“It was difficult to adjust to new lifestyle at the beginning, lives just kind of stopped all of a sudden”
The sudden interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic had athletes all around the world rethinking their choices. For Australia’s six-time continental champion, Wendy Chen, a strategically planned tournament calendar was quickly made redundant.
Despite the six consecutive Oceania Championship gold medals around her neck, the motivation and dedication required for all aspiring Olympians became even more unimaginable.
“I really struggled the first 2-3 weeks of the isolation life; everything was uncertain, and no one had answers”
“I had lost my goals and focus. I felt anxious, disappointed, and training facilities were shut, which made it even worse”
“It was hard to even get up to go for a run. I think I just ate and watched Netflix for the first two weeks”
However, the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games actually came as a ‘huge relief’ for Chen. Particularly given the frustration after she pushed her university studies to one side to purse the Olympic dream.
“It actually started to get better once they made the announcement about Tokyo. It gave me some clarity and I knew that I had to switch my goals/focus for at least the next 3-6 months and started to accept the new lifestyle”
Since then, the women’s singles star has combined her organisation and creative skills to conjure a carefully constructed squat rack and set realistic goals to adapt to the current climate and maintain her focus.
“The key is to have a routine to train and study within a certain timeframe. Now a routine day for me looks like:”
• 8:45 -10:00am – resistance training
• 10:30 – 12:30 – study
• Lunch break
• 3:00 – 4:30pm – cardio training (running 5/7/10km or skipping)
• Dinner break
• 7-9pm – study
To keep things interesting, Chen even replaced her racket with a frying pan to play badminton at home.
Outdoor training with frypan
Posted by Hsuan-Yu Chen Wendy on Saturday, April 25, 2020
However, nothing can seem to replace her ‘burning desire’ to get back on court.
For now, acceptance and adaption is the key to success.