Born in Afganistan, Orzullah Majidi moved with her family to the United States when she was only a year old. If growing accustomed to an American lifestyle of burgers and movies wasn’t enough to pack on pounds, moving to Kabul a couple years ago made the situation even tougher. With her workouts limited due to a difficult security situation, her health and physical condition deteriorated. Having been at Tiger for a total of three months, she was recently able to fit into the dress of her dreams on the day of her wedding. She says the burpee is both her favorite and least favorite exercise, due to its grueling but effective intensity.
How did you first hear about Tiger?
Through a friend of mine named Vianni who always goes on fitness holidays. It was two months before my wedding and I was really stressed out. I was under a lot of pressure to look a certain way. I really needed to get away, so I decided Tiger would be killing two birds with one stone. I could hang out on the beach but also get to look great in a wedding dress.
What first made you want to come to Tiger?
A lot of it had to do with the wedding, but really I just needed to make a big change.
When you arrived at Tiger did you set any goals for yourself?
My goals when I first came were all about physical appearance. I had no intention of being healthy, I just wanted to be thin and look good in different outfits. The biggest thing Tiger gave me was the realization that looking good is also about feeling good. It’s fitness and strength. Confidence comes from feeling good and living a healthy life. It’s not all about the numbers on the scale.
You feel like you’ve accomplished what you came here to do?
Definitely. This is the first time I’ve ever traveled alone. In 2005, I didn’t even have a passport, but here I am working out with a bunch of athletes in the jungle. It was very intimidating, but it’s also been very rewarding. Other than the healthy physical condition I’ve built, I’ve also gained a lot of confidence. It’s tough to walk into a camp where its mostly men and there are world class athletes training right next to you, but I did it. You can do it to. It’s amazing.
What accomplishment at Tiger are you most proud of?
Not being afraid on a daily basis. Just continuously going, despite immense fear. Fear holds so many people back from even trying.
What kinds of challenges did you face along the way?
There’s always fatigue. There’s always the bad day where you just want to go home and not do it anymore. There are the scrapes and bruises and injuries along the way that can depress you. That’s the hardest challenge for me, just to keep going.
What classes did you mostly attend?
I loved the yoga. I have to say it’s great for balance, helping you overall with staying focused and not getting injured. I loved the body fit beach workouts. They’re the toughest, but I love them. I really enjoyed western boxing. I also loved BJJ and was surprised how much fun it was.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about coming to Tiger?
Just try it. Just do it. Just walk in and just let go of the fear and anxiety. Go it ready to have fun, believe in yourself and everything else will happen on its own.
Any advice for someone getting ready to come to Tiger?
I guess it would depend on your age. If I had known what my body was like, I would have started taking some joint supplements before coming out. Just from having the extra weight on your joints, they really help. Also start learning to drink water instead of other things like soda.
What surprised you the most about Tiger?
The incredible people I met. You will meet people of all ages, from all over the world. It really adds to the experience.
Did you learn anything at Tiger that you’ll take home with you?
Don’t eat nothing. A lot of time people will slash so many foods out of their diet that they can’t maintain it in the long run. You have to find a happy medium. You can’t deny yourself everything, but you also can’t eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Try to incorporate a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet.
Tell me about one fun memorable thing that happened at Tiger?
The first time I finished a for-time cross training class. I think you almost have to experience it to understand how significant it was. I always say that Tiger should give me an award for coming in last. Last and proud. So when I finished a class in the allotted time, it really chocked me up. Just finishing the workout in less than thirty minutes next to a bodybuilder and Muay Thai fighter was really special.