Lockdown Diaries: Souvik Chakrabarti

Terrace workouts, while keeping up our spirits

A footballer’s life is unique. We spend most of the year plying our trade in a different city, and apart from a few lucky ones who play for their home teams, we are constantly on the road for camps and away games. While some cherish the travel, a few of us like to wind down during the off-season and the pull of home is always strong.

This offseason began normally, however, the lockdown that followed brought about a change in mindset. Staying home became mandatory and so did making most of this time. As an athlete, the one thing that tops everyone’s priority list in the offseason is keeping ourselves fit and in shape, although we take this time to slow down a bit and relax. While previously I use to train at gyms and parks, now I’ve made my rooftop the workout area. It’s not easy and simple to follow your regular exercise routine, but then again this is the time to be creative. The concrete surface is hard, and I make sure that I exercise carefully to avoid any unnecessary strains, and for that, I think the Theraband has been my best buddy. Normally we use a lot of equipment in the gym, but the Theraband can simulate a lot of that and it’s something everyone should get.

I have more or less a routine now where I wake up a little late and have a healthy breakfast. I stay in a joint family with a couple of uncles, and we have made it mandatory to have lunch together. It helps us bond and more so for me since I spend so much time away. Another one of my favourite activities in this lockdown has been playing with my seven-month-old nephew Shaurya, who is a bundle of joy! Time just flies when I’m with him and I’m making most of it given that he’s come down from Canada where his parents are residing.

We are a big joint family, and doing things as a group is always fun. Weekends for us are all about cooking a big meal together and there are some unique Bengali dishes we prepare for every weekend. In fact, I must say I have been heavily involved. If I’m being honest, the only thing I cooked before was Maggi, and now I can confidently say than I do possess enough skills to make a proper meal.

Another thing that has become a routine is the afternoon card games. My two uncles, my dad and I play a game called ‘Twenty-Nine’ and that consumes most of our afternoons. You know how these card games can get serious, and the energy that we bring in while playing serves as a build-up to my workout sessions on the rooftops!

Some might call it weird, but this definitely has been a unique experience for us and using the creative side of our minds can help us a lot during this time.

By Souvik Chakrabarti

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