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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

The Power of Persistence and Belief: Lessons Learned from a UAE Race Experience

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

I often enjoy joining the community races held around the #UAE… 🏃🏽‍♀️😍

And at the end of a #race, I am generally not the kind of person who will leave before the awards are handed out.🏅

Even if I haven’t won anything, I enjoy staying to celebrate everyone’s efforts and enjoy the vibe.

And since I train solo, I love that these occasions give me a chance to talk to other runners.

But today’s race was a little different.

I am blessed to have my Pashtun grandma from #pakistan visiting Dubai this week. And so she joined me, fascinated by the event. She was gobsmacked to see children competing and mums with buggies racing.

After the race, I wasn’t too sure where I’d placed or if I had won anything. This race had an Olympic athlete participating (she finished the 5k in about 9 mins 🤩💪🏾😱), so I felt there was no chance. 🥲

Knowing it was unlikely I would be on the podium, and given my Grandma had been standing a long time, we made to leave once I finished.

But then, as we were approaching the car- she said quietly… "if you’re not sure where you’ve placed, better we stay and find out, no?”.

Luckily we did. 👀

Even though I’d checked the live race results, I was stunned to be called out placing 3rd in my age category. I gave a thrilled hug to the lady who placed first and was such an awesome athlete.

🙋🏻‍♀️So in keeping with my general approach to life (#everydayisaschoolday), here are 3 lessons I learned today:

1️⃣Don’t assume anything.

Be patient, be thorough, check everything properly. As soon as I saw there were elites competing, I “knew” there would be no chance of getting on the podium. But I was wrong. There’s a phrase: “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”. I was reminded to never give up or assume something without staying to see it through to the end. All is never lost. 💪

2️⃣Don’t take the support and presence of family for granted.

The energy and presence of the two most senior women in my family who I respect deeply and who both helped raise me was so motivating. When I was running out of energy and wanting to slow down at the end, seeing them gave me motivation. Trusted family members remind you of your power & journey.

3️⃣Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.

I believe in God, and my grandma is a spiritual soul. She spent the days leading up to this race praying for me. During my training runs, she accompanied me outside, sat and looked on at me doing laps while making prayers for my strength & wellbeing. When I told her I didn’t think I’d won anything, she was silent for a moment - she was so sure I’d win something. It made the surprise of standing on the podium even sweeter.

To me, the power of prayer can’t be underestimated.💛

P.S. On that last note, it seems fitting we were able to finish the event by heading to Friday prayers after the race shenanigans. 🤲🏼 #grateful

#jummahmubarak ~ Happy Friday💛🏃🏽‍♀️

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