Shereen walked into the pole session that day with a face that pretty much looked as if she’d been hit by a bus.. Her eyes seemed so tired like never before.
Gigi the trainer who came from Acapulco , Mexico, walked by Shereen and noticed how tired she looked, and looked at her “Hey Chica! Wassup??!” with a typical Mexican head upwards nod.. Shereen didn’t notice that she was talking to her until Gigi put her hand on her shoulder and looked at her ” Wassup girl ?! You don’t look good, you sure you want to train today ?”
Shereen nodded quietly shaking her head “Yeah I actually need it! I’m fine don’t worry!” , Gigi nodded and they went to training…
You could see in every movement that Shereen did she pushed herself to the limit, she drove herself like to the edge of whatever her body could take, and Gigi read that, and even when tried to tune Shereen down, the later would resist and it began quite clear that something was not right about Shereen, and that she wasn’t her usual self. Gigi coming from a different background learned how to read and absorb people and she let Shereen have her way on how she wanted to have the training , but because Shereen was so stubborn, she took fall after fall.
By the time the training had been done, Shereen had a several bruises on all her arms, gasping for breath and her chest heaving rapidly.
Gigi noticed the change in the expressions on Shereen’s face.. “Hey Chica.. C’mere” she said in her regular accent, Gigi who was 5″9 moved her arm, motioning Shereen to come over near her..
Shereen went there quietly and looked up at her ” Yeah?”, Gigi replied “That was some crazy shit training girl!! Not even monsters train like that! what’s going on?”
Shereen looked at her quietly ” Why do you say so? I think it was just like any other day!” trying to smile to hide her anger and frustration with a fake seal lipped smile..
“Any other day?” , “who’d you think you trippin here girl?” , “This chica is what I call, beating the shit out of yourself sort of training, and every woman I’ve come across with that sort of training only comes out when the world comes crashin down on her like a steamroller!”
“So what do you want me to say?” Shereen replied very calmly hiding her face in the towel pretending to dry her face..
“Besides” Shereen added , “you wouldn’t understand, only if you lived in Cairo long enough can you get it … And even with that, you probably wouldn’t”
“Oh so I wouldn’t get it Chica? That’s what you say? That’s what you think? You think am some just pretty face who’s having her honeymoon around here?” Gigi replied looking deeply into Shereen’s eyes.. “C’mere” she said , and she took Shereen to a room next to them where they had a couple of hanging punching bags..And she asked Shereen to stand aside for a moment..
And Gigi’s relaxed usual funny face, just faded away and was replaced by an anger filled face that echoed through out her body and her feet began to move at an amazing speed hitting the punching bag with extreme force followed by a series of punches that only left Shereen in amazed silence.. Shereen struggled to keep her usual cool as she had never witnessed first hand such an aggressiveness from a woman the way she saw coming out of Gigi.
And for a consecutive 3 minutes, Gigi kicked and punched the bag so hard if it were a guy Shereen was sure he’d be dead by now… But still Shereen didn’t quite get the point Gigi was trying to get through..
Then Gigi stood perfectly composed and smiled at Shereen and said ” Cairo, is like more than half of the places I’ve been to, and I’ve been to at least 9 countries girl, so I’ve seen quite a bit..”
Shereen lost her cool and suddenly snapped ” You think you know it all ? You’ve seen the harassment ? You’ve seen the judging? You’ve seen the who choke you with their eyes before their words ? Who put you down for a living? People here feed on other people’s soul! They put you down for a living! They freaking feast on your sadness!! On their ability to keep you down on your knees and telling you what you should be! who you should be ! and even How you should be! How people never stand by your side only because you are a woman then you take the blame for everything! A Daughter! A Mother! A woman! For everything!! Every fucking thing! We are to blame in this God forsaken Country!!! You have not seen this, You have not lived this! I hardly doubt it ”
Gigi giggled at that point “Lived this? ” she replied sarcastically , she lifted the side of her sports bra showing a 10 cm scar from her side under her left breast , she added while keeping a smile on her face “Aged 15, in my city Acapulco, Mexico , a dude touched me all over on the bus and left this mark with his knife, just so I remember that he ‘owned’ me and I couldn’t scream and I couldn’t say a word! I grew up with a father who was an alcoholic who beat the hell out of me and my sisters and used to steal the money we worked to earn , by the time I was 19 I had left home and began trying to find a way out of the country, in Italy I was molested at least 10 times during my 2 year stay! 23 New York robbed at gunpoint and the bastard said ‘might as well fuck you bitch’ if it wasn’t for policemen who were accidentally passing by and he split before they could even arrive, Philipines aged 27 had my house broken into 3 times in 6 months and ransacked even though there wasn’t pretty much anything to take. By the time I was 30 , I had been groped at least more than 20 times that I remember, but on that day I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough, and when I was in Thailand a man on a motorcycle tried to steal my bag , and I pulled my bag and dropped him so hard on the ground , and began pounding him like a side of beef until I broke his nose and people got me off him just to keep him alive! I almost killed the fucker, not that I regret it but it would have been such a waste to spend time in prison for such a cockroach.. So you were asking, what do I know? I know that a lot of the young folks in my city lived on drugs, I know they belonged to a posse or a gang and some of them would never go back home because of gang wars, and I’ve seen people get caught in the crossfire during gang wars..So Shereen babe.. I’ve seen quite the bit ”
Gigi closed her eyes and took a deep breath before adding “But I’ve decided to smile”, Shereen’s jaw almost dropped at hearing the stories that Gigi had just shared with her.
“How could you even think of smiling with everything you just said! I would have probably shot myself in the head! This is such a disgusting world!” Shereen replied her back instantly, with a tone of frustration
Gigi leaned forward and looked so seriously into Shereen’s eyes in a way she’d never seen before and told her “Because I decided to be fucking Larger than life Chica!!” , and added ” Fucking larger than life! I’m going to fucking live my life and I’m going to enjoy every bit of it! I’m not going to let any punk ruin, no matter how many try to stop me! I’m gonna do it my way! My fucking way Chica! And ain’t no bozo , no community, no one gonna take this away from me! You get me? No one! And so I smile, I giggle , I laugh, I’m bigger than the fucking universe! I’m me, I will enjoy being me, I’ll do things just because I won’t , I don’t care what he, she or they will say , I live it my way!! I’ll do things just because I want to, and not because someone told someone to tell me what to do! Mi alma es pura, mi alma es libre! My Soul is Pure!! My Soul is Free! It was given to me free, it was given to me for free, so no one ain’t gonna get it! You get that Chica? So the next time you see dye my hair in 3 different colors, or hangout and have a grand time as if it was the last night of my life ‘EVERY FREAKING TIME’ I go out , it’s not because I try to impress nor do I want to be the center of attention, it’s far more simpler than that.. It’s because I’m the queen of my own world ! Soy La Reina Chica !!” she said this with such a loud voice it echoed throughout the room” and added “You too need to become your own queen! You need to rock your world girl! People say I’m crazy, hell I am, and I do as I please when I please, they think I’ve lost it, let them think, it ain’t gonna give them money in the bank and sure as hell won’t make me poor! the world will strip you of everything if you let it have its way, you have to fight back, you will bleed, you will break your nose, sometimes your pride , but always pick yourself and move on, and on top of it all, have a fucking grand time at it! Till that day where your body hits the dirt and can no longer move, love it! just freaking love it and enjoy it and let it have the time of its life”
Shereen was in utter disbelief, that what she thought to be the cool and fluffy funny girl who turned to actually be a realm of her own. Gigi in less than ten minutes had shook her to the very core , simply being who she is, with everything she has lived and seen, by only throwing at her a glimpse of what she has been through.
And while Shereen was still in her state of shock, Gigi walked up to to her very closely, slid a finger under her chin and pushed it slightly up, and added “And before everything else, walk, I mean always walk with your head held high babe! Always”
Gigi shook her body with some relaxing moves ” I’m going to go hit the shower! If you’re still feeling frustrated, I get it , have a few punches, a few kicks at the bag, but never keep your heart loaded, till it kills you!”
Gigi left to the showers and Shereen looked at the punching bag silently and began to kick and hit it quietly , the word of Gigi echoing in the back of her mind “Soy La Reina Chica! Soy La Reina!”