When the English rock band Chumbawamba sang Tubthumping (1997), no one could have anticipated that the lyrics “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down” would sit so aptly on wrestler Sakshi Malik. Despite restrictions on going out, Malik has made desi jugaads so as not to miss out on her training.
“I am unable to practice that much Because of the lockdown. So I am just focusing on physical fitness and power training. I find positivity by focusing on my fitness, practising meditation and yoga, it keeps me mentally fit,” says the Rio Olympics (2016) Bronze medallist.
Having brought many laurels to the country, the 27-year-old wrestler says that she misses hitting the mat. Being a true blue-blooded sportsperson, she has managed to find an alternative — she has turned her backyard into an Indian wrestling pit or akhara. “The main training of wrestling is lacking these days, which is very important. I have totally turned into a desi pehelwan now to keep up with my wrestling. I have been using an akhara in the backyard of my house to practice, which has not been used by anyone for a long time. Again, I have shifted to the traditional way of wrestling,” she says.
Stating the epidemic as the top priority right now, she says, “It is very important for us to deal with coronavirus first. It has affected everyone globally, so the priority remains to be safe and healthy. Once we fight through this together, we all can then resume to our training and practice sessions. Everyone should try not to step out of the house until and unless it is extremely important. People who used to go out to train can take up yoga and meditation to keep themselves fit physically as well as mentally.”
Malik believes that standing together in these stressful and unprecedented times is the need of the hour, and stresses the importance of helping others in need. “We have been running a training centre for around 50-60 students and are trying to do whatever possible for them. We are really thankful for being capable enough to do something for the people in need. It is a crisis that we are going through and we can only fight back if we are in it together,” says Malik.