“When motivation is not enough to keep you going, discipline is what will push you.”
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Hind AlKhatrash. I’m an aerialist and fitness enthusiast. I run an aerial studio called leap circus twice a week while balancing my day job at HOT Technologies. I am passionate about both jobs within the local fitness industry. I enjoy working closely with young girls and women at leap to help them conquer the perceived obstacles of the mind and body and celebrate their limitless potential. At HOT Technologies I work to develop a bilingual, on-demand fitness application that makes fitness affordable and accessible to everyone around the world. I like to think of myself as a person that is not afraid to follow her passion and trusts her abilities enough to go after any available opportunity that presents itself. I would ultimately like to be thought of as someone who has lived her life to the fullest.
Tell us about your education.
I accomplished most of my studies here in Kuwait at the American University of Kuwait. I had majored in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Anthropology. This versatile area of study helped me explore different study abroad programs during my years in university. I completed one program in the American University, Washington DC, USA and another in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. After graduation, I continued my studies online for a certification in Sports and Exercise Psychology from the University of Derby, UK.
Tell us about your career journey.
Upon graduation, I wasn’t very certain as to what career path I wanted to take. I held a degree that was very broad and I was in the early stages of establishing my own aerial arts studio. I had initially intended to run a large studio full time and recruit trainers to assist. After months of paperwork, I had secured the funding for the project, but finding an affordable location with the required specifications proved to be very difficult. After nine months of searching, I needed to pause the project to be able to support myself financially. My first job was at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, the institution was a pleasure to work at and offered me valuable career lessons and skills. I decided to revisit the circus studio idea and start off on a much smaller scale. I continued my practice in aerial arts at home and went on to become a certified trainer. From there I was able to rent a small space and begin offering classes once or twice a week while balancing my day job. I was later approached by HOT Technologies and found that their company’s vision was very much aligned with my interest and values. Today, I continue to juggle HOT and leap in the hope of making big strides in the local fitness industry.
How do you manage your time? Describe your average day.
I like to go by the quote, “failing to plan is a plan to fail”. Planning is key to time management. My day begins as early as the night before where I have packaged and prepared my meals for the next day. I wake up at 5:00am to be able to get to the gym and train from 6:00am to 7:00am. I have my breakfast and coffee at the gym and go through a few emails. I get to work by 9:30am and finish around 5:00pm. On days that I teach at leap, I rush to the studio to teach from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. On days where I’m not teaching, I usually like to come home early or go out to dinner with friends.
When people ask if I work a 9- 5 job, I like to tell them that I actually work a 5:00- 9:00 job!
What is your biggest strength?
Discipline. When motivation is not enough to keep you going, discipline is what will push you to go through the grind and get the job done.
Do you have any weaknesses?
I can be very cautious and nervous when it comes to trying something new, but over the years I have learned that there is nothing to lose from going after opportunities only more to gain.
Have you made any mistakes that have made you stronger?
I sometimes regret having paused my circus studio idea nine months after graduating university, but nothing is actually ever a mistake in my opinion. Things work themselves out to be a certain way for a reason and I am stronger and wiser because of it.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced during your career?
Introducing the idea of aerial circus proved very challenging early on, especially when pitching it to venues I wanted to rent out. It was a big investment for someone who had recently graduated like me, to have to purchase equipment, install the rigging, order customized safety mats, etc. Sharing the idea, the photos, the videos also brought on some reactions I hadn’t anticipated – sometimes the attention to what I was doing was redirected to something completely unrelated like people’s personal judgments on what is considered modest for a woman to perform.
How do you stay motivated during challenging times?
It comes down to doing what you do for yourself. It’s never about the money or what people think. As long as I’m out there trying my best and doing what I love to do then there isn’t much more that can be done. I find contentment in that.
What do you do to relax?
Since I’m usually always on the go and rushing between jobs, I enjoy being able to escape the madness every once in a while. You can find me at the park, at the beach, or on a weekend hiking trip in Oman with my phone switched off, completely out of reach.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
I was really honored to be approached by the production team behind The Hamad Show to be able to perform and become the opening act to the 4th season debut at the Sheikh JaberAlAhmed Cultural Center. It was such a pleasure to be able to perform at such a prestigious national landmark. The performance was a last minute arrangement that really put all my skills to the test and I’m very proud to have been able to achieve it in a timely manner.
What is your biggest fear?
Burning out. I’ve always been hugely self-driven. I hope I never lose that spark to keep pushing and keep going. I think that drive will always be there, the destinations and trajectories will naturally change with time.
What is your favourite quote?
It’s actually a hadith by Omar Bin AlKhatab that reads:
[God, I do not ask you to lighten my load, but to strengthen my back]
Name one item in life you can’t do without.
Best advice you have ever taken?
Even if you fail, so what? Honestly, so what? Learn, grow, and move on.
Share three books on your nightstand.
The Third Industrial Revolution
The War on Women
Little Fires Everywhere
In your opinion, what are the three keys to success?
Self discipline, good social network connections and communication skills.
What is next for you? What would you still like to achieve?
At HOT we are experiencing a huge transition phase bringing the app to a whole new dimension and making it a fitness app that is unparalleled to anything else in the Middle East region and beyond. With leap, more exciting programs and services are on the way!
What advice would you give to young women starting out in their career?
Do not ever hesitate going after an opportunity that comes your way, especially when you have nothing to lose! And when an opportunity doesn’t present itself, make one. Be bold and smart with your approach. Commit to a goal you have set for yourself and work by setting small realistic milestones to achieve it. Take every thing as a learning experience both the successes and failures as they are equally valuable.
How does it feel to be a CP Woman of Substance?
It’s certainly an honor and a title I have to share with all the women that have come before me. My grandmothers, Hind and Badriya, my mother Rulla, my aunt Maryam, my sister Lulu.
In the words of RupiKaur:
On the sacrifices of a million women before me
Thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller
So the women after me can see farther.
Your message for the team at CP magazine:
Please feel free to learn more by visiting: