Unstoppable: How Vizags Hijab-clad gym-trainer fought cancer, discrimination to fit Fit with Fab women

Visakhapatnam: Looking at her in hijab, many refused her job and advised her to return to other countries. But she calls herself a fighter, who overcame all the obstacles in her life and now markets herself as an internationally certified fitness coach for women and trains the underprivileged for free.

Meet Farzana Begum, 41, from Visakhapatnam, who became the star of the city after the recent show ‘Unstoppable’, hosted by actor Balakrishna on Aha. In Season 2, Farzana received a special invitation for the first episode where former Chief Minister and TDP leader Nara Chandra Babu Naidu was the main guest.

Winning many hearts with her inspiring life, Farzana Begum shares her journey with News Meter.

A former student of St Joseph’s College, Farzana’s fitness trainer avatar happened by chance. She lost her mother to illness in 2014. It had a big impact on her psyche. She decided to make women aware of their health. “My mother had a disease she ignored and passed away at the age of 52. Four months after her death, I decided to create an exclusive gym for women, to train and train them. make healthy. When I started, I found that many families are unwilling to send their female members to the gym,” said Farzana, who was active in sports in college.

“I joined the gym in July 2014. I joined a fitness club in Bangalore. During my interaction, I found out that some women frequent the gym but are not passionate about it “, she said.

A mother of two daughters

She completed a certification course for excellence. Farzana’s husband was shocked when she said she would take certification classes despite being an established trainer. It was when she had to take care of her 2 and a half year old daughter “My husband understood what I was doing. He gave me all his moral support. He took care of my children when I was preparing for the patent. , I started training people professionally,” Farzana said.

She is now an internationally certified functional coach, personal trainer, certified nutritionist, pre and post natal coach and Pilates instructor.

First tumor

In 2017, Farzana suffered a spinal tumor and had to undergo surgery. “I was asked to leave the profession because I had lost mobility in both my legs. But after the operation, I moved on and took my certification courses,” she said. . Farzana worked for free for 6-7 months just to find out how it works.

row of hijab

“After the operation, I moved to Visakhapatnam and started looking for jobs. Some people refused me a job because I was wearing a hijab. Some people asked to be transferred to Saudi Arabia to train women in the gym. Now I thank the person who I took it as a challenge and decided to train women in my “city of destiny” – Vizag”, said Farzana.

His first training

Farzana did her first workout on the beach road every morning with a few female relatives and friends. Two months later, many women came to train with her. “Later, I was lucky enough to work at Studio M as a female fitness coach in Visakhapatnam. With a client who liked my workout style, the number reached 8,” she added .

Leukemia

In 2019, while Farzan was preparing for a certification course, she experienced pain in her ribs. Doctors found that the tumor had affected the 4th and 5th ribs, and it was not normal. “I had major surgery to remove a 60 gram tumor in my rib, and later reports came out that I had ‘blood cancer’. The battle started with chemotherapy,” Farzana said. .

Despite the stress of chemotherapy, Farzana did not stop her training. She began to train clients on the terrace of her residence. “With rudimentary equipment, I train my clients. They were my strong pillars who sat with me and spent time at home and in the hospital. I am a fighter but not a survivor. I always want to work to make women healthier,” she added.

Fit with Fab

“After chemotherapy, I fully recovered and started working to open my gym. In March 2020, I opened my own gym ‘Fit with Fab – a women’s gym exclusively run by women’, a- she declared.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit her and she switched to online classes. “Well, things could get worse for me, but I never took a break during the pandemic. I trained 9-10 hours a day for many women through online sessions,” Farzana said.

She restarted her gym after Covid restrictions were lifted. “After appearing on the TV show, many women came to my gym to train. I received a call from a cancer victim from Srikakulam, who wants to train. There are many families with cancer victims who approach me for mental support,” Farzana said.