Friday, August 21, 2009

The Last Night of Sha'ban

I can't wait to write about the wedding dress expedition I went on yesterday--it was so much fun. But it took most of the day, and I got home around 2am with a nearly empty tank of gas.

Today I didn't really have anywhere to go, except for the gym. I meant to go this afternoon but lost myself in more wedding planning (which can be superfun) and didn't want to run into the late afternoon crowd. A lot of people are at the gym between 4 and 7pm, and I didn't want to have to compete with anyone for equipment (since I would be doing mostly weight training.)

And since Ramadan is nearly upon us, with fasting almost surely to lead to some loss of lean muscle mass, I made sure to get in to the gym today. But this evening rolled around, then it was suppertime, and then I needed to wait until maghrib, since it was almost in. So I waited, and prayed, and then I got ready to go.

On most of the days that I don't go to the gym, I go for a walk around the parks near my house. A lot of times I take my dog, just because it's less boring that way. At first, he didn't seem to care if he went for a walk or not, but now that we've done it a lot, I think he's really taken an interest. (Plus, I just recently bought him a new harness with more comfortable straps, since the old one was chafing him a little bit.) So tonight, he saw me come out of my room dressed for exercise and then started tailing me around like he didn't want to lose me for an instant in case he might get left behind.

Unfortunately for him, I wasn't planning to take him for a walk tonight, but he was pretty adamant about it. Even without wearing a leash, he was not going to let me leave the house without him. He was even scratching the door when I wouldn't open it with him standing there.

So I caved for the little dog, put on his harness and walked him around the block. That made him happy, since he got a little walk in (usually we'll walk for over an hour, not just 5 minutes). So then I took off for the gym. But by then it was getting late--and remember how I said I didn't have much gas? I should've stopped for gas on the way there but I didn't want to eat into my time any further, since the gym closes at 11. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time and didn't feel rushed on my way out.

And I got there fine, spent the better part of an hour doing the weight training I'd meant to do, and then added some cardio there at the end. Afterward, I calculated the day's energy intake and expenditure. (That is, I counted the calories in the foods I'd eaten, and in the exercise I'd just done.) And at that point I'd only eaten about 800 calories--which is really low. My understanding is that it's not good to have less than 1200/day for a woman. And since I'd just exercised ~700 calories, getting something else to eat before going to bed seemed like a good idea. (Especially since I wasn't sure if I'd be fasting the next day.)

So, I decided to stop at the grocery store on the way home. The grocery store was closer to the gym than the gas station, so I went there first, and didn't find anything I really wanted, so I left. But then, my car wouldn't start!

Could it really be so low on gas? Only, it wasn't acting like it was out of gas. I wasn't sure if it was gas, or the starter, or maybe even the battery. It turns out that it was the battery. I called my dad (which I feel pretty bad about, since it was late and he had to get up really early in the morning) and he brought me some gas, and jumped the car so I could start it. (Adding gas didn't help it to start any, it behaved just like the first time I tried to start it.) So it was definitely the battery, and my dad suggested I drive around on the highway some to charge the battery.

Being a little bit hungry I took his advice and stopped at a late-night drive-thru (afraid to turn the car off!) place to get a very small low-calorie bite to eat. While I was in line, I checked the (new) masjid website, which was supposed to announce by 11:30 whether or not there had been a moon sighting, since our masjid waits to see on the 29th if there is a moon sighting anywhere in the USA before declaring Ramadan. And this was just past 11:30 so I checked, to find out that there had been no sighting and that we would start fasting on Saturday.

Then as I pulled up to the window, I saw that there was a Muslim working there! (He was an Arab with a pretty typical Muslim name, so I figured he might be a Muslim, though I didn't ask.) He actually asked me (because of my hijab) if I was Muslim, and of course I answered affirmatively. And then he said that he had a quick question--he asked me if I knew if Ramadan had started tonight! And subhanallah, I had just checked, not a minute before. So I told him that there hadn't been any moon sightings, thus fasting would start on Saturday.

Then I went ahead and drove around for a while on the highway, and finally came home.

I thought it was interesting that I went through all of that, but it led me to get to tell another Muslim when Ramadan was. And since I haven't blogged in a while, the night's events made it into a post!

(And, I think the reason the battery failed was because I left my phone charger in all day, so the battery might've been low when I started the car at the house, and then the short trip from the gym to the grocery store wasn't enough to charge the battery enough to start the car again. InshaAllaah it'll start fine again tomorow.)

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