Joy Drop: No rest for the winning Raptors, so the rest of us should take time to nap

CBC Sports Senior Contributor Shireen Ahmed's weekly roundup of the things that struck her from the week that was.

CBC Sports' senior contributor Shireen Ahmed on the week's happier moments

Scottie Barnes (4) and the Raptors started their season with a bang on Wednesday. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Get ready for an infusion of happiness! There were quite a few wonderful goings-on this week.

We begin with Canada's beloved Toronto Raptors starting the NBA season with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The atmosphere of the crowd is incredible and the electricity of Raptors fans is unmatched. The team did not disappoint in getting their first "dub" of the season. 

Of course, it was a full house at the Scotiabank Arena for the home opener. I attended the game with my son and was well-outfitted in a fresh jersey care of my husband, Mark Strong (aka "Strizzzy").

(Shireen Ahmed/CBC)

One of my favourite social media accounts is The Nap Ministry. Founded in 2016 by artist and theologian Tricia Hersey, The Nap Ministry is a movement that created "rest as resistance" and "rest as reparations" as frameworks that say rest (yes, napping!) can be restorative, liberating and disruptive.

According to the website, it is rooted in Black radical thought where we also know that "self-care" had its origins. Hersey has published a book titled "Rest as Resistance" and I couldn't wait to get a copy and devour it.

We should resist a lifestyle that includes grinding ourselves to the ground from work and a lack of attention to wellness. Being overworked is not, in fact, something we should aspire to. Being balanced and healthy is something we deserve and must reclaim. Sleeping, allowing the body to heal from physical or emotional traumas, decreasing the pace of a hectic life, and even enjoying the stillness around yourself is so important — even just breathing.

I am learning how to say "no" to things and this approach and new learnings are helping me. These are all things I have learned from Hersey's work and from pearls of wisdom from The Nap Ministry. 

Speaking of beautiful and important work, I found myself absolutely thrilled to find Martha Williams. Williams is a Kingston, Ont.-based artist who creates beautiful, brightly coloured pieces. She is an oarswoman and a lot of her work is rooted in sport. She paints racialized figures and centres on Black women dancing, rowing, and cycling. Her work exudes joy and vibrancy. I immediately thought of my father, who used to scull and couldn't wait to gift him one of her prints. 

While travelling this week, I watched the most delightful film, Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris. The movie is the third film adaptation of the 1958 novel by Paul Gallico called Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris. Set in the late 1950s, it's about a cleaning lady from London (Mrs.Harris) who falls in love with a sparkly gown from Christian Dior. She travels to Paris and hilarity and wholesomeness ensue. The film is whimsical and although tells a story of love, grief and longing, it really is fun to watch. If you want to inject some magical realism and lovely cinematography into your life, I highly recommend it. 

Wishing you a weekend full of self-care and fun!


Shireen Ahmed

Senior Contributor

Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform sports journalist, a TEDx speaker, mentor, and an award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is an industry expert on Muslim women in sports, and her academic research and contributions have been widely published. She is co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team. In addition to being a seasoned investigative reporter, her commentary is featured by media outlets in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. She holds an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University where she now teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media. You can find Shireen tweeting or drinking coffee, or tweeting about drinking coffee. She lives with her four children and her cat.

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