Two Qatari amateur tri-athletes who will take part in the attempt to cross the English Channel this month have reiterated the importance of balancing work, family and sports to become successful in life.
Dr Nasser al-Mohannadi and Dr Mohamed Jaham al-Kuwari will join five other Qatari professionals (aged between 34 and 52 years) in the historic attempt – considered as one of the toughest physical challenges in the world.
“My daily life is like a triangle that includes work, social life and sports. Sports give me positive thinking and energy that help me survive in my work,” said Dr al-Mohannadi, senior adviser at Qatar Petroleum and adjunct professor at Texas A&M University in Qatar.
He advises people to put some limit to their professional life, spend quality time with family and friends and to find time to exercise.
A board member of the Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, Dr al-Mohannadi said he learned what he described as the “triangle experience” from his favourite sport, triathlon, which involves swimming, cycling and running.
“It taught me to put things in a triangle shape and give equal time for each angle,” he noted, adding that sports taught him valuable lessons such as how to be positive, how to build any skill through repetition, and accumulating the right experience to attain his goal.
He added that sports also taught him how to build a strong mindset to survive any challenge in life and that all goals can be achieved with the right strategy and action plan, and with some patience and commitment.
Dr al-Mohannadi has participated in many sporting challenges, such as finishing a marathon in Norway and becoming one of the first two Qataris to finish a full Ironman race in South Africa in 2016.
He also shared his experience in the world of endurance sports through his new book, How to be an Ironman.
Dr al-Kuwari, general surgeon and bariatric surgery specialist and head of Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, echoed the same view, saying “it’s all about organising your day in the right way and considering sports as a vital part of your life”.
Despite having many responsibilities as surgeon and a senior sports official, he said: “Waking up early is important to benefit from the whole day and setting aside time for exercising is crucial.”
The 38-year-old doctor pointed out that people should never consider exercising as a form of leisure.“It is vital for your health.”
About their historic attempt, he said they are supporting, encourage and learning from each other during the team’s (Team Qatar Channel Swim) preparations.
“All of us are busy professionals who have family and work responsibilities but when you see each member’s passion and dedication during training, it gives me more energy and I feel more confident,” said Dr al-Kuwari, who completed the International Association of Athletics Federations’ Gold Label Tokyo and New York marathons.
About the attempt, set between July 20 and 27, he stressed that “crossing the English Channel is the ultimate test for us, but we are all focused on completing it”.
“We want to inspire everyone in Qatar and show them that nothing is impossible. Such challenges portray the spirit of Qataris to the whole world,” Dr al-Kuwari said.
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