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Khadijah Diggs always gets noticed in more ways than one. Clad in her stylish aerobic wear and lavender hijab, she’s hard to miss at sports competitions. Our local sports fanatic has earned the nickname “triGAMMAlete” from her fellow sorority sisters of Gamma Gamma Chi. Khadijah is a competitive triathlete. Triathlons are competitions that involve the completion of three continuous endurance disciplines. Many variations of this competition exist but it usually involves swimming, cycling and running. She competed in her first triathlon –the Iron Girl Atlanta Women’s Triathlon at Lake Lanier, Georgia–as part of a sorority event.
She is currently a member of the US Long Course Triathlon Team. In August 2017, she’ll head to British Columbia, Canada to compete with her team in various challenging events. Currently, she also stands out as the only hijabi to make it onto any of the US multi-sport teams.
Khadijah has always loved sports and competition. “I love to race. During my training, I focus on the fact that I can compete and travel. I am doing what I love to do. I just focus on being grateful. I feel like going all out is the best way to show my gratitude to Allah (swt) as well as share the beauty of Islam.” As for any curious stares at seeing a fully covered woman perform strenuous feats of athleticism she says, “I sometimes get stares. Lots of people ask if I'm hot. The materials that my competition outfits are made of are super cooling so generally if I'm hot, EVERYONE is hot. Most people treat me like any other competitor when they realize I’m there to RACE. The fact that some people don't expect me to be competitive gives me a little push to make sure that I execute and perform at my best. I always want to leave an event with people having a positive image of a motivated, competitive, strong athlete and ‘Oh yeah, she's Muslim’.”
Khadijah is also a working mother and member of America’s first Islamic sorority, Gamma Gamma Chi. How does she keep up with her busy schedule and still follow her passion for sports? “I train a lot at night. I map out my training plan and activities well in advance so things aren't unexpected. I also recognize that I'm not superhuman. When I'm tired, I rest. If things aren't perfect around the house, it's OK. I have also learned to train effectively. I know which workouts are key to my improvement. I make sure I don't miss those workouts and I make sure the effort is as prescribed in the plan. I think what makes the difference is I LOVE the process of training. Coaches always say enjoy the journey to the goal and I truly do.”
But one must wonder, what is her training regime for the month of Ramadan? For 2017, American Muslims will be fasting for about 16 hours a day. How does she cope with the long hours of fasting while training and being a working mom? Being the Iron Woman that she is, Ramadan only inspires her to train smarter, not harder. You can follow her Ramadan training posts on Facebook. You can also watch this documentary on how she started racing and made her way onto Team USA.
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