iamYEGFit – Dr. Farha Shariff
42, Assistant Lecturer, Department Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta Founding Coach Champs Boxing Studio, Spin Instructor
1. It’s Sunday morning, what are you most likely to be doing today?
Sundays are for family. We sleep in. Naheed makes my coffee just the way I like it and we all eat breakfast together (usually crunchy peanut butter on pancakes). We then check the family calendar for who’s got soccer and when. Then it’s meal prep for the week and visits with the parents. Pretty low-key.
2. If you didn’t do what you do for a living, what would you love to do?
I don’t think I was meant to do anything other than what I am doing now, but I am starting to wonder if this is it for me? I feel the itch to go back to school and take my learning in another direction. I have found myself looking into a few different programs, specifically counselling psychology. Who knows!
3. What music is on repeat on your playlist when at the gym or keeping active?
Old school Hip Hop and RnB for sure mixed with some Partyfavor, Bass Nectar, BTSM, ATTLAS, Massive Attack. My music tastes have changed over the last few years; I’m not a big fan of many new hip-hop or RnB artists with the exception of a few artists like Khalid, Blackbear, Wiz Khalifa, Jhene Aiko.
4. If we were to peek in your gym bag right now, what would we find?
2 pairs of Beats by Dre, Scivation grape-flavoured BCAAs, trainers, my Buddy Lee skipping rope, a sweatshirt (I’m always cold), and about 29 elastics.
5. What’s your favourite thing about the YEG fitness scene?
I have made connections with some of the most incredible people over the past few years as a result of fitness. For me, fitness has become more than teaching classes, more than sweat, more than exercise. I’ve seen, felt and created deep connections within community that I like to call collective resilience: developing the mental strategies and the strength to face anything in your life, as a result of acknowledging your own stories, all cultivated during physical exertion. When you can show up and be real and work through things in your head and heart through movement and collective energy – it’s ethereal.
Being gifted the capacity to hold space for someone to be at their most vulnerable, authentic, real selves so that they access their capacity to move, think, dream, become… that’s the Edmonton community fitness I’ve had the privilege of experiencing.
6. Where is your dream vacation destination?
Anywhere with bread, coffee, Nutella and culture… no schedules, no plans, just experiences and memories.
7. What do you do to take care of your mental health?
I have a very small board of advisors for my life that I talk to regularly; I am a communicator so I like to talk things out… a lot.
Spin and a pretty solid training and mobility program help me manage the nervous energy that comes with anxiety. I also spend a lot of time with my girls and my parents which put things into perspective really quick. I also like to read to learn about things I’m experiencing. Podcasts! I can’t get into podcasts because I like to annotate when I read, but listening to podcasts when my head is full helps to move things around.
8. What is at the top of your bucket list?
More travel. We were young parents and between growing businesses and being in school full time and working, we didn’t have a lot of time or money to spend on travel. Now that I’m out of school (for now) and our kids are a bit older, it’s time to start traveling.
I didn’t grow up playing sports or learning any musical instruments, so I’d love to learn how to play the drums and maybe join a team sport. My girls have been playing soccer for years and I still have not learned the rules of the game.
9. Who are you currently following on social media who inspires you?
Simon Sinek, Yunga Pueblo, Robin Sharma, Danielle Doby, Brene Brown
10. What is your favourite way to stay fit?
Weights and spin have always been my first love; I discovered so many things about myself through both mediums and as a woman I think resistance training and cardiovascular exercise have so many proved benefits for keeping mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually aligned.