Lockdown diaries: Ritu Phogat keeping busy with yoga, movies and books

The daughter of legendary wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat, Ritu is working hard to achieve her dream of becoming India’s first MMA world champion.

Ritu Phogat, 25, registered her second Championship win last February, beating experienced opponent Wu Chiao Chen of China.

Ritu Phogat, 25, registered her second Championship win last February, beating experienced opponent Wu Chiao Chen of China.   -  Special Arrangement

While most athletes across the globe are spending their time at home in the absence of live sporting action due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s star athlete and ONE Championship fighter Ritu Phogat is spending time away from her family in Singapore exploring new things to keep herself busy.

The 25-year-old Phogat registered her second Championship win last February, beating experienced opponent Wu Chiao Chen of China. Since then, she has been taking this opportunity to work on her skills, while also doing yoga to improve her mental toughness. She trains for around three and a half hours a day.

“With the lockdown in progress, going out of my home is not an option. Which is why I’ve created a schedule and I stick to it along with a workout regime at home right from the basic exercises like running on the treadmill, lifting weights to utilizing the ropes and punching bags to get better strength and stamina. I have also been indulging in yoga, since I moved my base to Singapore to better my mental toughness,” the 2016 Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning wrestler said.

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Apart from her daily training routine, Phogat spends her free time reading books and watching movies.

“Whatever time I have after training, I spend it reading and watching movies. Currently, I’m hooked to The Secret. Normally I don’t get much time for myself but this lockdown has given me ample amounts of that. Apart from reading, I’ve also been watching a lot of movies, and sports documentaries like The Champions. This is probably the first time in my life that I am watching so many movies,” Phogat added.

The daughter of legendary wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat, Ritu is working hard to achieve her dream of becoming India’s first MMA world champion. But she also feels that being away from family is not easy during these challenging times.

“I’m missing the food cooked by my mother. Cooking food on my own is challenging but I am managing it somehow. I cook roti and sabjee at least once a day and I also play online ludo with my sisters a lot,” said Phogat.

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