“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger

The past 6 months had been an interesting one for me. On the surface, most people would think that everything in my life is rosy and working. The truth is, I had a very dark period. In the midst of juggling between changes professionally and the various curve-balls and responsibilities at home, I was on the brink of a breakdown. I worked myself to the ground, didn’t sleep much and would literally just sit on the sidewalk or in my van and just cry like a baby, for no reason. It was a dark period.

It was also during the same period I was due to go for Asian-Oceania Powerlifting Championship in Uzbekistan. But I simply couldn’t train. I couldn’t get out of bed and I couldn’t bring myself to train. After some thought I decided to pull out. That was when the downward spiral got worse. I felt that I no longer had something that was for me. For Saudi.

News to register for Singapore Powerlifting Open 2016 came. I contemplated. Should I?
An opportunity to experience Strongman came along too. Again, I contemplated.

Maybe it’s God’s will. News about a Strongman athlete raising funds for his international competition was spreading and I decided to contribute to his cause, and maybe get some training too. As it turns out, I ended up being the one that receives this gift instead. Taufiq is an amazing man. His coaching has been invaluable to me, not just in the technical area but also his attitude and the commitment to the sport has opened my eyes, and heart. One of the first advice he gave me was “Embrace the Suck”. Back then I couldn’t grasp it completely, but I started training anyway, but weren’t sure where I was heading. Still apprehensive, still not going 100%.

Thanks to my dear partner and friends, I was reminded that what I really needed was a time out. I needed the time and space to just simply rest. And rest was what I did. During this period of rest, I realized that what I needed was self management and that starts from taking care of myself first.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, I had a fun time at the Singapore Strongman Series Novice Push-Pull meet and did decently well.

FuelFit Saudi Strongman Novice Push Pull

And just this weekend that had passed, I beat my personal records in all my lifts in Singapore Powerlifting Open 2016, beat the National record for Squats for my category, and improved my total from 295kg to 331kg.

FuelFit Saudi Singapore Powerlifting Open 2016 - 2

Am I proud that I won? Of course! But what mattered more was not the win, but the fact that I had risen above my struggles, kept my focus, worked hard and improved. And that to me, is where the real strength lies.