Busy preparing for the London Olympics scheduled to take place in July this year, the badminton champ talks about her daily clockwork, fitness regime… and the people she fears most:
I wake up between 6.30 am and 7 am daily, except on Sundays. I begin my day with a light breakfast of bananas and milk. I then head for the courts to work out and play under the guidance of my coaches. They have a specific schedule for stamina building, endurance and game skills. I take some rest around 11 am. After taking a bath and lunch at 12.30 or 1 pm, I take a small nap.
I hit the courts again in the afternoon and practice badminton from 3.30 pm till 7 pm for specific training.
I return home around 7.30 pm and get ready for dinner.
I’m very conscious about my fat, calcium, carbohydrate and protein intake. I take these under the guidance of sports medicine specialists. Despite my hectic schedule, I try to take time out for relaxation and watch TV before going to sleep at 10pm. Except on Sundays, I avoid having outside food. I eat lots of seasonal fruits and don’t worry too much about the game.
I usually avoid taking any kind of medicine – sometimes even when I am ill. During school games, I used to take and eat food from local hotels/dhabas, including items such as milkshakes, butter, paneer, curd etc every day. My aim is to give my 100%. The rest I leave to luck and God’s mercy! I believe there’s no gain without pain and I don’t believe in short gains. I have full faith in my strength and ability and – except for a few players from China – don’t fear anyone. Currently, I’m ranked No 4 in the world; the three players ahead of me and two behind me on the rankings are all Chinese.