Coping with Corona: Anup Kumar discovers UNO, shuns leafy vegetables

Former India captain Anup Kumar is now coach of Puneri Paltan. Pro Kabaddi League

The novel coronavirus has brought life to a standstill across the world. The sporting world too, with tournaments cancelled, seasons suspended and athletes bound by the same rules of isolation as the rest of us. ESPN talks to Indian athletes, cooped up in homes or training camps, on their changed routines, with calendars scrambled, competitions on hold and plenty of time on hand.

Anup Kumar

Former India captain, men's kabaddi team

Coach, Puneri Paltan, Pro Kabaddi League

What do you miss most about training with teammates or in your normal set-up?

I do miss training, because that was something we did daily. It helped us get better as a team and understand each other. But in a situation as serious as this, I think all players, including me, are concentrating on keeping ourselves fit, but at home.

Have you taken up any new hobbies or pastimes?

I'm spending all my time with my family. My son has taught me a new card game -- UNO. We've been playing that a lot. Other than that, we talk, watch some TV and pass our time.

What films/shows are you watching online?

Honestly, I've only been hooked to the news to know the current happenings.

How are you being disciplined about your diet? Have the number of cheat days increased?

I am following my usual diet -- no cheating, only ghar ka khana (home-cooked food).

Following the outbreak, what's the most paranoid thing you've done to keep yourself safe?

I had recently heard somewhere that leafy vegetables during this time are not the safest. I'm not sure how true it is but we have been avoiding them just to be on the safe side.

Is there any advantage of being in a situation like this?

Personally, I am just happy spending a lot of time with my family.

When was the last time you were in a similar situation?

Such a situation only comes when there is an injury, but that too lasts for a week or 10 days at max. I haven't ever been in such a situation otherwise, especially for so many days. It won't be right to compare an injury situation to this global crisis we are facing.

Any tips for fellow athletes to remain in shape, stay entertained and avoid getting depressed?

My only advice to fellow athletes is to continue training at home. Even basic exercising is fine -- but please do it. It will keep you fit and busy as well. I, too, am practising yoga daily -- in the morning and evening -- to keep myself fit and calm. Additionally, please do not step out of the house unless it's an emergency. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay at home.