Liju Cherian –
Allow me to turn your world upside down.’ That’s Fahad al Abri, a young Omani fitness coach, who is on a mission to handstand his way across the world, one city at a time. He handstands to break through cultures and see the world from a different perspective.
Next month Fahad launches his goal to handstand at Seven Wonders of the World. He plans to begin from Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and then to Jordan, Egypt, Greece, China, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Italy. Last week he along with Daren Michael gave a handstand at Rub al Khali, atop the world’s tallest sand dune.
His handstands have taken him to nine countries and 27 cities across Europe, Africa, US, Asia and the Middle East. His uniqueness lies in standing upside down facing the world wherein he places his hands on the floor lifting his legs straight up into the air with ease.
Fahad held the audience spellbound during his recent lecture at the TEDx Qurum. He explained how he personally believed that handstand is a learning process and the requirement of character to stand in any environment and to conquer the fear from falling.
“The handstand is very symbolic,” he says and it’s about seeing things from a new perspective, turning what you think you know on its head. It really is standing out of our comfort zone. Handstands bring us back in contact with the ground and gives us better mental and physical strength. As a result, looking at how it comes together, it opens up another visual perception,” says this sprightly youngster.
Handstand for Fahad symbolises unity of the body and mind in freedom, strength, fitness and wellness.
Performing a handstand requires a lot of mental effort, will power and determination of not giving up, says Fahad. “It also requires working on your upper-body strength which needs both patience and gaining a better understanding of how your system works together.
Fahad studied bio medical science but did not complete his study and ended up as a fitness coach due to his huge interest towards fitness and athleticism. He plays Gaelic football and represented Oman Gaelic Athletic Association, and was nominated for the Middle East team in the Abu Dhabi World Championship emerging as the best defender.
Fahad maintains a rigorous workout with exercises and calisthenics which make the body strong. He is also passionate about outdoors and travelling and wellness. During the trips he learns a lot and meets people with similar interests. Handstands breaks the ice, and “brings out the child in everyone”, he says.
During a Swiss airline flight from Zurich to Spain, he performed handstand which the cabin crew followed suit and applauded by all co-passengers. One of the best places which he recollects doing handstand was at a beach in Zanzibar coast with the local boys.
His ‘Handstand Every City’ aims to promote wellness, happiness, travelling to change the perspective of Oman and the world. Fahad follows the Paleo diet and eats natural, less processed food. His advice to fitness enthusiasts is ‘eat natural and work out with your body.’ Fahad considers Mahatma Gandhi as an idol and a leader of character.