Bold and Strong: That’s how women are
This is the story of Samira Syed, a Bangladeshi powerlifter, fashion and fitness model. Yes, you read it right; she is all three and much more. Her passion, often associated as a man's profession, didn't seem to put her down. Instead, it encouraged her to be adamant and more focused on achieving her best: to be number one in her field of athletics.
"Even two years back, I was just a fitness enthusiast just like any normal person. I would regularly go to the gym and eat healthy food whenever possible. But as I religiously worked out, my gym instructor (I call him coach) noticed my intense dedication towards weightlifting and also how I excelled in it. This is when he got the idea to introduce me to powerlifting. And then, there was no turning back for me," confessed a smiling Samira.
Since she started, she has taken part in five contests, including Deadlift 2020, where Samira secured the fourth position in a 63KG weight class distinction.
"My journey took a massive lift after winning the accolade and I don't think I can ever turn around. This field gave me a separate identity and I was almost reborn. And having gained enormous amount of confidence, after proving to the world that everything and anything was achievable by the women of today, I decided to encourage other women onto the journey of fitness or even powerlifting for that matter."
Samira runs her own fitness page by the name 'Burn It with Samira S' on Facebook, which has gained popularity since day one of its establishment.
"I hope my knowledge and experience will help people to become both physically and mentally fit," said Samira.
Until now, everything sounded effortless and uncomplicated, as if powerlifting had always been Samira's calling and she achieved greatness within a few days of workout. According to the athlete, it's actually on the contrary.
"Only if I could express how difficult this journey had been for me! Transformation wasn't easy at all. I sacrificed many things in life, from an active social life to enjoying restaurant made food. I stopped having my favourite dishes, survived through days of sleepless nights, suffered reactions from supplements, felt stressed, jittery, cried my heart out and almost everything else that could break a person. And yet, I was adamant in my goals. I wanted to be a powerlifter and there was no alternate to that.
"People reading my story up until now may feel a bit jittery and become discouraged to start an athletic journey of their own, but let me also assure them that the pain I suffered from had been nothing compared to the joy I achieved from being a proud female powerlifter of our country, breaking down barriers for all the women in the society," stated Samira.
But her journey had not been solo, there were many people supporting her to achieve the pinnacle of success, and mostly, Samira credits the Bangladesh Powerlifting Association (BPA), her parents and coach Zico Zaman for her achievements.
"If it wasn't for them, my journey would have been tougher and laid with additional obstacles," stated the athlete.
2021 has encouraged Samira on hypertrophy workout and willing to participate in more contests.
Aside from her identity as an athlete, Samira has also kept herself busy with modelling stints in the local fashion industry.
"Maybe I am workaholic, I don't know, but I love working in many professions and modelling is my other passion," she said.
Here's wishing more accolades to the athlete, and may she be able to take powerlifting across national borders and make us prouder every day.
After all – women can do everything they set their mind to.
Photo: Samira Sayed
Facebook page: "Burn it with Samira S"