So just last week, I participated in this event called the British Youth Championship Qualifier for England’s South West region.
It was not my first regional competition (I did once before back in my home, Indonesia) but it was the first time I compete during my stay in England.
Honestly I was so anxious and I even found myself in front of the computer staring at Ibtihaj Muhammad all the time. Thinking of finding a way to motivate myself by looking for someone who was ‘in the same boat as I am.’
Sometimes thoughts like “oh are they going to treat me any differently?” or “will there be any reff biasing against me there?” instead of thinking how I should polish my rubbish parry-repost.
But when I encountered a short biography of Ibtihaj, I found myself applauding for Ibti’s coach. The six-time Olympian, Peter Westbrook.
“You cannot allow ‘because I’m Muslim’ or ‘because I’m black’ into play in fencing. The minute you put those in, you’ve lost.”
Then when the day of the competition came, I finished it off with this.
Yep, that’s me.