I grew up in Florida. Even though I had a Bahá’í family, the Fast was so difficult for me when I first tried it at fifteen. No one at my school knew about the Bahá’í Faith and fasting made me stand out from everyone. I felt like a freak for trying to fast. I also felt like a failure if I didn’t do it. Each of the nineteen days was a struggle, but I knew that I could try again the following day if I failed. I understood the Fast as an attempt to get out of your normal physical attachments and routines. Focusing on the effort instead of the success or failure helped me stay committed. I now fast for the intellectual and spiritual challenge of it, not because of doctrine. I see the Fast as a mental and spiritual cleanse more than a physical challenge.