I recently celebrated a birthday. (And no, I won’t tell you how old I am, but I have adult-ish children, so that should say something :) My kids were asking me what I wanted, and as Allah (S) has blessed me with a lot and as the things I truly want in life can’t be bought or made (COVID to permanently end, those who are oppressed to receive justice, my mom-in-law’s chronic pain to diminish, my parents to enjoy good health, my autistic son’s future to be protected and guaranteed, my children to be steadfast on sirat-ul-mustaqeen), I sat on their question for a long time.
I mean, I don’t need a purse or a new ring to wear. What I do need is to work on my own health and well being to give myself the best chance at a long, healthy, active, mobile life (knowing I will need this to help support my son as he continues his adult path).
So, I asked for a bike.
I don’t know about you, but I was an avid bike rider as a kid. It’s all we ever did, with no internet, cell phones or other devices to entertain us. I read books, watched cartoons, drew pictures and rode bikes with the kids in the neighborhood. There was a geographical range my brothers and I knew we were to stay within, and we just cruised around, riding one-handed, no-handed, popping wheelies and having occasional neighborhood bike races.
I had been wanting to get a bike for a few years. My husband got one several years ago, and he and our youngest son mapped out a 5K route in our neighborhoods that they often bike. I wanted in. But I was also in my head about it. As my husband and I discussed bikes, we got tripped up by what kind and what we wanted to do with our bikes. Racing? Off roading? Long rides? Did we want to be serious cyclists?
This year I finally said – just get me a bike. I showed the family a bike available at Costco – you know, your basic bike – and said just get that or something like it. All I want to do is ride around whenever I want to.
So now I get to go bike riding, and the old saying is totally true: Once you learn how, you don’t forget. But also my body feels a bit more shaky and hesitant; I’m not as freewheeling and easygoing. However, that’s par for the course. The point is I got out of my head and just got on the damn bike!
This is all part of this path I’m trying to push myself on, in which I stop thinking about what it’s going to take for me to feel better (whether physically or mentally) and take that step and try something. Because if that something isn’t working for me (and my family), I’ll stop it and try something else. This is what got me to sign on with a lovely local Muslimah fitness instructor, with whom I’ve now been doing fitness and strength training classes thrice weekly since January – I think it’s the longest stretch I’ve consistently exercised in YEARS. (I even did modified exercise in Ramadan. Like wow! Who am I?)
The point is, I hope for you all what I hope for ourselves: That we get out of our heads, that we value our own health, that we do something about it. This month, we’ll be focusing on two things at The Haute Take and at Haute Hijab in general: Our physical well being and our spiritual well being. The first half on the blog will be (Insha’Allah) dedicated to health and fitness coverage while the second half focuses on the first ten holy days of Dhul Hijjah in the lead up to Hajj and Eid ul Adha.
Our strength as Muslim women lies in our own ability to prioritize our spiritual, mental and physical health. If we don’t do it, no one will do it for us. All of us at Haute Hijab believe this and believe in you, our communities of fabulous Muslim women. It’s why we invested years of tech and design research
into creating our Haute Hijab Sport Collection
, to give you the tools to be able to work out and be physically fit with ease and comfort. (And style!)
So, join us this month in exploring our physical and spiritual health, fitness and well being. Prioritize it for yourselves, and if you fall off the wagon, don’t worry too much. We can all get on again multiple times and keep trying. As all ways, be well, make good choices and always start with Bismillah!