When I was asked if I wanted to write for The Huskies’ Tribune, a million thoughts rushed through my mind.
As a redshirt senior completing my last year a part of the UConn women’s basketball team, I think it is safe to say that I have a couple of things I could write about.
I thought about writing what it is like to play for arguably two of the greatest coaches. I thought about writing what it was like to be injured on and off for four years straight. I thought about sharing what it was like being a Muslim student-athlete here at the University of Connecticut. I even thought about sharing how I began traveling and starting my first nonprofit to empower young women and kids through holistic workshops and sport.
As you can probably tell, I could write about a lot. I decided to write about that moment in time we all have — the one we can’t describe; sometimes we try to describe it as the following: The blank space, the gap, the process, the dash, the journey.
Ultimately, the step from where you are to where you want to go.
I was born and raised in New York City. As a result, I have probably subconsciously gotten on and off the train over 1,000 times. I have taken trains in New York, India, France and many more places. That being said, I was startled getting off the train on 42nd Street Grand Central Station. “Please mind the gap,” I heard the conductor say for the millionth time, but as I got off, I soon realized it was HUGE!
I processed that moment and began to think about the process of getting off of the train. “Mind the Gap” continued ringing in my ear.
I realized at that moment I had went through a three-step progression to get off the train and onto the platform:
1. I had to silence my initial fear and see what was right in front of me (emotion versus logic). I had to figure out and act urgently with the knowledge that I now had in order to make a move.
2. I had to recount the millions of times I had stepped off a subway car and onto a platform.
3. I had to stay confident that I could do it and mind the gap.
I have had the honor and privilege of speaking with leaders ranging from ages five to 30, and I often find myself trying to explain how to navigate that space. I believe there are three things that are important to mind the gaps in our lives:
1. Having a sense of urgency to figure out what is going on around you and what has to be done.
2. Constantly conditioning your mind & body in new ways.
3. Breathing and staying confident, always!
Urgency: [Urgency means paying the details the attention they deserve, with the respect they deserve, without delay. – NR.]
Figuring out a way to understand what you have to do and what everyone else around you has to do is a game-changer. In regards to navigating uncertainty and discomfort in the journey, I believe it is very important to understand the road ahead. You can work to do research or outwork others, but when you put pressure on yourself to act urgently in certain situations, you become a much more innovative and resourceful thinker.
Conditioning: [Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready] – Everyone. In the process of getting where you want to be and where you are now, you must stay in shape. For example, in basketball, people who are training in order to make a professional sports team do not always know when they will be getting a call to go play overseas. They work every single day like they are expecting a call tomorrow. In regards to entering a new line of work, it is important to try to shadow, volunteer or intern in areas of interest in order to stay involved and knowledgeable about what you want to do. Pick up a new skill or hobby! Always keep your mind stimulated and work to be indespensable!
Confidence: [Discipline is the gateway to freedom – Oprah … or someone.]
Master one area of your life and you can apply it to everything. Confidence to me is working every day to break down your weaknesses to build yourself back strong and whole. As a wonderful poet said on Twitter, it’s about being a masterpiece while mastering peace. It is about doing things to a point, such as stepping off the train so many times that even when the gap is a little bigger, I can recount the millions of times I successfully stepped over it. There are many gaps along the way, but you must first believe in you and take the steps necessary to ultimately become the version of yourself you see on the other side!
Maryam Hasaan stated, “How comfortable are you in the space in-between the known and that which is waiting to be revealed. There is a time delay in manifestation. How you mind the gap is everything. Don’t let time make you doubt what God told you would happen.”
It’s how you respond.
Urgent, in shape and confident.
Batouly Camara #32