*cowers, waits for bolt of lightening*

Stopped to fill up gas, and when I went in the cashier asked me where I was from. Ugh, ignorant Amkreeki, I thought. “DC,” I said curtly.

“No, really, where are you from?”

Oh. My. God.

“Like I said, Washington, DC.”

His eyebrows knit quizzically. “Really? Because I’m Arab, and I just thought–”

“Oh. Oh, I assumed you were another ignorant American guy who can’t believe I’m from here.”

He laughed, and told me he works in the A/V department at the college. I told him I’ve never seen him there. (My sister told me that one of her co-workers dated an Arab guy WHO USED to work in A/V. Aaaaand, they dated for five years. Definitely not winning points with me there.)

Went with my mom today to pick up some stuff for the new house. This kid was selling some good stuff: washer/dryer, bedroom set, gardening tools, etc. I got 3 tennis racquets and one racquetball racquet for a buck each. My mom bargained with him mercilessly. He tried to bargain back, but failed. She asked him what he’s working in, and he said finance/business area. “You’re a very good business man!” my mom said. “You’re better,” he replied.

My friend just called, she’s coming over tomorrow at 7:30 AM to my house and we’re going to go running! Yay! It’s like she sensed my guilt-ridden mind and knew that I needed a push.

Good niiiiight!



2 hours of weight training today, 2 hours of kickboxing practice for our final routine, and then 30 minutes brisk walking on the treadmill in the evening. Verra verra nice.

I was going to go home and see about running, but the sky was overcast and threatening to rain. I decided to call it a day and got in 30 minutes of cardio before the fitness center closed.

We played basketball today to warm up for weight training. That was fun. I overheard one of my classmates telling another girl, “Man, she tore it up in there!” *blushes*

I came home after weight training class and just to pass some time I was googling fluff articles about “finding your perfect match!” and “How to be irresistible!” and I came across this article:

How to Get a Muslim Girl Interested in You

LOOOL. Here’s a quote:

Understand that she may be submissive to you. Muslim women learn that men are superior. She may just go along with what you say and do. Make sure that she is truly having a good time with you.

What the jahannam? The article has already been flagged, but if anyone wants to make an eHow account to flag it some more, go for it. I just keep laughing hysterically. (In my head.)

muslim women fitness

So. Tired.

Went to my uncle’s house last night. When he saw me he said, “Wow, you look good. I’m not ashamed to call you my neice anymore!” I was like, woohoo! Non-shame inducing neice FTW! (He was jhoking, don’t vorry.)

He told us this funny story about a friend of his who does drywalling, really excellent drywalling. He only speaks Spanish, so he had not yet discovered the wonders of Craigslist. My uncle put up an ad for him  using many superlatives like “BEST DRYWALLING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE” or something to that effect.

My uncle gets a call from “Sal.” Sal tells my uncle that he needs some drywalling done, and they exchange information and arrange a time for 11 AM on such-and-such date. Sal lives pretty far south of Orlando, so my uncle and the drywalling guy make sure they get there exactly at 11 AM.

The guy isn’t there. My uncle calls him, and he says that he is kinda far away, and he’ll be there soon. He gets there at 11:45.

“Sal” turns out to be “Salim.” He shortened his name because, “you know, I’ve been here a long time, and it’s just easier blah blah blah…”

Of course, when he sees my uncle is also Desi, he starts making noises about price, how much, blah blah, typical Desi nakhray (hemming-and-hawing).

In Spanish, my uncle tells his friend, “Look man, this guy isn’t gonna want to give you anything, better charge him double.”

They tell “Sal” the cost of installing the drywall will be $300. Sal protests that is too much. How about $200? No, no, $200 for this kind of work, you gotta be kidding me. They finally settle on $250.

“$250!” my uncle crows. “For two pieces of drywall! I don’t know why he changed his name to “Sal,” he should have called himself Salla!”

The power went off last night. Around 11:30 PM I heard this “BOOM!” and then everything went dark and the ever-present hum of electricity just stopped. It didn’t sound like a lightening strike, more like an overload. The power didn’t come back on until morning.

I was looking in vain for our heavy-duty hurricane torch and had to settle on an old dinky flashlight. I checked on grandma, and lo and behold, the hurricane torch is clutched in her hands. “Ye kaisa “on” hosakta?” she asked. (How does this “on”?) I pressed the button. Behold, there was light.

Worked out today for an hour. I worked on the cardio machines for 30 minutes and then ran  laps around the track. I’m pretty sure it was more than 16 laps, but I lost count. Then I did some abs, and went to study a bit before my ASL student arrived for her appointment.

Later, my fitness student made an appearance for about 10 minutes, but then begged off because she was tired from the mile-run she had to do for class earlier. I thought about working out for another 45 minutes, but I was feeling pretty tired myself, so I came home.

Just had the last of my green pepper, green beans, bok choy, tomato and onion medley. I’m in the mood for a nice strong cup of chai, but I’m trying to resist because I really want to reset my sleep schedule. I only slept for a little bit after Fajr and I want to make sure I sleep early tonight.


Thoughts and shoutouts!

My friend, co-worker, and author of Finding Allah, recently decided that she is ready to take the next step and declare her Shahada (declaration of faith).

We didn’t try to cram an ideology down her throat, we didn’t throw a bunch of books at her head, we didn’t attempt to frighten her with images of fire and brimstone.

I haven’t known her as long as my sister has, and although I played a minor role in her decision to come to Islam, the thought that she saw something in us, in our faith, and despite all our faults and defects saw something beautiful in us all the same. It’s humbling and it makes my throat close up just a little.

May God guide her and grant her the best in this life and the hereafter. May she persevere with patience and grace and please please please let us not annoy her with our triflin’ problems. Much.


In other news, my kickboxing instructor has joined the blogosphere! Check her out at The Stellar Life.

Also, the author of this blog, Thoughts from a Muslimah, is the same girl who was sitting in the row in front of me at the Blogistan session at ISNA in DC! What a small world.

Morning Wind is something beautiful that I like a LOT. Is not the morning near? Always.

I donated blood today after my kickboxing class, along with two other girls from my class. I got a cookie, Goldfish crackers, and three coupons for a free smoothie from Pollo Tropical.

Originally it was only 1 coupon for the free smoothie. The other two were coupons for “buy 1 laser tag session, get the 2nd free!” and…something else that I had no interest in. I asked the male nurse if I could trade the two coupons I didn’t want for two smoothie coupons. He rolled his eyes in exaggeration but he was smiling. “Fine, but don’t tell anyone,” he said in mock seriousness, handing over the coupons. “Don’t worry, it’s our little secret,” I told him.

When I got home and told my mom that I donated blood she went on the whole “ooooh-desi-girl-you-shouldn’t-donate-blood-did-you-faint-are-you-dizzy-why?” and my grandma said, “Eh? You have so much blood but you can’t give any to me, you give to these outside people? Who did you give blood to?”

My mom told her “Arey, how would she know? Whoever needs it gets it!” I had a picture in my mind of being connected to someone like two cars connected by jumper cables. Heh.

So, anyone up for smoothies?

muslim women fitness

Legs. Are. Numb.

Earlier today I walked/jogged on the treadmill for 45 minutes with my student, and we did crunches on the stability ball in the fitness center at school.

Didn’t run today (much), but I did walk almost 5 miles today in the evening. Took me about 75 minutes. I’ve quickly realized that running everyday wreaks havoc on the body, and is somewhat impossible, so I’ve decided to alternate walking one day, and running the next. My body needs time to strengthen my muscles after hard running on pavement, so if I ran everyday I would actually be doing more harm than good.

Towards the end of my walk, I decided to jog a bit just for a change of pace. As I was jogging, I passed a cat laying down in a driveway.  Kitty! I thought.

Then I noticed the Dalmatian standing next to it. Without a leash.It was watching me quite intently.

“Good doggie, good doggie…” I murmured under my breath beseechingly. I was still jogging. The dog began trotting after me.

Crap, I thought. I stopped and stood there. The dog stopped too. I started walking, very slowly, away from the dog. It didn’t move. I kept walking and turning my head, walking and turning my head, until I was quite sure I had left it behind. Darn Floridian unenforced leash laws.


Slow and steady…

…wins the race. Today I ran 1.6 miles non-stop. Then after walking a bit, I ran another .5 miles. Total today: 2.1 miles!

2.1 miles running, .9 miles walking. I’m getting there!

The day before yesterday I scared the living daylights out of a woman on the sidewalk. I was running up behind her while she was talking on her phone. I thought she could hear me huffing and puffing, but she was completely oblivious. As I started to run past her, she nearly jumped out of her skin. I apologized profusely and continued on my way. I overheard her saying, “Yeah, sorry, this woman running past me scared me…”

See! See! She totally said running! And woman! I’m a runner! A woman runner!

I do hope she learned to pay more attention to her surroundings from now on, heh.

After today’s run, I did abs, push-ups, and stretching. Aaaaaaah.

muslim women fitness


What a sublime day. Time spent with good friends; swinging like we were little kids, cooing over baby ducks, watching silent lightening strike over a churning lake from miles away, comparing Urdu/Bangla words over hummus and turkey sandwiches, tongues stained purple from jamun fruit.

It was so nice to remember what it felt like before I had a cellphone, before I had a car, before I had a Facebook, before it became de rigueur to see friends only on special occasions, before we grew up and got “busy.”

(Hmm. WordPress put a little red squiggle under “rigueur,” but not “jamun.” I feel, in a sense, a small but poignant victory. Indo-Aryan: 1, Romance: 0.)

Jamun, jamun, I just wanna jamun with you...

No “workout” today, just, well, playing. Walking along the lake, sliding down slides, swinging on swings, stretching in the grass while herons fished for their dinners, sipping green tea with lemon and honey, eating food made with love and barakah (blessings).

The most important things in life are right in front of us. Sometimes they’re just hard to see, is all.

(There’s a red squiggle under Facebook, too.)

muslim women fitness

It's really happening.

I’m hooked. I’m never going to be able to go back to walking after this. I’m addicted to running.

I was correct in predicting that my running pace would ameliorate based on a lack of pain-inducing frijoles in my stomach. Not only did I complete the mile, I was able to push myself a little further and ran about 1.2 miles non-stop today. I alternated walking and running the remaining two miles of my route. I’m glad I went when I did, because as I was nearing home I could see storm clouds beginning to gather and rain drops started pelting me here and there.

As I was walking along, and saw the intimidating power lines stretched against a backdrop of threatening gray clouds, I was spurred on to start running again by recalling this unpleasant incident from a few days ago.

Fear of death is a pretty good motivator.

When I got home, I did abdominal exercises, stretched, and took a shower. My workout clothes were so damp with sweat I felt like I had dunked ’em in a bucket of water.

My total route today was three miles!

I’ve been reading up on techniques for marathon training, and I’ve read about the run/walk method, but right now what seems to be working for me is:

  1. Run until I want to die.
  2. Walk until I don’t.
  3. Run until I want to die.
  4. Walk until I don’t.
  5. Rinse, repeat.

Lovely, no?

muslim women fitness

Four hours!

Worked out for four hours today. Two hours of weight training, two hours of kickboxing.

Had a grand and somewhat long delayed epiphany that just in case I don’t get into university this year, I should still sign up for college classes that will fulfill my pre-requisites. (I’ve been in denial.) Spent the last 40 minutes looking for Statistics and Macro/Micro Economics classes, but of course this late in the game all the good professors with good class timings are snatched up.

For Statistics I picked a professor who got the least amount of bad reviews, and mostly from kids who said, “He’s brilliant but his accent is terrible!” and “Can’t always follow along but he’s good about sitting down with you and explaining…”

I can work with an accent. Plus, the Belly Dancing Aerobics class I signed up for ends 10 minutes before, so I’ll still be full of endorphins. That should hopefully dull the pain. (I should check the members list, if any guys have signed up I’ll be forced to drop it not just for religious purposes, but out of sheer WTH-ery.)

For Principles of Economics-Macro I picked the only professor who got stunning reviews. I was wondering why there is a frog king among tadpoles when I saw the course timing: Sunday.

Lovely. Oh well, it’s not like I do anything on Sunday anyway. He’ll save me two hours of watching re-runs on Hulu.

I’m also signed up for an online Introductory Sociology class with the current teacher I have for Contemporary American Social Problems. If the class I’m currently taking fulfills the requirements for a sociology class I’ll drop this one I just signed up for.

Oh, and I signed up for Weight Training II.

The classes that I really actually need are Stats and Macro, and the ones I don’t are, uh, all the rest. The ones I want are…well, take a wild guess!