Photo credits: Allen Cooley courtesy of Laila Ali
When you are one of the offspring of a man who was deemed “The Greatest” in his craft of professional boxing, solidifying your family’s legacy is more of an obligation than it is a choice.
Laila Ali (pictured) the daughter of late boxing legend Muhammad Ali etched her portion of the family legacy by embarking on an eight-year career in professional boxing, which began in 1999. By the time Laila retired from boxing around the age of 30, she was 24-0 with 21 knockouts. Also during her reign of dominance in the ring, she racked up five different world titles in two weight classes.
However, the daughter of pugilist royalty moved on to other endeavors in her 30s, such as becoming a best-selling author and heading up a business that pushes a healthy lifestyle cooking imprint. This is something she should know a thing or two about due to the disciplined nutritional regimen she stuck with to stay in shape as an athlete. Nowadays, at the age of 40, Ali is a wife and mother who has obviously mastered the art of having it all.
In an exclusive interview with Essence Magazine recently, Ali dropped some valuable gems for black women who are seeking the good life as it pertains to health. Unfortunately, other life aspects for black women, such as work and becoming more professionally employable are prioritized over health and wellness. Also, black women are programmed to a fault to be this “strong” figure who puts everyone else’s needs before their own.
However, Ali says this is not the way to go all the time. Her refined alternative? Making self-care a regular habit.
“I like to schedule time for myself, because otherwise it just won’t happen. One thing that I do regularly is make sure I go get my mani/pedi and massage every two weeks. I take time to meditate, workout and plan my meals for the week to make sure I’m getting the nutrition that I need. Those are a few things that I do, and I would encourage others to incorporate them into their daily lives as well,” Ali shared with Essence.
Another issue Ali tackled in her interview with Essence was facing fear and overcoming it.
“I recognize that there is fear — fear of the unknown or fear of getting out of your comfort zones — just generally negative thoughts,” she says. “In any area of your life it’s the only way that you’ll get stronger, or get better. Whoever you look up to, or put on a pedestal, know that they have fears too. They just learned how to push past it. Recognize that the fear is there, and actually push through — be strategic and methodical about it. Take the leap,” she added.