Ahmed Al-Shahrani has worn many hats over the 30 some years he's lived. But over the last four years, he's been focused and dedicated to improving himself via sports. He's taken part in marathons in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan. He also plays other sports such as wheelchair fencing, aquathlons (swimming and running) and shooting. He's the first para-athlete to cross Qatar East to West 90 km and North to South 200 km.
I completed my secondary education and two years of university. Over the past decade, I’ve worked in the private sector, disability field and help grow our family business.
I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’m proud I stuck around, never threw the towel in, never gave up. I trained hard and long. I trained early mornings and late nights. I trained in ideal conditions and less than ideal conditions. In calm winds and in headwinds exceeding 40km/hr. All this and more prepared me to set out and achieve my goal.
As one of the Accessible Qatar ambassadors; a lot of our work is awareness and advocacy. A highlight of one of our achievements in spreading more inclusivity in sports and through the initiative we were able to promote wheelchair fencing and hand cycling.
In my amateur sporting career, I would have to say Al-Adaid 2020 was a highlight. Crossing 29 km off-road with its various terrains and climbing ten sand dunes with the help of my friends and the warm reception at the finish line was amazing.
It’s hard to pin it down to one. I enjoy physical activities. I love trying new things and learning new skills. I enjoy shooting because it makes me focus on the target. Fencing forces me to live in the moment and just react without thinking. Swimming, which I’m yet to master, taught me to go with the flow. And running has become an integral part of me; I can’t see myself not running.
Muhammad Ali. He was more than a sportsman, he was a balanced human being who showed the world what one can achieve via sports and apply it to all the different aspects of one's life. May he rest in peace.
InshaAllah bigger and better things. There are a few world records I would like to break. I have also been thinking about entering professional wheelchair racing. There are a lot of goals I see myself pursuing over the next decade.
Positivity and making the best out of every situation and hand you’ve been dealt. For example, stubbornness can be a negative trait or a weakness. I use stubbornness to block out any negativity. I also use it to help me persevere and keep going. So, for sure making the best of all I’ve been dealt with and seeing the possibility, not the current reality, has been key to my own success.
I’ve made a lot along the way. I’m not perfect and won't always get things right. I’ve come to terms with that. When we pursue new things there won't always be a clear path. And, what worked for many may not work for you. I accept my mistakes and consider them a part of the learning curve. I learn and move on. I don’t dwell in them. I don’t allow self-doubt to overwhelm me. So, mistakes have been my teachers and lessons along this journey.
Along our journey in life, we all have some hard decisions to make. All the hard decisions in my life have been personal private matters. But when I am faced with such hard decisions, I always try to base my choice, not on an emotion or feeling, but a principle, belief, or a philosophy I believe in, so even if it’s the wrong decision I don’t regret making it. As I know I based it on something I believed in and not just how I felt in the moment.
Just a human being.
I enjoy what I do and it helps keep me healthy.
Helping others reach their full potential and being better.
The source and secret of my success for sure are God. I’m blessed. And blessings from God come in many forms: family, friends, kind words from strangers at the right moment, good health, support, these are but a few.
I don’t know what the future holds for me. But I do know I will keep pushing myself. Setting myself new challenges and exploring my full potential. Samla? Marathon des Sables?
Dedication and commitment to your goal.
A heart, a mentality that doesn’t accept less than your full potential.
I enjoy reading, writing, watching documentaries, and all the different sports I take part in.
I love to travel but don’t travel as much as I like. Once I travel the world will tell you about my favourite destination. I’m not a big foodie, but I love coffee.
Al-HamdAllah, Thank God.
To be honest I don’t think about that much. Memory is a funny thing, we as humans remember very random things and everytime we remember something we rewrite the memory. Whatever or however people remember me, I hope it’s positive and makes them smile and believe in themselves.
Do you know your purpose and full potential? You only live once so LIVE. Pursue what you hear in that brief moment between every heartbeat. Stop chasing perfection. Stop dreaming. Set goals. Reach your potential. Live.
Cover image credit: Ahmed Al-Shahrani
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