Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Now it's a thing.

Since I have successfully followed my own instructions (20 min of exercise, 20 min of Islamic studies) for two whole days in a row, I am declaring this project a real thing. I can't remember the last time I was this consistent with anything beneficial other than the 5 daily prayers but dude, I HAVE to do those because The Ever-Watchful is watching!

I'm sitting here typing in post-physical-activity bliss. I went swimming after work and it was glorious. I really only swam for about 12 min but there was NO lollygagging and I am counting the extra trip back to my apartment for the building's pool room key plus the strenuous activity of changing out of wet clothes (I am a Muslim with no burkini lol) as exercise.

Health tip hidden in guilt-absolving statement: Sometimes it's ok to cheat and pretend changing clothes is exercise. I will probably cheat on the NO SODA thing at some point, but that's part of the quitting process. It took me two and a half grueling years to quit smoking but if I had said "It's too hard to totally quit, I will just cut down" then we would not be having this conversation. I would probably be hiding on my balcony in a pup tent so no one would see the hijabi smoking her Camel Lights.

Back to the workout high. I got my heart rate way up treading water, swimming laps, and doing all kinds of goofy water aerobics moves. No one was around and I turned the lights off in the room as an extra precaution. It was great. I am all jazzed up and feeling full of energy. I'm sure this is one of those annoying things that people who have exercised for two whole days say and then next week you see them binge-eating a bag of Lay's but let me enjoy this, people! I even had more energy in my Maghrib (evening) prayer. A great segue into the next section.

This is interesting. I was trying to play several audio files from Br. Mohammad Elshinawy, a lecturer who made me cry more than once at a convention a couple of years ago. He's amazing. The lectures didn't seem to work, and I kept trying different ones. Then I got to this one called "Fitnah of the Grave" and realized that I had forgotten to turn my external speakers on. Subhanallah! I guess I was meant to hear this one. It's 31 minutes of very serious and beneficial reminders about what will happen when we die. None of our years of enjoyment, no matter how long we live, will benefit us in the least on that day. There will be a physical squeezing of our bodies so severe that it will be a torment for the disbeliever and a purification for the believer. No one will be spared from that squeezing. And everyone will be asked four questions, not once, but twice to check our resolve. Very powerful stuff given the deaths of such young people in our community of late (see my first post); all the deaths of people suffering around the world in the Horn of Africa, in Syria, in Palestine, today in Mexico as a 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook the country. Death is coming for us all. Are we ready?

So there you have it. An uplifting, euphoric dip in the cool waters of healthy fibbing followed by a bone-chilling plunge into Lake Wobegon LAST YEAR at this time. It's how we do.

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