riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Meltdown, Day 4

I...Am... A Monster...

I eat warriors for dinner.

These thoughts were going through my head, while I was sitting in the gym locker room. Just sitting there, silent, immobile, contemplating. I thought about how close I had come to throwing up, and how on my last set, I literally saw tens and tens of colorful stars popping up all around me... twinkling for some 30 seconds. They kept increasing, and I had taken that as a sign that I was about to faint. But I didn't. I was sitting there, thinking. I had just pushed my body to the maximum limit of what it can endure. My forearm muscles were so exhaused i could barely hold the pen to write down the numbers on the paper. I was thinking of how long it took me to drink that protein shake, and how i could barely finish half of it cause my body was too beat. I almost threw it all up. I was thinking, now that the first week of Meltdown was over, how I'm supposed to increase my mega-sets from 3 to 4. How is that physically possible? My brain was having a hard time even accepting that such a thing is possible. But I was proud of what I had just pushed myself through. I am a monster. I eat warriors for dinner.

But then, I thought to myself, "If I can push myself into such extremes, and if I am willing to put myself through so much pain, then how come I can't even push myself to do all my prayers on time? And that's not even counting fajr!" Even a little girl can get herself to do all the prayers on time, and I can't. I'm no monster. I'm no warrior. I'm weaker than a little girl.

"Is there anything wrong?", asked the locker room attendant, while tapping me on the shoulder. I realized I've just been sitting there, in the locker room, for 10 minutes. Not changing my clothes... Just sitting there, silently thinking to myself what I just wrote above, just trying to breathe normally. I didn't even know how to answer his question. I couldn't even begin to express how tired I was... but I didn't need to, because he saw that I can't even answer him, and I just gave a small laugh at my inability to answer him, and at the pain I was going through. And he laughed as he understood. Then, I got myself to answer him, saying: "if only you've just been through what I've just been through.." but I couldn't get myself to finish the sentence, the "you'd know what's wrong"...

"No thanks," he said while laughing, "it's hard enough for me what I do, bringing people towels and water."


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