Fun-loving, challenge-seeking, Bahraini para-triathlete Shaikha Al Shaiba is always willing to push herself and take on the next adventure. She talks to Gulf Life about her goals and achievements.
I always had a fear of failure and rejection and choosing to be an athlete was the way to overcome it.
What other sports are you are interested in?
WOD workouts are my favourite, but in general I’m interested in all kinds of sports. I love to try and challenge my abilities.
You once said, “Disability is not when you have a missing part of your body, it’s when you stop and limit yourself.” Isn’t it true of able-bodied persons as well?
It is for everyone but when it comes to a disabled person their hopes and faith gets smaller, which I believe shouldn’t be the case because we are gifted with other abilities and we have to look at the other bright side.
Who inspires you the most?
H.H. Sh. Naser Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa & myself.
You are an inspiration for many. What message do you have for others?
Enjoy your life and look at all the great and amazing things God has gifted each individual in this world.
How do you stay positive?
Accepting myself is the first step, and I love the way I look. I am also grateful that losing an arm made me who I am today. I am happy that it happened to me.
What are the challenges that you had to overcome to achieve what you are today?
People, looks, few other body challenges which I get while swimming, running and lifting weights. Moreover, I have a full time job.
Who were your greatest supporters?
My country, family & friends.
Some people who were worried about me getting injured etc.
What’s next in athletics for you?
March 2020 triathlon in Abu Dhabi.
Tell us something about your job? How do you manage both athletics and sports?
It is not easy to manage both. However, I try my best to do so. I do get a lot of support from my company that I joined a year ago.
So are you a beach or mountain person?
Adventure or leisure while traveling?
Your greatest fear?
Dreams that are still to be achieved?
My dreams are unstoppable. Every month I come up with a new dream to be achieved.
Any success secret you would like to share with us?
I will have a race in March 2020, and once I get qualified the secret will not anymore be a secret.
If you were stranded on an island for three days, what would your essentials be?
Drinking water, food and Netflix.
Tell us about your travels.
I love travelling. I have been to the US, UK, Prague, GCC countries, Paris, Croatia, Montenegro, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, India, Djibouti, Jordan, Egypt, Beirut, Ethiopia, Italy and Scotland.
Words : Abhishek Chakraborty