By Dan Williams
I am writing this from quarantine in a Sydney hotel as W.A undergoes a 3-day snap lockdown (with the potential of it being extended). Before I carry on with this random blog post, I assure you that my short time in Singapore was very restricted and all business under strict government guidelines. A country where the virus situation is extremely well managed and over the top in policing. Hence the approval to travel where I basically spent all my time there in quarantine also, doing plenty of unpleasant covid tests, virtual media obligations, and a trip to the national stadium to compete professionally under the Australian flag. There I was in Singapore, competing in an empty stadium. I thought to myself, imagine telling someone 20 years ago that there is going to be sporting events with no one there, yet more people will see it… 2021! Another year of ongoing uncertainty and although I didn’t come home with the gold I hoped for, I kept my spirits high in preparation for the real challenge. 2 weeks in Australian hotel quarantine. I have had a few messages that are along the lines of "I bet you cannot wait to get out of quarantine!" Funnily enough, I can wait. As crazy as that sounds there hasn’t been any complaining whilst in here. Now it’s coming to an end, the experience in our 2 weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine has been anything but a bad one. In fact, I was loving it. It went super quick. Most likely due to the amount of sleep I was getting. Truly immersing myself in what I preach, and that is to rest more. I can see how the experience in mandatory hotel quarantine (or any quarantine) could be awful depending on your personal situation. Thankfully, I was in a position where I didn't feel sad, like if something happened back home where I would feel helpless and miserable. I never felt trapped, and I knew I would be out to see the people I love. I also got to speak to my partner every day who was doing exceptionally well with her areas of work which made my environment a lot easier to deal with. To add to the environment my coach Brett was in the same boat and was working from his hotel room and keeping busy. The self-proclaimed 'logistics king' was doing full workdays from his laptop and headset, optimizing supply chains for Shell on the first day of his quarantine stint. Our rooms had absolutely no nature present in them. No fresh air or greenery and a window view leading to more concrete buildings. Thankfully Peggy our massage therapist at Altered States Float provided me with the right essential oils and infuser to keep my room fresh. The room layout itself was spacious with bathrooms that included a bath. WIN! And we could roam into each other’s rooms and see each other, another big WIN!... Although maybe not so much for Brett's sake… When the nurses would do their daily routine calls to check up on our health, all I could hear was "yeh actually can you send me up some Panadol, my roommate is giving me a mad headache!". The nurses would laugh at the joke (He probably wasn’t joking…) with the next joke being "Have I got a joke for you... What’s the difference between a dirty bus station and a large-breasted lobster? …One’s a crusty bus-station and the other a busty crustacean " Bahaha got me every time. I bet the nurses thought he was going ISO mad. I was basically stuck in quarantine with a walking comic and a man who can punch through Uber eats like no other. The first week of quarantine, I got stuck into my daily routine and the checklist I wrote out during my first night here. I was enjoying an Epsom Salt bath (I haven’t had a bath in years) and although not quite like a float tank, it was similar in terms of feeling relaxed which led to positive thoughts and the right mindset to be in when planning my next moves. Then it hit me, I could practice my own variations of Floating, Infrared Sauna, Neurofeedback, and Massage whilst in here. Epsom salt baths for Floats, hot baths to sweat like Infrared Saunas, naps for Neurofeedback, and foam roller for Massages. Not quite the same in terms of full benefits but still the same principles when it comes to rest & relaxation, keeping the body & mind healthy and working with what you got. By week 2 of quarantine, the meals got progressively worse. One example was a rice paper roll with olives sticking out of them that looked extremely suss. Not to mention the horrid-looking fish and rice they were bringing out on several occasions. It really was plain food catering. At this point, I think the hotel staff became sick of our annoying chants every time they delivered the food (maybe we were going mad in ISO) and maybe they got one back on us by what Brett described as “delivering sh*t that looks like a dog’s breakfast”. We didn’t let them win as the unpleasant quarantine food only led to a better outcome… food delivery apps.
We immediately got hooked on the food delivery apps. Uber eats got an absolutely hammering which gave us excitement and hope for the day. The four walls we’re stuck in were not defining us!
We got to experience the Sydney CBD dining options like kings, and I reckon we got through all the best-rated surrounding restaurants. Our physical health took a little hit and 7kgs later, the morning/afternoon workout routines started getting shorter to non-existent, the alcohol consumption increased, and the bank account was shrinking with absolutely no regrets. I mean it’s all about balance, right? They may have to roll us out of here, but we were pretty proud of our effort. We even got certificates for completing our ‘covid 19 quarantine’ that is just the icing on a cake.
The way I see it is I’ve had 2 weeks of eating, stretching/mobilizing, working on the business, plenty of sleeping and minimal responsibilities, or having to be somewhere. A wealth of mental abundance. It's moments like these that are becoming few and far between in our fast-paced society. For many resting is not an option or a main priority let alone a regular practice. Yet for me resting is the answer to stress and is my foundation to a positive mindset. Quality rest = positive thoughts, positive thoughts = positive actions, positive actions = positive outcomes.
After a hectic month prior it was great to do ‘nothing’ for 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong I wouldn’t want to do it again anytime soon, but what came from making the most of the forced rest was all positive. I had new ideas, I wrote out new personal goals, and got stuck into ways to develop the operations of the business. My mental health was sweet, and I had plenty of time to connect with loved ones over the phone. Overall, I was relaxing more yet becoming more productive, and I knew I would be back home soon. Reassuring my belief that great things really do come from simple living and lots of rest & relaxation. I guess it all depends on how you view it.