Henrik Stenson, Swedish champion Golfer, gave insight into how he is dealing with the current pandemic situation on the HSBC Premier Lifestyle Webinar Series hosted by renowned BBC Sports Commentator Andrew Cotter.
The Covid-19 virus has wreaked havoc around the world, with more than a million deaths recorded globally to date. Much like other industries, sport too came to a near standstill earlier in the year and has only just begun to gain some semblance of normalcy over the past couple of months, with events recommencing sans crowds in most cases.
For Stenson, the interruption to his life on tour, came in March when the Players’ Championship in Jacksonville, Florida was cancelled after the first round due to Coronavirus concerns. “It’s been a strange year, a challenging year in many different ways for people around the world, as we know. In terms of Golf and life on tour, it all came to a halt very quickly in the season.” Stenson said on the Tour cancellation.
The lockdowns and restrictions have posed many challenges to athletes, including that of keeping fit. Thanks to social media, fans have the opportunity to watch how their favourite athletes work out. The athletes themselves have found innovative ways to get in the required amount of exercise, in a bid to stay at peak fitness, raring to go when events do start. Thus, the makeshift home gyms have come into being, with many having to make do with what’s available on hand. Stenson too made sure to keep himself busy with workouts, ”I have done quite a lot of workouts at home. I don’t really have a home gym, but I’ve got some equipment. Depending on the time of the year, I have used the kids’ playground, working out and doing exercises. I’ve also got a bike that I’ve been riding, so the physically, I have kept up.”
One of the big challenges faced by many, is being isolated from society, with travel and other restrictions being enforced. Things can be tough for sportsmen and women as well as even when they do report back to tour, they have to spend a considerable amount of time in quarantine/isolation, which means a lot of time spent in a hotel room, away from home and family. Taking care of one’s mental well-being then is of paramount importance and Stenson believes that one of the key ways to do that is to take care of one’s physical well-being. “I think that (exercise) can certainly help with your mental well-being as well. Because if you are in good shape, if you work out, you’ll certainly feel that benefit and you’re going to feel good about yourself. So, if you’re struggling in these times, it’s certainly a good idea to try and keep up the training, walks, runs, bikes, whatever it might be.
In times like these, athletes, just like anyone else, have got to find their own ways of staying mentally and physically healthy, despite the challenges they are faced with and sometimes, doing so just requires a change of perspective, as it has for Stenson, “I’ve tried to see the positives in these challenging times. I’ve been at home more – been at home for virtually 4 months, which is something I have never had the opportunity to do in the last 20 years, with life on tour and a busy schedule. So, I’ve seen the positive sides of that. Obviously, I wouldn’t have liked us to head into a pandemic to get some extra time at home but when it all happened the way it did, I tried to see the bright side of that.”
With Golf tours restarting, Stenson’s attitude and determination will no doubt leave him in good stead to compete at the highest level.