‘After my injury I’m a master at being OK with not being able to play squash’
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Amanda Sobhy, the US No.1 and world No.8, is keeping busy staying fit and living life to the max during the global lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Her sunny personality, and her experience of returning to fitness from an Achilles injury, have armed her with the necessary tools for survival.
We caught up with Amanda as she posted some fantastic videos on Twitter featuring some fun workouts with some tasty-looking home-baked cookies (and a glass of rosé) as the reward!
1: Amanda, please tell us about the self isolation. Was that compulsory for every player returning from abroad?
A: I don’t know what it is like for other players around the world, but most parts of the US mandated a period of isolation and social distancing. Massachusetts has been declared a state of emergency, so everything is closed except for the essentials (medical, groceries, etc).
2: Were you able to stock up on food (and loo rolls)?
A: I have still been able to go to the grocery store and stock up on whatever food I need. I go as soon as it opens so I can get everything before it becomes a zoo with people and all the food is taken!
3: Love seeing the Tweets showing your baking skills. Are you worried about putting weight on during this enforced rest period?
A: I’m really not thinking about whether I’m going to gain weight or not. I just try to balance out my eating and take care of my own health and wellbeing. I’m obviously not baking cookies every day, but I like to experiment in the kitchen, so I will occasionally bake because it’s fun.
4: Any contact with your neighbours?
A: I don’t even see my neighbors outside of this situation, so that’s a hard No from me. Haha!
5: What support are you getting from US Squash? Are they sending food parcels / health and fitness advice / Amazon vouchers?
A: Fortunately, I still get my funding from US Squash, so I’m not completely dried up in the funds. They’re always great because they are constantly supporting us athletes through the ups and downs. They stuck by me with my injury and are still sticking by me during this period. I realize that this is such a difficult period financially for a lot of people, so I feel very appreciative that I still get funded by US Squash.
6: What are you spending most of your time on: Cooking / Eating / Skype / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram ?
A: I’ve been using this time to catch up with a lot of friends and family on FaceTime! Normally I never have the time to catch up with people, so I’ve been really enjoying it. I also just released my first In Home Workout Video which I think people really enjoyed, so I may make some more. Give the people what they want.
7: Are you taking up any new hobbies?
A: I downloaded a few courses that I plan to do during this time, my coaches have given me HW to do to still work my brain, and I want to create some entertaining social media content to provide people with some laughs during time. Laughter is the best medicine!
8: Have you been singing on the balcony?
A: I have been singing in the shower and whenever I am in the car.
9: Would love to set up a duet with you and Alexander Wall, our Canary Wharf tenor who had the World Premiere of his own composition “Heroes” before the final. If it was possible to get you and Alex together, what song would you choose?
A: I would love to duet to Shallow from A Star is Born. Absolute belter of a song.
10: How are you coping with relationships / love life / family ?
A: Fortunately I haven’t been alone during this time. My boyfriend has a car, so he drove up to Boston to isolate with me. Also, I FaceTime with my family daily. Because we are forced into isolation, we are making more of an effort to reach out to those loved ones. I’m just thankful I’m not alone during this time.
11: How long before you move some furniture around and start hitting a squash ball against a wall?
A: Personally, I find it difficult to train if I don’t have something to train for. I love to work out for my own health and sanity, but I am not bothered by not being able to play squash. Remember, I was out for nine months with my Achilles. I am a master at being OK with not being able to play squash. I’m fully appreciating this down time and enjoying being a normal person because I know it won’t last forever. As soon as things pick back up again, I’ll be right back grinding away in training in tournaments, so I’m enjoying this quiet time.
Amanda, thank you for some wonderful answers. Great to see your survival skills and personality shining through, as always. Will pass on your duet suggestion to Alexander Wall and hope we can arrange some rehearsals some time soon when the world reopens for business.