In Atlanta, Georgia (and other places) Eid ul Fitr is tomorrow, Sunday, August 19th, 2012. Today is the last day of Ramadan & fasting. For Eid tomorrow, we will attend the Eid salat (prayers) at the masjid and go out to eat 🙂
I wish everyone a blessed Eid Mubarak/Kareem! Please remember and pray for those who are suffering this Eid, here and in other parts of the world.
This month I was able to get some down time, not completely as it seems I always find something to do or feel the need to work on something as you can see by the contents of this blog post below:
My Academic Research
I collaborated on a paper in 3D visualization for network security with colleagues at Georgia Tech. Also, base work towards developing technical solutions to aid in combating commercial sexual exploitation of minors has been granted initial funding from Georgia State. More information over at my academic website.
Saudi Women at the Olympics
Wojdan Shaherkani, the Judoka representing Saudi Arabia at the Olympics, was able to compete in hijab after all. Yes, it did not make a change in general women’s issues rights in Saudi Arabia, but I am hopeful that it could motivate other women to participate in competitive sports. Sports & athletics have many benefits, mentally and physically. I hope other changes happen. There is more on this discussed in the New York Times article: Saudis Greet Olympic First With a Shrug
My Interviews and Mentions this Ramadan
My blog posts and efforts in training and fasting was mentioned in the NPR article: Many Muslim Olympians Get A Break On Ramadan Fasting by Bill Chappell.
On the topic of the 2012 London Olympics being the first one to have females representing in every country that competed, which in part required modifying dress codes, I was interviewed by Allison McCartney for PBS NewsHour Extra. The article: Many Firsts for Women At 2012 Olympics
For the website Breaking Muscle, I was interviewed by Valerie Worthington, an experienced Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor & instructor, and Crossfitter. The piece is in two parts, entitled Lifting Covered: One Woman’s Experiences of Weightlifting and Islam.
Part 1: http://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/lifting-covered-one-woman-s-experiences-weightlifting-and-islam-part-1
Part 2: http://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/lifting-covered-one-woman-s-experiences-weightlifting-and-islam-part-2
Sheba Siddiqui interviewed me for the website Masala Mommas. I am not a mom (I appreciate them) but I can relate to the masala for sure 🙂
Kulsoom Abdullah: Lifting Weights and Breaking Barriers
Over at Blessed Islam, I was put on a list for most inspiring Islamic pictures. I feel honored I was even put on this list: 10 Most Inspiring Islamic Pictures
Azra Haqqie at Times Union, wrote a very encouraging and kind article about me and my efforts. Opening doors for herself and other female athletes
My Facebook Page
Thanks for the support! My Facebook page has broken the 500 like count.
Training & Coaching updates
Much to my surprise, my training has been going better than I thought, even in the fasted state and high humidity in Atlanta and even with starting higher volume training. Getting acclimated, trying to sleep properly, and making sure I eat healthy, has been helping with recovery.
Travis Cooper (my coach) has left Atlanta to join Team MDUSA. His ultimate goal is to compete at the summer Olympics in Rio 2016 and this is a good opportunity for him as he can mainly focus on his training. For those new to reading my blog, Travis has been my coach since 2010, over 2 and a half years. He has coached me through the entire past year, which was the most challenging for me. I appreciate his help, time and patience over the years as he had to go beyond what an average coach has to go through.
I am not 100% sure what my goals are going forward. I am considering the Georgia Tech Gymnastics club practices for fun, not competition 😉 Maybe once in a while do a Crossfit workout. I am still weightlifting as the reason I started it was because I like it for exercise and the other benefits. As for competing – maybe the American Open Weightlifting Championships December 2012? But that will depend on finances and most importantly, I would like to qualify in the 53kg weight class (I don’t want to lift as a 48kg — logistics, weighing in and the international travel experience was stressful).
Going forward, Juan Sepulveda experienced coach and Masters lifter originally from Puerto Rico, will work with me on my weightlifting programming. He is also known as El Rey (the King). He works at Coffee’s gym, where John Coffee also coaches. Coffee has 50 years of experience and has contributed to women’s weightlifting in the USA. His athletes have competed and won at the National and International level. More about Coffee’s Gym here.
I still hope to visit Coach Don McCauley in Savannah, Georgia. He and his wife, Suzanne Leathers (also a competitive weightlifter) have kindly hosted and helped me this year.
I will continue to mainly do my workouts at Crossfit Atlanta where Jake Rubash will be training and coaching.
Till next time, Salam and Happy Eid!