The day I decided to wear the hijab full time was probably the worst day to begin. I had been Muslim for about 3 years now, completed college and started my first job as a personal trainer. I had always maintained and still do that wearing the scarf is a choice. It’s my opinion that the Quran doesn’t as much ask women to wear a scarf of their head as it asks women to take that scarf they were already wearing and pull it forward to cover their chest. The Quran asks (does not demand) for modesty and then leaves it open for interpretation.
It was a Sunday morning, and the day of a fitness conference. I woke woth a strong desire to wear hijab. There was no hesitation, no thought of “should I really start today?” Only thoughts of “how do I make this work.”
The scarf I chose was red. Looking back at how often red was involved in the significant moments in my life – its serendipitous. With a long sleeve shirt under my t-shirt and scarf pinned in place I headed out to meet my peers, still in my first year in the fitness industry, as a hijabi personal trainer.
The days sessions flew by, and even in a fitness choreography class I still wore my hijab proudly. I saw my boss sitting with her boss at one point between sessions. I saw her, mouth gaping as she said “Oh! There’s Paige!”with a little too much surprise bordering on shock in her voice. I waved and said hi politely as I quickly sped passed.
At the end of the day I was hot, tired, but happy. I felt secure in my new identity and knew I could still do or be anything even while wearing hijab. Especially while wearing hijab. I felt more free to be whoever I wanted to be. Free to be happy, to be social, to reach high; free to be me.