Hello SOBHY SQUAD!
Thank you for checking out my website!! If you’re reading this, it means that you have made it onto my website and that I have successfully trapped you into checking out my site, thanks to this blog.
Welcome to my inaugural post!! Now that I am venturing back into the world of being a professional squash player, and embarking on my first flight in six months, I feel like I should give you an update on my life during this extended time off.
Where do I begin???… I flew back to Boston after The Black Ball Open, on March 13th, before everything shut down a few days later. Thinking that this was only going to be a month long ordeal (HAH), I decided to quarantine in my apartment in Boston. It was going pretty well at first. I created my infamous In Home Workout Plan for the masses and took part in the various fitness challenges going around social media (Remember that handstand T-shirt challenge that seems like ages ago?)
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Happy #MotivationalMonday!! 💪🏽💪🏽 Here’s a Workout plan that we can all get behind & enjoy doing during this time of isolation! 🙌🏽🔥 #WorkOutWithMands Round: 1) Inchworm to a push-up w/ a drink x5🍷 2) Crunch for a crunch x10 🥔 3) Bicep Curls w/ a drink x10💪🏽🍹 4) Band Walks w/ to eat a snack🍪 5) Alternating Lunges x5 chips🥔 6) Sumo Squat w/ a drink x10 👊🏽🍷 7) Wall-Sit to finish your drink🍹 Do as many rounds as necessary! Good Luck & Enjoy!! 😁😁💪🏽💪🏽🔥🔥 #QuarantinedWithMands #DoACrunchHaveACrunch
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(Essentials for my In Home workout plan included cookies, whiteclaw, and a bottle of Rose)
After a few weeks, I started to feel the effects of being alone in isolation. I was on my own in Boston in my apartment (my roommate was quarantining with his girlfriend), the weather was absolutely abysmal to the point where I wouldn’t leave my place for two days straight, due to cold, nasty Boston rain, and my neighbors below me kept complaining every time I taught a virtual workout #SorryNotSorry. It was tough being in lockdown by myself, feeling like I couldn’t go anywhere. Fortunately, rental cars were extremely cheap, so after almost a month in Boston, I rented a car for two weeks and drove down to my Mom’s house on Long Island. She was quarantining alone as well, so being together was really nice. Those “two weeks” turned into staying at my childhood home in Sea Cliff, NY with my Mom, for three and a half months playing extremely heated $1 bet Yahtzee battles (I won $7 in the end).
Life in Sea Cliff is chill. Life in Sea Cliff during a pandemic is still chill… with people wearing masks. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t very fortunate to have been sheltered in my tiny hippie beach village that I grew up in. For 12 weeks straight I taught virtual training sessions and workouts. Motivational Monday was my day where I taught for Squash and Education Alliance and all of the kids in the urban squash programs around the country. Some sessions we had up to 75 kids! It was awesome!! I also was invited by former World #9, Adrian Grant, to team up with him, Greg Gaultier, and Miguel Rodriguez in a Live Virtual Training Program. It consisted of weekly themes, discussions, and training sessions that we designed and ran on our designated day. My day was Thursday which made me the last pro session of the week, so it forced me to get creative and think outside the box since I didn’t want to do similar training sessions as Greg & Miguel. What was planned to be a 6 week virtual training program, ended up carrying on for 12 weeks – all the way through June! Twelve fun, solid, sweaty and successful weeks of virtual training! Let that sink in. It also brought me a lot of joy to give back to the squash community during this time. I had a blast connecting with people around the country and bringing everyone together through movement and our passion for squash. I got to virtually meet and interact with a lot of kids, many whom I would never have had the chance to meet, so there are always positives to being in lockdown!
In addition to my virtual training gigs, my fitness coach back home had his gym/warehouse still open during lockdown (he’s been practicing proper cleaning techniques & social distancing way before the pandemic was a thing). As a result, I was working out with him 2-3x a week which gave me something to focus on, and keep me sane as well. With all of this time off from squash, and not being injured this time around, I could finally give my chicken leg some much needed tender love and care. I have to admit, it was awesome to be able to focus on something where I didn’t need a racquet in hand. Yes, it was squash specific, but I wasn’t on court at all during that time. In fact, I didn’t hit a ball until mid June and even then I was only averaging 1-2x per week on the squash court. However, it all changed when I moved to Philly in the beginning of August.
OK. Let’s talk about my move, shall we? It was the most 2020 move ever. That’s the best way to describe it. The amount of tears shed during my move was absurd. I am never moving again!!! For starters, I hired a moving company through a broker. Major rookie error. I moved out of my Boston apartment on July 31st. That was fine. It was moving into my apartment in Philly that was not fine. I moved to a condo that doesn’t do move-ins on the weekend (August 1st was a Saturday) and you have to book the freight elevator in advance to use. I booked the elevator for Monday, August 3rd, which was the day I was moving in. I was assured by the broker company, and the mover, that my stuff would be moved in that Monday. They told me they would call me 24 hours in advance to confirm their arrival. I never got the call Sunday. At noon on Monday (while I was already down in Philly checking out my new place for the first time as I had only seen it virtually, thanks to lockdown), I got the call from the movers telling me they were delayed and wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday. I checked the freight elevator schedule for Tuesday. Completely booked the entire day. Well, shit. I told the movers I could reserve the elevator for Wednesday morning. Their reply? We won’t be in the area Wednesday. We are coming tomorrow. My reply? Well you were supposed to be here today when I booked the freight elevator. They couldn’t give less of a shit, so they gave my move-in slot away and told me that they would call me 24 hours in advance when they were next in the area in the next 7-10 days. And then they hung up on me and stopped answering any of my calls. Basically, these movers had my stuff held hostage and I had zero clue when my things would arrive. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! I had the biggest meltdown that day. If I had to give you a visual of my state of being, imagine me sitting on the floor in one of the aisles at Target hysterically crying on the phone. I was not doing amazing, sweetie.
With zero control over the arrival of my things, I was ready to pack it up and go back to my comfort zone of Sea Cliff and wait until the movers decided to grace themselves in my presence. However, a surprise visit from a good squash friend, who gifted me a bottle of champagne, a box of hard seltzers, and an air mattress to sleep on. That was all I needed to be persuaded to stay in my empty apartment. It was uncomfortable to have such a lack of control over my things, or where I would be able to train, but I sat in the discomfort until the intensity lessened. And it did! I was able to get my squash setup going, get back into a training routine, and get adjusted to the minimalist life that I was living. I accepted the fact that my stuff wouldn’t arrive for a while, so I made do with the things that I had. After 12 days, I finally got the call from the movers saying they would be in the area the following morning. I didn’t even care at this point if I could book the freight elevator or not, I just told them to come. Fortunately, everything worked out and I got my things and it was the BEST DAY EVER!!!! The nightmare was over!!! Now that I have all of my things and my apartment is set up, I highly recommend NEVER to use STOP AND MOVE COMPANY. Ever. Just don’t even think about it. THEY ARE THE WORST!!!!
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REAL TALK👉🏽Last week was rough. It was probably one of the roughest week’s I’ve had in a while. I moved into my new apartment in Philly last Monday only to find out that my stuff was delayed on being delivered. Since my building is big & you have to book the freight elevator in advance, it was completely booked up for the day the movers wanted to come. So what did they do? They gave my move in slot away & told me that they would call me 24hours in advance when they were in the Philly area again. That’s it. I have zero control over when my stuff will arrive, so I’ve been living the minimalist life in a lovely, but very empty apartment. • The lack of control over my belongings combined with moving to a new city & being on my own again triggered the COVID meltdown that I’ve been doing so well to avoid for the last 4 months while I was sheltered & super comfy at my Mom’s house in my hometown of Sea Cliff. I didn’t know what my training set up would be, where I could hit, what the Covid situation was down in Philly, & frankly, I was just exhausted & drained from everything. Needless to say, it was one hell of an emotional week😩 • However, I know that tough times don’t last forever, & if I could focus on the things in my control & make the best of this situation, this storm would pass. So I chose to do just that…Self care, self love, lots of mindfulness & meditation, surrounding myself & keeping in touch with the people I love, being grateful for the things in my life, & taking things day by day, hour by hour has made things exponentially better💗 I chose to sit in this discomfort & I’m so glad I did. I’ve used every single tool in the toolbox to help cope during this time & found my groove again even though I still have no idea when my things will arrive🤷🏽♀️ • This post is not meant for sympathy. It’s just an acknowledgement that we all go through shit & struggles, & it’s okay to not be okay. I’m surviving & thriving now and loving my new setup down in Philly, so all is good🙌🏽💪🏽 To the people who were there for me during my meltdown week, thank you. I love you all💗🙏🏽 #LifeInPhilly #WednesdayWisdom
(Me, living the minimalist life in my empty apartment with all of my “things”)
Other than my move in fiasco, I have been loving life in Philly. My time has been consumed in training, but I absolutely love my new set up. A big shout out to the Philly Squash community for coming in clutch and helping me get settled into the City of Brotherly Love. You’re stuck with me for a while!
Kidding…I’m actually about to leave for 5 weeks now that the PSA World Tour is starting back up, so stay tuned for more updates! Bye Bye for now!