 Highlights & Happy New Year to 2016

This year has been so action-packed, that I didn’t even get the chance to update my blog properly this whole year, oops – I did it one more time!

From the Ride for Rights, to Saris to Suits to being on Buzzfeed – it’s been a very eventful time in my life, but here are some of my highlights in 2015: (click to read the entire post)

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January – September 2014: Condensed Updates

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Blog, Competition, News & Updates, Press Coverage | Comments Off on January – September 2014: Condensed Updates

January – September 2014: Condensed Updates

I haven’t written a post since January of this year.  8 months! I have been better at putting updates on my Facebook page.  I have had a lot of things going on since then and below is a summary —

Conference Panel

Women’s Encyclopedia


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Pakistan Four – Documentary teaser trailer

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on Pakistan Four – Documentary teaser trailer

Pakistan Four – Documentary teaser trailer

Here is the teaser trailer for The Pakistan Four – Documentary.  I am one of the 4 ladies in it. It will premiere at the New York University (NYU) Film Festival, February 8-9, 2014 in New York City, NY, USA. If you are in NYC or can make it, please attend. Seating is limited, so please contact the Facebook page if you are interested in attending.  Thanks for your support!  More information is on the Facebook and Twitter (@thepakistanfour) page.


If you are interested in a showing of the documentary in your city in the USA, preferably before the end of February 2014, please contact me.  Also showing the documentary in any part of the world (not only in Pakistan), is possible. Shehzad Hameed Ahmad, the filmmaker, is willing to travel anywhere with short notice.  He just needs to be hosted – plane ticket and a place to stay.  He does not have a goal of making a profit off the documentary, so the documentary can be viewed for free, but if there needs to be a ticket charge to help collect funds for hosting the documentary, that is OK.  It took a lot of blood, sweat & tears on everyone’s part, especially the filmmaker Shehzad. Hopefully the film can be shown in other cities, bringing an audience together to view, foster discussion and ultimately create positive change and dispel stereotypes.

2014 & going forward

Since my last competition September 21, 2013, I have not competed but have been re-focusing my training.  One major portion is working on fixing technique issues, doing volume to help make the improved technique more consistent (requiring less thinking on my part), the movement more fluent, and timing improved.  Shelly Truesdell has been coaching me in person since August 2013, and in this short amount of time, I feel I have made a lot of progress.  Travis Cooper continues to write my workouts, especially on the days I train alone without Shelly, and based on how my training is going and evolving, part of it based on the years we did work together in person.  How you train is something that I believe should be individualized for each person and having a good coach is valuable.

Weightlifting is a challenging sport, there are ups and downs, and there is the emotional and mental aspect that also needs to be fought.  I have been working on this, and I am getting better at dealing with it.  I am focusing on being positive, but realistic and eliminating negative thoughts.  I also have been continuing spending most of my time in research work, learning and applying the learning for my job search.  When you have other life responsibilities, they need to be taken into consideration in regards to your recovery, rest and how you perform and train.  As things progress, I might post some training videos again, and eventually one of a future competition!


Thanks a lot to Davit Sargsyan for this article about me that he wrote in Russian about my story. It is over at ShopOlympic in Russia – managed by WL competitor Armen Ghazaryan.

Salaam (peace)!

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Ramadan 1434 AH/2013

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Blog, News & Updates, Training, Training Videos | 2 comments

Ramadan 1434 AH/2013

Training and June/July 2013 Training Video with music by Khumariyaan

My Ramadan Resources

Resources from Fit Muslimah & Amna AlHaddad

Resources from Stumptuous and BreakingMuscle

General articles for female athletes

Ramadan Embaraksha! (or Ramadan Mubarak/Kareem/Happy)

I wanted to wish everyone a blessed Ramadan. In this post, I have links to some resources, and information that I hope will help.  I always like to post photo-journalist photos, here are Photos of Ramadan 2013 – from The Atlantic, and something humorous 20 Memes to Get You Through Ramadan This Year.


I have changed my training this year, going down to 4 days a week maximum for training. For Ramadan, I might do 3, or see how I feel and what my schedule allows. I will go with lighter reps unless I feel OK going for heavier rep attempts. I will start working out before iftar (fast break/ sunset), but I will be able to break fast/Maghrib then finish the rest of my work out.

As I am working towards finding a full time job (see more on my research projects here) and need to focus on other aspects of my life, I am not spending as much time and resources on weightlifting during 2011 and 2012. I still like to train, and I will compete when and where I can.

Here is a video I put together. I continue using video to help my training, so I have a compilation of clips from June till now. My training has changed a little bit. Travis Cooper, over with Team Muscle Driver USA in South Carolina, is writing my training programming and I am still working out at Coffee’s Gym and getting feedback there too.

Here is a link to the video on Youtube. For those with Youtube bans, here it is from Facebook:

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1st Pakistan Women’s National Weightlifting Championships & War Eagle Open competitions

Posted by on Mar 24, 2013 in Blog, Competition, News & Updates | 7 comments

1st Pakistan Women’s National Weightlifting Championships & War Eagle Open competitions

War Eagle Open March 23, 2013

I have not competed for about 1 year, since Korea April 2012, where I represented Pakistan in the Asian Weightlifting Championships. I also learned about today’s competition only a few days ago, so my training cycle was not programmed for this. I also decided not to compete as a 53kg. I decided to move up from a 48kg to 53kg the end of last summer 2012. My current weight is 54kg, and only having a few days to reduce my salt intake (basically dealing with my water retention issues), start better water drinking habits, deal with weight of my training clothes and the weigh in, I decided to not deal with any of it and just go suck it up and compete as a 58kg!

It has been a while in my training since I started hitting 45kg+ in the Snatch again. It has been a slow road to get my confidence back, while increasing the volume & weight of my training. I wanted to make higher weights for the Clean and Jerk as well, but God willing at the next competition.

My result: Snatch 42kg (successful – did not get this one on video), 45kg (missed), 45kg (missed) Clean and Jerk: 53kg (Successful), 56kg (press out on the jerk), 56kg (successful) Total Score: 98kg (216 lb)

The same video here on my Facebook page (for those who can not access Youtube)

Another local meet is being held at the end of April 2013 in the same city 1 hour driving distance from my house, so I hope to try again there.

Inaugural Pakistan Women’s National Weightlifting Championships March 23, 2013

In very exciting news, the Pakistan Weightlifting Federation held their first Women’s weightlifting Championships in Lahore, Pakistan! Mubarak (Congratulations) to all of the ladies who competed! I wish I could have been there in person. You might recognize the person on the wall behind the platform 😉 I couldn’t believe it when I saw, I feel extremely honored! I am happy that women have started competing there, and I hope the participation continues to grow and move forward. Keep a look out for more media from the competition and other updates in this regard.  Below are embedded pictures from the album on their Facebook page.

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March 2013 Training & Competition + other news

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Blog, Training, Training Videos | 2 comments

March 2013 Training & Competition + other news

Nowruz Mobarak!  نوروز مبارك (Happy Persian New Year)

New short training video compilation (3 minutes), I decided on a Farsi songs for the background.

  1. Man Amadeam من آمده ام by Googoosh گوگوش , an older song 
  2. Joone Khodet (Dokhtar Irooni) by Black Cats – بلک کتس – جون خودت a newer song.

The same video on VIMEO here (in case you can’t access by Youtube) I made some errors on the labeling for the sequence of Cleans, they are 60kg (132 lbs), 61kg (134 lbs), 62kg (136 lbs) and 63kg (138.9 lbs )

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Dec/Jan/Feb 2013 Training Videos & a few updates

Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in Blog, News & Updates, Training, Training Videos | 1 comment

*For those in countries where Youtube is banned, I have the video uploaded on my Facebook page here.*

Its been almost 3 months since I put together a training video, and due to the delay, this will be a montage of clips from December 2012 till February 2013 with major editing, such as my rests in between repetitions. I am still working on technique, building confidence and as usual, fighting the demons! There are two PRs (personal records) in this video. Usual disclaimer: this is not intended to be an instructional video.

I am using only Pashto (my mother tongue) music in this video. These are the songs that appear (Lyrics and/or translations included in the Youtube video links):

  1. Za Sta Pashan Na Yam (translation: I AM NOT LIKE YOU!) by Naseer & Shahab
  2. Bibi Shireen by Zeek Afridi
  3. Za Pukhtoon Yam (translation: I am Pukhtoon [Pashtoon]) – by Naseer & Shahab – Awesome video here on Youtube & Facebook – This is Naseer & Shahab’s Facebook fan page
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November/December Training Video & Updates

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates, Training, Training Videos | Comments Off on November/December Training Video & Updates

*This Video will not play on MOBILE phones, here is an alternative video link:
Future videos will not have this issue, as I have identified the problem with Youtube.*

I am continuing with volume training, more days a week, but less reps on each day. I have hit a few PRs, and have made some comeback PRs on my lifts. My video shows some of the PRs (personal records) I have hit, plus some other lifts I am training with.

November: A 60 Kg Power Clean was a PR (personal record), PR for Power clean from the hang position with 60kg, a comeback PR of 70kg Front Squat for 3 reps, and 3 single 60kg split jerk from the blocks. December 3: I matched my PR from over one year ago at 47kg. I attempted 49kg, I was close, but hopefully another time I make that plus more. I also hit a Muscle Snatch PR at 35KG. December 9: 105KG PR on an exercise called a lockout, Top Presses with 60kg, these are assistance, overloading exercises to help with the split jerk.

I have used a variety of music and iMovie editing functions for entertainment. Same disclaimer, I don’t do everything correctly, so don’t use this video as a learning guide. I am improving and learning, and the purpose of the video is to show my progress and have some fun! Check my blog and/or Youtube for past videos.

Ivanhoe Broadcast News
This news package was filmed this past March 2012 by Ivanhoe Broadcast News so a few of the facts are old (such as representing Pakistan).  Video embedded below (and also on their Youtube link)

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