“I was born into a slightly conservative Muslim family. Even though we had to wear a burqa and follow other traditions, my parents never stopped me from anything.
When I turned 15 and joined a karate class nearby — I felt like I had found what I was made for.
I worked so hard and even managed to become a black belt in 5 years. I played on the state and national level!
Once I graduated, and finished my masters — my parents wanted me to get married. I was already in love with someone I met in my Karate class, and he was Hindu. So when I told my parents, there was some hesitation, but they eventually agreed.
I continued to pursue Karate — but all of it came to a halt when I gave birth to my kids within a gap of a year. My husband was working, and I got busy taking care of them.
Even though it was hard, I tried my best to juggle my passion and family. Every spare minute I had, I’d rush to my aerobics and karate class. While my kids were growing up, and we’d go out for functions, and events, people would come up to me and compliment me for being so ‘fit’ for my age. That always motivated me, and I wanted to pursue something in the sports arena — but I didn’t have the confidence to.
I remember just a while before my 50th birthday, my kids told me that I’d spent all my life being the ‘best daughter’, ‘the best wife’, and ‘the best mother’. They said that now, I should just focus on being ‘the best me’. Coincidentally, at that time I also saw an ad for a fitness competition called ‘The Fit Factor’. In it, women of every age could participate, and they were required to go up on stage in a bikini!
My entire family encouraged me to go for it, and so I did! At 50, I was standing next to competitors half my age, in a bikini with a room full of people — and I’d never felt better!
I won that competition, and it felt like the 15-year-old me had finally reached where she wanted to be!
It was just up, and above from then on. I’ve taken part in world championships, and various other fitness competitions — I’ve even taken part in a model hunt! I started posting about my journey, and my photos online and had so many people appreciating me. It’s not been easy though, I have to work out every day, and make sure I eat right. I’ve even been hospitalized twice with major health problems. But I’ve come through it.
Half of my life I’ve spent wondering when I’d be able to do what I’m doing today. I kept waiting for the ‘right’ time, the perfect ‘moment’. But I didn’t realize that there’s never going to be one. If you want something, this is your time — you have to live in the now. Follow your dreams, the world is waiting for you. All you need to do is take that giant leap of faith.”
Story Courtesy: Humans of Bombay.
Humans of Bombay in association with Vodafone encourages you to #LiveMore.
Nishrin Parikh is a national award-winning fitness trainer and international fitness athlete. She has been helping students reach their strength and wellness goals for over three decades. In 2018, Nishrin Parikh set the record for being the oldest female to compete in the WBPF World Bodybuilding Championship in Thailand. She has taught and mentored over 2500 students. As an instructor, it is her passion to share her knowledge and experience with people who have a desire to improve their state of physical and mental well being. With a versatile background in Yoga, Martial Arts, Weight Lifting, Pilates, and diet and nutrition, Nishrin is in a unique position to fuse her knowledge and experience to create a highly effective method, that is Yogasstrength.