Easing Into Normalcy – Sports Edition


During the past 2 lockdowns, I have had limited access to resources that enable me to do two things I love to do; to travel and to be active. Unfortunately as a result of the pandemic many people including myself were limited to the confines of our houses with travel restrictions, lack of access to sporting facilities and training opportunities etc. As someone who likes to be kept on their feet all the time, the withdrawal of playing my favorite sports or even not being able to travel hasn’t exactly been my definition of smooth sailing; but thankfully, the provision of vaccinations has made it possible for me to slowly ease my way back into most of my favorite activities.


As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, football restarted and as did badminton only this week. This was exciting primarily because it’s been a while since I was allowed to go back into the courts since we trained in closed spaces with fairly large numbers.

A few things have changed however, in regards to how our sessions operate, though I can’t complain because it’s all being done in an effort to prioritize our health. For example, as opposed to group classes with a large number of students, my brother and I were given the option of private lessons, that is till it becomes safe for more people to be in close proximity again. Although the downside is that I won’t be able to compete at the moment with players who are at my level, I get more one to one time with my coach to perfect things like technique and focus more on fitness, similar to what I have been doing recently in football practice.

Primarily our lesson this week consisted of agility training, quite a bit of cardio, and a 6 shuttle drill where you place them on 6 parts of the court and sprint to collect them before your opponent. As for personal areas for development I was told that I could work on my serving which I’m sure I can get down in no time, it usually takes some time to know where to make contact, positioning and stance etc.  I practiced clearing shots from my coach as well and he was quite happy with my work although I missed two shots because of bad reaction time.

Overall, I’m really excited to get back into shape and hopefully I’ll be able to play some actual matches soon in order to be fully prepared by the time next SAISA season rolls by!

Video From Training: Clearing Drill




Another thing I was able to accomplish this month was learning how to surf :))

I had been wanting to go surfing for the longest time since I was young, and even more so now that  it was one of the only water sports that I hadn’t really tried out except for kitesurfing and water skiing. So  being given the ability to travel after not being able to go to the beach for a very long time was the perfect opportunity for me to go catch a much needed serotonin boost at beach on the long weekend.

My experience with surfing began as we headed down to the Marriott at Weligama Bay for a little vacation after our trip to Hiriketiya for my beach cleanup.

After taking some much needed rest, we decided to wake up at the break of dawn to have some breakfast and then head down to a sparsely crowded beach at around 6 am. There, both my brother and I got introduced to our guides and we had land training where they taught us how to position ourselves on a board, how to catch a wave how to stand up and where to jump off before we reached the shore. My little brother, Dimitri, admittedly picked it up faster than I did because he had gone surfing before.

When we had gotten the technique down and tried it out in the shallow water, our guides took us over to the point where the waves form, for the first couple tries they would hold onto the board and give us a cue to push off and stand up.

Much to the amusement of my onlooking mother, my form was a little wobbly at the start and I had to do a lot of not so smooth looking jerky arm movements to retain my balance, but I swear that I eventually got the hang of it!  It was a fun yet exhausting 4 hours, having to paddle all the way back to the wave point each time, and I even once forgot to jump off before it got too shallow and ended up getting a nasty cut on my knee, but it was time really well spent. I can safely say that I am no pro at surfing but I very much look towards learning how to a become better surfer thankfully I got good enough to move to a more challenging part of the beach which made my experience that much more exciting. Hopefully though,  the next time around I’ll be able to catch some of the bigger waves and stay on with minimal struggle, because after seeing the older surfers on the beach I was a tad star struck, especially by this girl my parents pointed out to me who was maybe my age or a little older taking on some GIANT waves with ease and doing all these really cool flips on her board; which I have a gut feeling that it took way more than two tries to learn to do something of that caliber because it was so well executed.

Intro Session to Surfing ^

First try: 



Another sport that caught my interest a while ago was biking, you might remember a post I made a few months ago on my time biking at Ullagala, well, thankfully, I’ve been able to do it much more frequently thanks to getting my own bike fixed. After getting back and getting it serviced, I’ve been using it quite frequently, in fact, it’s a pretty neat commute to all the nearest stores and this gorgeous lake / paddy field areas right next to my house! The roads close to home are fairly safe to travel on and are arguably well paved so I get the opportunity to take nice bike rides in the evening or even very early in the morning which is a nice change from the exercise bike that I had been using all lockdown long.

When we were on holiday, it was pretty amazing since even that resort had a bike service and all we had to do is ride it and return it before we left. Now, the views weren’t quite as nice as at Ulagalla but the track was seemingly a bit longer and had more routes to take which was great. It was extra fun this time around because all my friends who came on the trip had a lot of fun with it, playfully racing each other to the end or even trying to do cool tricks like riding with no hands on the handles. (We came away without so much as a scratch much to everyone’s relief!)

It’s been great so far being able to cycle around at different times of the day because it has an incredibly laid back nature to it especially when I’ve gotten a pair of headphones on and am just trying to take in the scenery by myself and of course, this goes without saying that it’s improving my general fitness and my lower body strength in particular :))

biking! ^


Keeping Active in Hatton

Keeping Active in Hatton

During the past few months, finding ways of keeping fit at home and just, during the pandemic in general, proved to be a challenging task. Especially since all of the sports that I usually take part in during the year (football, volleyball and badminton etc.) had to be cancelled; practices, training and travel plans included. Overall, I found this rather taxing to deal with, because, I tend to dedicate a lot of my time to sports and it felt strange not having a game or practice to look foreword to each week. Naturally, I realized that I couldn’t let this hinder my performance for when these sports do re-start, so, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and to complete guided workouts / individual drill sessions at home using the help of the internet, gym and sports equipment I have available at home. (LO4)

Luckily for me, aside from doing personal workouts I take part in at home, I got a unique opportunity to visit Hatton (a hill country town in central Sri Lanka) just days prior to the lockdown. In Hatton, there was plenty to do since we were safely isolated along with a few other families from school that travelled with us. We essentially had an entire bungalow and hillside to ourselves because of that lack of regular tourist groups which left us with a lot of empty space and sports equipment to use.

In the 5 days in which we stayed there I spent most of my time during the daytime either swimming, playing badminton in the field, playing soccer or even canoeing.

Activities that included ones that I didn’t usually partake in included mountain biking along the hillside trail down to Castlereagh Lake and even a 20 kilometer hike across the Tea Trails Estate. The hike was probably my favorite; the views were breathtaking and we came across a small stream in which we stopped by after we passed countless, countless tea gardens, wildlife and streams. Looking over the Castlereagh Lake from the summit of the hill was another worldly experience, the sun staining the water an iridescent shade of blue. That in combination with the coniferous trees and cool temperatures made it feel like I was stepping back into Europe as opposed to still being at home.

I decided to try and keep my pace up so I stayed at the front of the pack and eventually became the first one to reach our bungalow which made me feel a little accomplished since it had been literal months since I went hiking or even went on a sprint. The next day left my legs a little sore from both the uphill biking and the hike but I felt a sense of refreshment. My favorite part of the day otherwise, was playing soccer in the large garden with the other children who came along; it had been so long since I actually played a match so it felt amazing shooting at an actual goal with real teammates as opposed to the wall in my backyard with my dogs as my only opponents. I also spent some time alone on the field where I took multiple shots at the goal to improve my accuracy and tried a few dribbling drills around obstacles that I created using our shoes. I even took time to teach some of the younger kids between the ages of 5 and 12 how to play with better technique, drawing from the skills I learned at my internship with Decathlon as a coach. (LO2) At the end of the day and even the week, it was safe to say that my time there was well spent and it felt rejuvenating to have been able to play actual sports like the old days…

Needless to say I was a little sad to leave Hatton behind, but I came home with a renewed energy to use my time outside wisely.

View from the top of Tea Trails Hill (Dunkeld Estate)

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