Fitness trainer spends second Hari Raya in a row sweating about gym restrictions

Fitness trainer Siti Zubaidah Isa and her family breaking fast with her brother-in-law and his family over Zoom on May 12, 2021.
Fitness trainer Siti Zubaidah Isa and her family breaking fast with her brother-in-law and his family over Zoom on May 12, 2021.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - There was a sense that time had stood still as Madam Siti Zubaidah Isa and her family put on their matching outfits on Wednesday (May 12) and joined many other Muslim families to celebrate Hari Raya.

Their purple outfits - ordered from a Johor tailor for last year's Hari Raya - arrived only four days ago due to the pandemic.

More poignantly, the 40-year-old fitness trainer found herself worrying about the temporary closure of her two studios during the festive period for the second year in a row.

As Madam Zubaidah scrambles to adapt to the temporary gym closures, she said she will find strength from "the trainer in me", and take small comfort that some visiting can be done this year compared with last year's virtual affair.

"At work, I always wear a smile and tell people to keep going. Now, that's something I have to do at home as well," said the mother of two children, aged five and seven.

While taking on various training gigs and shifting her fitness classes online to make up rent for her studios, Madam Zubaidah said she sees a silver lining, as she now has more time for family.

"Even though it's another Covid-19 Hari Raya, the food and asking for forgiveness do not change," she said, referring to the custom on Hari Raya when meeting elders.

"Whether it's on Zoom or in person, the tears always flow."

"And we still continue to enjoy the goodies, but with less variety. Just cookies and some cornflake cookies on our table this year - it's what the children like."