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How a Detroit Lions player manages training while fasting during Ramadan

DETROIT – Muslims around the world are celebrating the month of Ramadan. A time for self-reflections, prayer, charity as well fasting from sunup to sundown.

For Lions Lineman Oday Aboushi, that means his schedule must change, but the workouts remain.

“I eat breakfast at 4 a.m., and what I eat, it is pretty diesel,” Aboushi said. “Some days I’ll have a seven-egg omelet, sometimes I have seven to eight pancakes.”

Aboushi is eating while most of us are sleeping, but he must fuel up for a day without anything to eat or drink.

“Not even a sip of water,” he said.

As a professional athlete, he still has to train. For him, that means six days a week, two hours per week in the gym.

When Aboushi breaks fast at sundown, he starts with a small meal, then a bigger one. Hydrating is important.

“All night long, I bet I get a gallon in before I go to sleep, from start to finish,” he said.

It’s not easy for sure, but he’s watched other athletes observe Ramadan successfully, like Hakeem Olajuwan, who did it during the NBA finals.

Aboushi said his faith is so important to him, this sacrifice is worth it.

“Part of it is to humble you,” he said. “The more the more you can do, this is the month to do it. Be as selfless as you can.”

Aboushi lives his faith in other ways as well. He’s donated meals and supplies to school children in families in his hometown of New York and here in Dearborn. He knows as a Palestinian-American professional athlete, he’s a role model.

As far as how his Lions teammates reacted to his fasting. He said it was definitely something different for them, but ultimately, they wanted to learn and were very supportive.

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