Have you ever participated in a group sport activity? When I was in junior high and high school, I played on the basketball team. Later, I decided to take up martial arts. Recently on Facebook, I saw a trainer posting some wonderful videos of him teaching children and women martial arts moves. This is why the National Training Conference hosted by Grandmaster Aziz Muhammad and his wife, Sister Azizah is so vital to the entire family; it teaches us how to protect ourselves and our families. What is so wonderful about martial arts is that it doesn’t require a lot of coordination of a particular skill, but it does require practice. One of the best activities we could involve our children in is martial arts. We should provide justice to ourselves and our children by planning for them. Plan for them and make sure they learn how to protect themselves and make proper food choices. For example, I enrolled my daughter in her first martial arts class when she was 4 and had her read How to Eat to Live when she was a preteen. The discipline she gained from both gave her a wonderful foundation.
Making yourself exercise is an act of discipline that can benefit us in many areas of our lives. It strengthens our willpower and endurance to follow through on tasks and to remain steadfast. Attorney Tiffany Muhammad shared her testimony in a recent Virtue Today Magazine article entitled, “Discipline Makes Everything Possible!” Exercise can make you more confident as well as make your mind stronger and more determined. She said:
“Since I was a little girl, I knew I would be a lawyer. I had no idea that becoming a lawyer required extreme discipline. Furthermore, I did not understand the stress and anxiety that came along with it. The American Bar Association reported that one of the main causes of stress in the legal field is the pressure to constantly perform at a high level. Lawyers are expected to provide expert advice, make critical decisions, and work under tight deadlines, all while dealing with constant demands of clients, colleagues, and the court system. Thus, being a lawyer is one of the most stressful occupations.
Conditioning in physical training is very critical in my ability to balance life stressors. Running on a regular basis became mandatory for me a long time ago. Running and lifting weights obviously improves muscle endurance and cardiovascular ability. However, most important to me, it helps me reduce my anxiety and it gives me clarity of mind. My confidence is at its highest when I work out regularly. I started running marathons (26.2 miles) while in law school. I remember one year I ran the Houston marathon early one Sunday morning (7 am - 12 pm), and later that same day I reported to check post at Muhammad Mosque for the Sunday meeting (2:00 pm). Needless to say, I felt like a top soldier. Over the years I have run many marathon races. I still participate in races to encourage me to continue to train hard. When I needed a new challenge, I started competing in triathlon races (.9 miles swim, 24-miles bike, & 6 miles run and/or sprint distance). I never came in first place in any of my races, but to me I am always the WINNER.”
We are little gods, “…And Allah is The Best of Planners" - Holy Quran 3:53. Let us plan like God and plan for success. Discipline allows us to provide justice to ourselves. It can also lead to happiness and success. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that the Restrictive law is our success. But how can this make us happy? The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said in How to Eat to Live Book 1, “Believe in Him, obey and follow His teachings, and you will always be happy " (p. 76-77). Allah willing, we will review the preventative guidelines in Torchlight for America and discuss more in the next issue.
May Allah (God) bless us all with peace, health, wealth, love, and happiness.
(Dr. Audrey Muhammad is an educator, aerobics instructor, and author of Get Fit to Live: Be Your Best You! Her books are available at www.virtuetodaymag.com. Please consult a physician before beginning any new exercise or dietary program).