“My name is Tanzeela and I have 4 children. I came to England as a refugee and before that, I lived in different European countries. Due to my travelling and living in different places, I never got the opportunity to care for myself and forgot about exercising. Now I live in Bradford and here I met Nadera. Nadera organises a mixed exercise class for Refugee Christmas party.
One of my daughters is physically disabled and I always keep her with me as well as my 1-year old son. Nadera was teaching us to dance to different types of music and dance styles, which reminded me of my home country. I joined her class and really had fun. Even my daughter joined in and we both were encouraged to exercise the way we were able to and she always smiled at us to appreciate our involvement.
The journey began from that day as Nadera spoke to me in my language and I could explain my fears to her and set back to go out for exercise classes. She listened to me like a good sister and gave examples of also having 5 children, but making time to workout for health and mental wellbeing.
She offered me lifts to classes and also allowed me to take my kids along and made sure they were with me in a secure area, while I join her exercise classes. The good thing is, I picked up lots of new English words and new exercise skills to do at home with my kids too. It is the first time I have ever done proper exercises in my life as I mainly lived a housebound life, which can be more depressing as I didn’t have my closest ones with me.
Her classes are like a family gathering for me and I meet so many other women from all backgrounds and make new friends. Mentally and physically, I feel so much better and I have lost a few inches due to healthy eating tips that Nadera gives me in her workshops. She often visits me at home, when I don’t come to her classes to give me some time to workout at home, especially in the icy weathe. This keeps me motivated. My children are also happy as I don’t get stressed too much and I can overcome my fears and trauma as my mind is much clearer and I feel happy about myself now. I am hoping to learn driving so I can join all her different classes.”