Lately, everyone has been sick due to the change in weather here in Toronto. We’ve had a really odd winter where the first half was pretty warm compared to last year. When I mean pretty warm, I mean really warm. Last year was insane! We had -45 degrees celsius weather. When you stepped outside even for a few minutes, if you had nose hair, it would freeze. This year, it’s been a breeze. You could wear a light jacket and walk around. Then the weather started being funny again these past couple of weeks. Warm, then cold, then very cold, then everyone gets sick. I am still currently stick with a throat infection. But, this isn’t about my sickness and the weather here in Toronto. It’s about something else.
My routine even though I’ve been sick, has been going to the gym and spending at least 2 hours almost every single day. Today, I met an individual who I see almost every time I am there. We talk for a few minutes, spot each other when there is a need and just talk about random things. He approached me as he entered the weight area and I seen that he had a very long face. It was really unusual for him to approach me without a smile and a “hey what’s up? What you doing today?” I read his face and I thought he was sick. I asked him and he replied, “I have cerebral palsy.” It really caught me off guard. He’s a really healthy looking person and even younger than me. He’s in his early 20’s so it did catch me by surprise how it ended happening to him. He said “the entire right side of my face is paralyzed, I can’t move it. I can’t even feel it.” I did feel bad for him but there isn’t much I could do.
I went closer to him and I told him, don’t worry about it. This is nothing. Look at you, every single one of your limbs work. You are able to come to the gym still and do what you love doing. To relieve stress, to relieve tension and to let go of this world and be in your own. Don’t let it hold you back. Keep doing what you love. Others have it worse than you, who have no limbs and still make use of themselves and still see the positive in it.
It was in that moment, he looked at me and said, “you’re right.” I seen the look of encouragement on his face. The look of disappointment was fading and I seen the confidence he once had, rise up again, as he loaded the bar for his squat routine.
What had happened to him, also gave me a reality check. There is no “too young” for anything. It could happen to any one of us. Our health is important but once we start getting sick or getting an illness, we start to remember how healthy we once were. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Take advantage of five before five. Your health before your sickness. Your youth before your old age. Your wealth before your poverty. Your time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.” [Al-Hakim]
And even if we are sick, it should not hold us back from anything we want to do with our lives. Sickness is real and it could burden us and prevent us from a lot but it’s how we want it to actually paralyze us. If you think of any sickness and you think how bad you have it and you do nothing, it will actually destroy you. That’s why, in every moment of our lives, we need to take advantage of the things we have before us. Life is going to be an obstacle course. No one said it’s going to be easy. Your life isn’t going to be paved out a smooth road for you because eventually, that road needs to be paved against due cracks and breaks. It shouldn’t prevent us. Obstacles are a part of life and each and every single of us today is dealing with something. Some with money issues. Some with family problems. Some with depression. None of these things make us look down and hold us back.
Life is written in many various and mysterious ways. We don’t know what type of situation or life event will happen before us. No matter the obstacle, no matter the trials that befall us, we shouldn’t fall victim to these things. It’s all but a test for a major reward in life, if we want that reward. If we want to past that test and overcome these trials and tribulations, we must first remember our blessings. When we begin to remember our blessings, we remember less of what is taken away and what is actually before our eyes. Secondly, we continously progress with our lives. Not everything is going to go as planned. You may not get the car you wanted. You may not get into the university or college you dreamed of. This shouldn’t be a reason for you to stop progressing in life. Continue to progress with your life. If you continue to push yourself. If you continue to see yourself in a better position in life, you will be insha’Allah because you have a positive mindset. Persistence is a key to success. No one becomes a millionaire over night. Even lottery winners were persistent in winning by paying money almost every single day to win the big one.
Whatever is going on in your life. Continue to push yourself in a better direction. You may not see the results now. Next week, in a few weeks, in a few months but you’re creating something with continued progression. You are actually fulfilling your dreams because you want it so bad by pushing towards it. Don’t ever let a sickness, depression, your skin colour, hijab, niqab or whatever it may be hold you back in life. You are the biggest obstacle and only you can overcome it with a positive mindset about tomorrow and what is to come.