It takes only one person/ voice to confront wrongdoers whose actions are uninhibited. If we engage with them physically or verbally, they will know they are not right, and they may be held accountable for their acts. If someone attacks you physically, fight back to the best of your capabilities. Shutting our mouths is our validation to their mistakes. For example, one time I worked in a clinic back home and a doctor was giving unnecessary treatments to earn more money. I told him this was wrong and that he should stop, but he didn’t like it so I changed my job. Be brave. As another example, the #metoo movement started with one voice and it spread all over the country. Now we have an unbeatable army of survivors of sexual assault.
My traditional Iraqi costume is comfortable and straightforward; it consists of a loose robe with long sleeves and a head cloth. I don’t wear the head cloth, but I put a turban on my head instead. You see people wear traditionally more often in rural areas. I used to wear them when I do shopping locally or meet with my neighbors but not for school or work.
I don’t think I will wear these clothes in the future because they are unavailable where I live, and I don’t like the idea of being part of a culture that does not represent me. We are unique in how we think, process our emotions, and communicate.
Be unique from the inside and not from the outside.
I used to think that people who ran on the street were somehow Suspicious because I associated running with escaping from emergencies. For example, you run away from fire or from a crime scene. And also who would run in the rain?! or when it is hot.
I had that thought way back in the past when I was a child and crises could happen anywhere in anytime. Now, I still associate running with escaping but in a good healthy way as it is an outlet to release your negativity and absorpt the positivity from the natural surroundings.
Lecture me! I like to be lectured on topics that really interest me, or things that I do not know about. I am open to accepting criticism as long as we keep it civil. Last night, I was invited to a dinner with my friends, which I liked because it was the time to re-live my culture and tradition again to a certain extent.
After a delicious dinner, we had a regular black tea but the tea did not look really black as it supposed to be, but my host friend and I thought it was good; in fact, I had two cups of tea. The third friend did not like it and started complaining about the color and the taste, and he started making comments on how to make tea. The host friend offered to make another pot of tea just for the critical friend who refused the offer, but he would not stop wailing.
At some point, I could not tolerate this attitude and told the demanding friend that we were guests and we should be respectful and grateful to the host friend for having us tonight, and if you did not like the tea, then, please do not be a drama queen. The ridiculous friend did not like what I said and left. Later, he texted me to tell me that he did not want me to lecture him again, but my answer simply was that I would fix him as long as he keeps this rude attitude.
Some people tend to think that running is harder than it should be because we do not see its immediate benefits objectively. It takes a lot of work to reach the point when you realize that you are able to maintain your weight, modify your lifestyle, and know more about running. But there is something that motivates us to run until we reach that level of commitment, what is that thing?
Is it the post-race meal? Is it the selfie that we take after each run? or it is the fantasy of winning a race, or it is a mix of all of these. Personally, it is the feeling that I enjoy after each workout that drives me to run on a regular basis. It is about how we feel and not how we look.
Three weeks to go and a few miles to add to my training plan. During my training, I felt some soreness in my left knee which was not bad, however, I did not want to make it worse. After consulting with friends and searching online, I believed that the ideal thing to do was to make sure that I was using the right shoes that could support my feet and knees. I went to a specialized running store and the staff did a foot scan which was fancy, but I got to explore the dark side of my feet. The result was that my feet were not equal in length and their arch heights were not even remotely close. The running expert recommended me new brand shoes that I had never known before with a size of 11.5, could you believe that? All my shoes were between 9.5 and 10.5 in size and the new recommendation was beyond my rational expectation. Honestly, I put them on and I fell in love immediately once I stood up, maybe because they were new or just the bright red color. Additionally, I bought a few of calorie gels (the caffeinated ones) that would replenish my energy stores. I gave my self one week of rest to allow the left knee to recover, and to be mentally prepared for the next workout.
The night before the 22nd of October, I decided that tomorrow would be the day that I would hit the 20-mile limit. I woke up at 6:00 AM, got my food supplies in my running pack and put on my running gear, and took off with no hesitation. It was still dark and little chilly, but it felt just perfect for me. I started running slowly to preserve some energy for the final miles and increased my pace gradually as I could, and I used one of the calories gels every 45 minutes to fuel my muscles. Everything went smoothly; with the comfort of the new shoes and knee-pain free, I was able to surpass the 18th mile with excitement, but still, I had two more miles to go. I pushed a little harder believing that this would be my best chance to hit my goal. Within my sight, I saw a banner that said, “Congratulations, this is the finish line,” which must have been for another race. These few words created a mental image of me reaching the finish line in the Richmond Marathon, and I believe this triggered the runner’s high which alleviated all my discomfort and boosted my energy. The high level of the natural endorphins helped me running until I reached the 20th mile, which was my goal for that run.
I sympathized with my father who became unemployed because of his sickness, and I felt the same way for my mother who worked a second job and stayed late for many nights. But I cannot sympathize with myself that I should tame and move it the way I want.
I do not want sympathy to be a reason for me to fail. Do not tell me you are sorry for my pain or struggle; tell me that I can do it and you will see a beast comes out of me.
Running is mainly associated with knee injuries if precautions are not taken into consideration. There are certain steps that I follow to avoid such injuries. First, I pick the right shoes for me to reduce the impact on my knees and other joints, and I make sure that I land on the balls of my feet during a run, which helps to distribute the shock appropriately.
Moreover, I stretch before (warm-up) and after (to avoid adhesion-related injuries) a run and I gradually increase my distance over time. I believe that running is a lifestyle and this takes time to become a reality. During that time, I need to pay special attention to my knees and to my body as a whole.
In order to adopt a healthier behavior such as running, we should go through “stages of change,” which is a part of Transtheoretical model for behavioral change.
The stages of change are:
1- Precontemplation: We are not even thinking about a change in our behavior.
Me: I will never run.
2- Contemplation: We will make a change in our behavior within the next six months.
Me: Ah, I may run in the next six months.
3- Preparation: We will take a step within a month.
Me: I will try to run this month but I do not know when and where. Do not push for it.
4- Action: We are adopting a change.
Me: See, I am running. It feels good!
5- Maintenance: We are maintaining our new behavior for six months now.
Me: I love running! I will do another 5k soon.
Long story short, I needed a lot of time to make running part of my life and free from shock-related injuries.
Running helps me to become a mentally-agile person but Krav Maga makes me physically agile.
Krav Maga is a self-defense art that I train to be agile for the unknown and also gain the strength for running.